Frequently Asked Questions
Belladonna Studios, 833 SE Main St, #218, Portland, OR
Use call box by elevator to dial unit #218 to be let in
Check the "Belladonna" tab for more information about the studio
Larger pieces by the hour, smaller pieces priced by the piece
$100 nonrefundable deposit required to book
Current booking period: October 2018-January 2019
Books opening January 2019
Books currently closed
No waitlist, sign up for my newsletter to get first dibs on last minute availability
Cash + Venmo
Books open once per quarter for both predrawn projects and custom pieces. When books are open, there will be a “Booking” tab on my website with a form to fill out. ONLY requests received via this form will be considered.
Here’s the gist of how this works: I offer both predrawn projects and custom work. When my books open, you either choose a predrawn project or submit a complete custom idea via my booking form (newsletter subscribers will get first dibs). If I’m able to accommodate your request, you’ll get an email from my assistant Lauren with more info and instructions on how to pick your appointment date and secure your spot with a deposit. Once you’re booked, you’ll submit any further thoughts/reference images you have to me via email. You’ll come in on the day of your appointment, we’ll take a look at the design together, and get you tattooed! Keep reading for more details.
When my books open, there will be some predrawn projects available to browse on my website. Newsletter subscribers will get first dibs on predrawn projects. When designs are available to book, there will be a visible "available designs" tab on my website. These pieces are to be tattooed only once and exactly as they appear (no changes! If you want something changed about a predrawn project, please submit a custom request). Each piece is designed to be in either blackwork or color; check the item description for details. You can browse the designs there and, if you see one you'd like to book, fill out the booking submission form and indicate which design you're interested in in the comments. Unless otherwise noted, predrawn designs are intended to be completed in one sitting and are not suitable for coverups. If your submission is chosen, you'll receive an email with instructions on how to book your appointment date and time.
Due to a high volume of requests (thank you so much!! I'm so honored and humbled) I open my books for custom work roughly once per quarter. Subscribe to my newsletter and keep an eye on my Instagram for updates regarding when that will take place. When my books are open, head on over to the "booking" section of this site and fill out a booking form. PLEASE ONLY USE THE FORM TO REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT! ONLY requests made through the booking form during the designated booking period will be considered. This form acts as your consultation, so please fill it out thoughtfully. Please keep in mind that I am unable to fulfill all of the requests I get, but I do my best to work with as many folks as one human can. If your design doesn't get chosen, please submit again next time! In many cases, I'm interested in your project but simply don't have enough time to accommodate it this round.
What's the best way to make sure I get first dibs on booking dates/available designs?
Sign up for my email newsletter (on my homepage)! That way, you won't miss any announcements and will have booking information as soon as it is available without relying on social media algorithms to make sure you see it. Newsletter subscribers will be the first to know about when books are opening, available projects, any kind of events, and if any last-minute dates become available. That said, please follow along on Instagram too!
What kinds of things are you looking for on your submission form?
When books open, I'll review applications and curate projects that best fit my current inspirations and goals for my work. (You'll get the best piece if it's something that you and your artist are both excited about!) Above all else, I’m looking for trust and creative freedom regarding the specifics of your design. You can give me as much or as little detail as you like about your idea, but a succinct, direct description is always best. Most folks give me some basic guidelines (Ie: a rose and a raven on the forearm) and trust me to take it from there. Right now, I'm prioritizing larger scale botanicals, scientific compositions, anything pertaining to folklore or witchcraft, and small critters, especially birds! Keep in mind that more isn’t necessarily better or more interesting. Some of my favorite projects are large scale pieces featuring only one or two species. Please only submit one well-conceived custom idea per booking cycle. I do not replicate other artists’ work, and I'm NOT looking to do coverups, text, geometry, or anything involving modifying another artist's work.
I do NOT tattoo:
Coverups (of other tattoos. Scar coverups are A-ok!)
Any additions/modifications to other tattoo artists’ work
Other artists’ designs (unless we’re translating a classic piece of art to skin, which I love doing)
Anyone pregnant or breastfeeding
Are your inks vegan?
Always! My goal is to enhance human lives, not detract from animal ones.
Do you do scar coverups?
Absolutely! Making clients feel good about their bodies is my favorite part of tattooing, and I consider it an honor to be trusted with the vulnerability of dealing with scars. I look forward to turning your scars into something beautiful that you can treasure. The only thing to note about scars is that they need to be at least a couple of years old to be able to work on top of.
If your proposal has been accepted:
Hooray! I’m excited to work with you! If your design is chosen, you will receive an email with a link to my online booking site. From there, you can choose a date for your tattoo appointment. Your acceptance is for the proposal that you submitted to be booked during the current booking period; if you want to make significant changes to the design, please submit that as a new request the next time books open. I would suggest booking as soon as you are able, especially if you have specific scheduling needs, as they tend to fill up quickly and I am unable to roll projects forward into another booking cycle. Please make sure you are committed to your session and have reviewed my process and policies (especially rescheduling) before booking an appointment! I am unable to roll appointments forward into another booking cycle.
Then comes the fun part! Next, you'll put together any reference images and any specific thoughts you have and communicate those to me via email or Google Drive. Please include a clear, well-lit photo of the area on your body we'll be tattooing. If you have specific thoughts about placement, please indicate those on the photo. Most folks also include a few photos of colors/shading and placements that they like so I have an idea of what resonates with you. Make sure your references are in at least a week prior to your appointment; I'll let you know if I need anything else. On the day of your appointment, you'll come in, and we'll take a look at your design, make any necessary changes, and size it to fit your body. We'll get you stenciled, and once you're stoked on the specifics, we'll get to tattooing!
Once you have an appointment:
When will I see my design?
For custom pieces, you'll see your design when you come in for your appointment, and there will be time baked into your appointment to make any changes you'd like (so don't be shy if anything jumps out at you! You won't hurt my feelings and I want you to love your tattoo). I want your piece to be something you'll love and treasure forever, and am more than happy to work with you to make it perfect in your eyes, which we'll take the time to do before we start tattooing. If you have a specific vision in mind of what you want your piece to look like, I'm all ears via email/your Google Drive, and there's no such thing as too many reference images! Keep in mind that it is difficult to communicate in another medium exactly how a piece will look on skin, so in line with most artists, the rendering you'll see contains composition only, no color or shading. Check out my portfolio for an idea of how shading and color will be executed, and don't be shy about letting me know if there are particular pieces of mine that you like elements of! Under no circumstances will there be multiple renderings of a design to choose from, so if you are unsure of exactly what you're looking for, trust your artist to make the right call, choose a predrawn design, or wait to get tattooed until you are more confident. There will be no deviating from this policy.
How does communication prior to my appointment work?
Between your submission form and your reference images/Google Drive, you should have the tools you need to communicate what you're envisioning for your piece and I should have what I need to create that for you (I'll let you know if I need anything else). If you're interested in a larger scale piece (half sleeve or bigger) I may ask you to come in prior to your appointment so we can take a look at the canvas together. Otherwise, we'll size your piece to fit your body and make any minor changes on the day of your appointment. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have further questions for me or want to chat about anything else leading up to your appointment. Please ONLY use email to communicate with me! No DMs! I need to be able to refer back to our conversations and DMs get lost almost instantly.
When should I arrive for my appointment?
As close to your scheduled time as possible, but please don't arrive more than 5 minutes early! I'm glad you're stoked (I am too!) but most of my days do not have much flex time in them and I don't want to make you wait. Plus, in the 20 minutes or so leading up to your appointment, I'm probably setting up your station, which means I'm gloved up and can't touch my phone to buzz you in.
How much cash should I bring?
If you have a half day, appointment, be prepared for either 3 hours’ worth, or the predetermined price of your piece for predrawns that have a set price. If you have a full day appointment, we probably won’t exceed 5 hours of actual tattooing time.
Can I bring my friend/partner/parent/whomever?
The time leading up to your appointment can be nerve-wracking, and having a friendly face can be super helpful. You're welcome to bring a loved one with you, but keep in mind that the studio is small and watching someone get tattooed is actually quite boring, so it may be best for them to be there for you while we get started, and once you're comfortable, they can explore the area around the studio while we work. There are loads of great coffee shops, bookstores, and places to eat within walking distance.
What can I do to prepare for my appointment?
Stay hydrated, get a good night's sleep, and eat breakfast! You're welcome to bring a book, music, games, whatever will make you feel comfortable during your session. Plan to take it easy for the rest of the day after your piece, and don't make plans for intense physical activity for at least a week after your piece.
What should I wear to my appointment?
You’ll want to wear something you’ll be comfortable sitting in for a few hours. We’ll need to be able to expose the skin up to about 2” on all sides around the area being tattooed, so wear something stretchy and loose around that area. For example, if we’re doing a shoulder cap, a stretchy tank top that you can pull over your head and a bra strap that you can drop down under your arm are ideal. Though it doesn’t happen often, there is always the possibility of ink getting on your clothes, so darker colors and items that are easily washable are best. Bonus points if you wear solid, neutral colors for photos.
How long should I plan to be there?
I take either one or two clients per day. If I’ve instructed you to book a half day appointment, you’ll be in and out in 3 hours or less, and if you’ve got a full day appointment, you’ll be out in six or less. I STRONGLY recommend not planning anything immediately after your piece! We don’t want to rush your tattoo, and the first 48 hours are the most important for making sure your piece heals well. Plan to take it easy for the rest of the day after your piece, and be ready to take a break from intense physical activity while it heals.
What can I expect from your creative process?
Prior to your appointment, you'll communicate to me what you're envisioning for your piece/what you're hoping to convey, I'll let you know if I have any questions or need anything else, and I'll take that inspiration and turn it into a line drawing. Most clients give me a loose idea of what they're looking for in the composition and placement, communicate any specific ideas they have, and trust me to take it from there. Once you come in for your appointment, we'll take a look at the design and placement, make any minor design and sizing changes, get you stenciled, and then tattooed! I do not work on drawings far in advance, and I do not share my process until it’s complete. When we actually see the design on your body, we'll assess whether we need to make any minor changes, and please feel free to share your thoughts openly and honestly! This is, after all, a collaborative effort and I want you to love your piece. I only book one or two clients per day so that we have plenty of time to make sure everything is just right, so don’t worry about feeling rushed to say yes once you get into the studio. I may need to freehand some elements to fit your specific body, especially for larger pieces and shoulder caps, and will always let you know and get your consent for that. Please keep in mind that a lot of the magic of art happens spontaneously. This is a process, not a product. I strive to work with clients who are positive, excited, trusting, and open-minded about said process. We will make sure on the day of your appointment that everything is just right, and I'm all ears at any point if you have ideas or questions about your piece. However, if you are someone who needs full control over every detail far in advance, that's totally fine, but I am not the artist for you. If you’re excessively picky or controlling at any point in the process and don’t trust my expertise, I may ask you to find another artist.
I’m stoked for our appointment but am not jazzed about the pain. Is there anything I can do to make it more comfortable?
Yes! While I try to make the process as comfortable as possible, there are lidocaine products that can make it even moreso. My favorite is Hush anesthetic gel (available on Amazon); you are welcome to purchase this on your own and apply it before your appointment per the manufacturer's instructions. During the procedure, lidocaine spray will be available as well, but is only effective after the skin has been broken. These products likely won't get you completely numb, but will help considerably. Think scratching a sunburn. If you need to tap out during the appointment and come back in another session to finish, that is totally an option, so please don't hesitate to let me know.
What's the healing process like?
On the day of your piece, you’ll be bandaged according to your specific piece and sent home with aftercare instructions. Your piece will go through phases of scabbing, itching, and appearing very light for a time. It takes about a month for your piece to settle in, so if it looks a little funky before the month mark, don't panic. It's probably normal, but if you have a question, don't hesitate to ask. Head on over to the "aftercare" tab for more detailed aftercare instructions. Please keep in mind that color pieces will take longer to heal than linework and will be a bit messier for a couple of days after your appointment, and you’ll need to refrain from physical activity for longer.
What can I do to make sure my piece heals well?
Many of the factors that affect how your piece heals are under your control. To make sure your piece heals as well as possible, stay hydrated and well-nourished, don’t work out until it’s healed, NEVER pick the scabs, and stay out of the sun! NEVER WORK OUT WITH A FRESH TATTOO. For the first week or so, you’ll want to make sure the tattooed skin is stretched + pulled as little as possible.
What can I expect as my tattoo ages?
Skin is a constantly changing organ, one that sheds and regenerates very quickly. The best things you can do to keep your piece looking great for years to come are to pay attention to your internal health (eat well, stay hydrated) and protect your piece from the sun (ideally by staying out of it or keeping your piece covered, but use sunscreen if you’re going to be exposed). Minor imperfections in your piece are normal, especially with finer lines. After all, unlike paper, skin is a three-dimensional, textured canvas! Details may become less sharp over very long periods of time, but I design each piece to remain readable even in the absence of some of the finer details.
You can reschedule your appointment up to one time within the same booking period anytime up to a week before your scheduled date and have your deposit applied to the new appointment. If something comes up and you need to reschedule, just hop back on the booking site and pick a new date. If there are none available, wait a few days and try again, as the booking website is set to offer appointments no more than four months out. If you still can’t find a date that works for you let me know, but please keep in mind that I do NOT hold deposits indefinitely. If I offer you a chance to reschedule, you must commit to a new date within a week of my offer, or your deposit will no longer apply. If you need to cancel, please let me know as soon as possible. If you have scheduling concerns or need to reach me regarding anything else pertaining to your appointment, please use email only, NO DMs. It's important that I'm able to refer back to our conversations so that I don't miss anything you say, and keeping DMs organized is impossible.
My ethics: I strive to maintain a comfortable, safe, and inclusive space where everyone is respected and reciprocates that treatment. I welcome clients of all body types, genders, skin tones, and ages (18+, of course). Aggressive language, homophobic/transphobic/racist behavior, and any kind of shaming will not be tolerated and services will be immediately terminated with no refunds. I reserve the right to refund a deposit and terminate a scheduled piece at any time for any reason. I ask that clients approach our interactions with trust, respect, and patience, and communicate clearly if they have additional needs.
Lastly, thanks to each and every person who follows and supports my work. It is an absolute honor to be trusted to put my work on your body, and it's one that I do not take for granted. Tattooing can be such a powerful tool for healing, inspiring confidence, and reclaiming your own body, and it's a privilege to be a part of your journey. It's my goal to honor that by making your tattooing experience safe, inclusive, comfortable, and positive from start to finish. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. <3