8 Things Your Tattoo Artist Won’t Tell You

8 Things Your Tattoo Artist Won’t Tell You Straight From Dirk Vermin Of ‘Bad Ink’

I always thought as a bartender, we were the only ones keeping loads of secrets from our customers, but it turns out tattoo artists won’t tell you everything, either, and are just as guilty as the people who hold your future inebriated self in their hands. As a drink slinger, I have many tricks up my sleeve. For example, I tell people we can’t make Long Island Iced Teas because we’re out of some ingredient when really I’m slightly judging their drink of choice because no one needs that much booze in front of them. And believe it or not, tattoo artists have a few things they’re keeping mum about, as well.

Never one to be comfortable in the dark, especially when it comes to tattoos, I had to find a tattoo artist to give it to me straight. Who better than the Dirk Vermin, owner of Pussykat Tattoo Parlor in Las Vegas and star of Bad Ink, to give me all the deets on things most tattoo artists won’t tell us? Dirk has been tattooing for over 20 years and while the bulk of his work featured on A&E’s Bad Ink features his amazing ability to cover up even the worst tattoos, he has a few things that he’s just not willing to do for money. Can anyone say tribal band tattoos? Dirk has literally performed thousands and thousands of cover-ups and together we’ve compiled a list of things your tattoo artist won’t tell you that just may save you from tattoo drama and regret.

1. Your Tattoo Artist Wants To Make Money, Not Your Decisions


You may be wondering why your artist wouldn’t prevent you from making a decision he or she might assume you’d regret — this is a job. While the word “artist” is in the title, it doesn’t mean that these skilled professionals aren’t trying to pay their bills with their craft. If you’re wondering years later why your tattoo artist let you get “Baddest Bitch” on your ass, the simple answer is that you’re an adult (you did sign a waiver that you were of age and sober enough to consent). You made that decision. Artists have slots to fill; if they’re turning away people just because the tattoo is questionable, that’s money heading out the door.

2. Getting The Name Of Anyone Besides Your Mother Or Child Is A Terrible Idea

Most of us know that tattooing a new boo’s name on your arm is risky business. You are basically asking the universe to immediately destroy your relationship. Stop testing the way the world works and hold off on the name tats. Blissful youthfulness, saving broken relationships, and even ownership of a partner (yes, branding someone is a thing!) makes this tattoo the number one cover up job that artists perform, according to Vermin. “Believe me, young love ends, the tattoo stays.” I couldn’t agree more.

3. Not All Shops Will Do Finger Tattoos

According to Vermin, most shops will not do finger tattoos, but that’s rarely advertised on the website. “You touch them up forever, they spread and fall out unpredictably and are just not worth it for us. Most tattoo artists have finger tattoos, but we are ‘industry’ and can touch them up [whenever we want].” He continues that wedding bands are especially tough. “We can’t go all around the finger and sooner later it will look like [crap],” he says. So, for all you romantics out there? Buy a ring.

4. Inside The Lip Tattoos Are Not A Good Call

Ah yes, the inner lip tattoo. So alluring, so enticing, so incredibly badass… yet so incredibly temporary because they are in the inside of your wet, bacteria-infested mouth. That didn’t stop me from getting one, but since most of my friends have had and lost lip tats, Vermin and I agree that this had to make the list. “Bad idea for so many reasons,” he says. “They look cheap and trashy almost immediately, they spread into the skin and fallout quickly.” While you may luck out and find an artist willing to do it for some cash or maybe for some laughs, just remember you’ve been warned… and don’t try to get your money back when it disappears.

5. Getting A Tattoo In The Summer Is Not A Great Idea

The summer is the time for short shorts, crop tops, and zero sleeves, but the only thing your tattoo hates more than being smothered while it’s healing is being in direct sunlight. According to tattoo sources at Miss Meg’s, tattoo ink is made up of pigments that can fade easily when exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Obviously, we can’t be expected to wait three months for the sun to disappear to get our dream tattoo, and those living in sunshine all year round are not going to deprive themselves of tattoos for life. In that case, here’s what you should know: According to Skin-Artists.Com (and most reputable parlors), while your tattoo is healing, cover it up. Wear clothing while walking in direct sunlight, avoid the beach, and be very annoyed for a few weeks. It will definitely be worth it.

6. You Should Tip, Please


It’s in bad form to ask for a tip from someone, but while good ink costs tremendously more than a good drink, it’s still customary to tip for a job well done. Tattoo artists understand that people save money for bigger pieces, so any tip is appreciated. Save a little extra cash for your work of art and not only will you be showing your artist some appreciation, you’ll put yourself in a good position for getting a deal on a future tattoo. According to sources at Tattoo Artist Magazinetipping your tattoo artist is a very good look. To be sure that I wasn’t the only one insisting tattoo artists get some tips, I asked Dirk, who tells me that “tipping in the tattoo industry is pretty standard, especially if you know you’re getting a good deal! The amount you tip is really up to you as a customer. For every 100 dollars, [tipping] 20 dollars on the low end, 50 dollars on the high end usually a pretty good rule of thumb. [It’s] up to you but it is always appreciated.”

7. What The Shop Minimum Really Goes Towards

Oli Scarff/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The shop minimum at a tattoo parlor is the overhead costs that it takes to get you tattooed. It costs money to keep clean, sterile equipment including needles, ink, and workstations. While I certainly cringe at high shop minimums when I’m getting a tiny tattoo, I definitely want my tattoo and I want it sans infection. According to Vermin, the question “What’s your shop minimum?” can easily dampen your artist’s mood. “Does that mean what is the absolute least amount of money you can give my time and skill without completely insulting me?” Vermin jokes. The shop minimum most often goes towards the equipment, not the talent.

8. The Deal With White Tattoos

We saved the best for last! While there are definitely some stunning white henna tattoos (even Vermin is willing to admit to seeing some white tattoos that look stellar) they are an exception to another growing trend that leaves most with regret. As Vermin says, these tattoos symbolize “no commitment” to tattoo artists. “That’s the problem: You’re going through the pain and healing for something that sort of invisible,” Vermin says. Some shops won’t even perform white tattoos because as Vermin explains, “White [ink] falls out, can get splotchy and yellow overtime. It usually looks like some weird scar or birthmark.” It’s your body and there are definitely artists who will give you a white tattoo that looks amazing… at least on the first day.

Image: Annie Spratt/Unsplash; Aurora K/Flickr; Tom Darrin (1); Kimberly Dolland (1); Kristin Collins Jackson (1)

Posted in Tattoo Artists

Skinny Dog Designs Studio City Tattoo Rings

Skinny Dog Designs Studio City Tattoo Jolly Roger Rings



Check out our new shop rings ! We’re honored our friends at Skinny Dog Designs have made 3 new pirate rings for us. GET SOME HERE 

Studio City Tattoo

All the jewelry is made of .925 sterling silver or 14k gold. All gem stones are real and hand set by a professional jeweler. All our jewelry has a 100% money back guarantee !!

All jewelry will be custom made when ordered so be sure to tell us your exact ring size or what color gem stones you want.

It may take up to 30 days to make and ship your piece because I actually make it !!

Skinny Dog Design Group, Inc. is a jewelry studio based in Long Beach, California.
Our specialty is designing and manufacturing detailed, expertly crafted, custom jewelry. Contact us via email
waxgirl@skinnydogdesign.com or call us at 562-436-7237

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Are You Zombie Rated?

Studio City Tattoo Zombie Rated Jeep

We built this Jeep for the Zombie apocalypses and 4×4 fun. Check out our website for the Jeep

Are you a Zombie Jeep enthusiast? Do you like the idea of fending off the recently deceased who’ve come back to life to eat your flesh? How about having to survive against the undead using your beloved Jeep? Or perhaps you just appreciate the top quality workmanship and want some simple modifications to your offroad vehicle? Well, you have come to the right place. This is the home of the Zombie Rated Jeep

We’re Zombie Rated, a group of Zombie Jeep loving individuals who drive, build and rate all things zombie apocalypse. We like well-made vehicles, survival equipment, and food. (ha ha ha, hey why not?)  We like to have a good time with friends 4x4ing all the while seeking out cool items and places to share it with you here.

Is your Jeep Zombie Rated? Add us on Instagram and show us your ZA ride and if you love it chances are so will we. Show us and get Zombie Rated! If you like the idea get a Zombie Rated Emblem from our shop for your vehicle.

Take a look at our news to see what we are finding that is Zombie Rated and go check out the Garage to meet Mike Duval the mechanic who brought the Zombie Rated Jeep to life. Not only can he build you one like it but he is skilled in all aspects of Jeep and 4×4 modification.

We hope you enjoy the taking a look around and thank you for your interest in Zombie Rated. 

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Posted in Tattoo Artists

Visiting From Asia? Come drop by our tattoo & body piercing shop

West Hollywood Body Piercing
ロサンゼルスの タトゥー


Best Tattoo & Body Piercing Shop


 One of Los Angeles’ Best Tattoo & Body Piercing Shops


Are You Looking for a Professional Tattoo and Body Piercing Parlor? If Yes, Then You Are at The Right Place!



STUDIO CITY TATTOO is the place to be!


Welcome aboard to see for yourself one of the best tattoo and piercing shops on the map – Studio City Tattoo! We aim to earn your trust and give you the finest workmanship available.



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Studio City Tattoo’s Pirate Skull Ring by Bill Wall Leather

 SCT Jolly Roger Pirate Skull Ring By Bil Wall

This is a limited production of 100  Pirate Skull rings made for Studio City Tattoo by Bill Wall. Each BWL/SCT Jolly Roger Pirate Skull Ring comes with special Studio City Tattoo Jolly Roger velvet bag along with one from Bill Wall Leather. Every ring comes with a certification of authenticity from Bill Wall. Bill hand signs and numbers these rings making them a collector’s piece.

Studio City Tattoo Pirate Ring Bill Wall

This ring is an artistic representation of our Studio City Tattoo  Jolly Roger logo, with our cross put in the eye and Bill’s signature skull and crossbones put on the hat to represent piracy. Bill added an eye to the skull to keep a weather eye out for good luck to the wearer. And believe me, this ring has been good luck for Studio City Tattoo!

The ring is meticulously carved from metal making a metal master. The metal master is used every time to make the castings. This means each ring will retain its original detail from the original piece of art that came from Bill’s hands. There are two versions, one is .925 sterling silver and the other a Sterling silver/18kt gold version.


Check out rings here – Jolly Roger Pirate Skull Rings

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Pirate Coin

Pirate Coin

It’s a tradition here at Studio City Tattoo “the pirate tattoo shop” to give away a real copper pirate coin piece of eight cob. This pirate coin is worth 5 bucks here at the shop forever! The only problem is we don’t get very many back, because they look better and better with age on you key chain.


A little something extra

PhotoGrid_1432351436441We like having you leave our shop with a great tattoo or body piercing and a little something extra for you to remember us by. When you’re here grab a free sticker and receive a Studio City Tattoo original Piece of Eight Copper Cob Pirate Coin with tattoo or body piercing. It’s good for 5 dollars on you next visit. Read more ›

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How To Fill The Big Ugly Hole In Your Life — From A Piercing

How To Fill The Big Ugly Hole In Your Life — From A Piercing


A few months back, I was stuck in an elevator with a conservative-looking woman. After about five minutes of pumping that red emergency button, we decided that if we were going to be trapped in a tiny box together, we might as well get to know each another — and, eventually, the topic turned to body piercings. Turns out, she and a friend had both gotten their belly buttons done years before, and while the jewelry (and the friendship) was long gone, a tiny dimpled memory remained on her navel. She’d like to get rid of it, but how? Well, stranger, this one’s for you. (We were eventually rescued, by the way…)

Whether you need to temporarily hide a piercing for a job interview or you’d like a permanent fix because sweet-Moses-what-where-you-thinking, you actually have many more options than you think. We asked a team of experts — including a dermatologist and two piercers with 35 years of experience between them — for their best tips on hiding a piercing, really making it disappear, or simply improving the look of a hole that’s scarred or migrated over the years. Read more ›

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Harley Davidson Tattoo

Harley Davidson Tattoo

Whether it’s Harley Davidson, Bill Wall Leather or Studio City Tattoo, these companies are known for providing the best quality and service in their respected industries.

Bill Wall Studio City Tattoo Read more ›

Posted in Tattoo Artists

We’ve Won An Expertise Award For 2016

We’ve Won An Expertise Award for 2016

Studio City Tattoo is an award winning tattoo shop that has won many awards throughout the years, and through the years, we’ve had some very talented tattoo artists on our crew. Every day our team strives to get better and better, and it shows. Just take a look at our tattoo and body piercing pictures or browse through our 5-star reviews rating on YELP. We’re proud to be the home of a talented crew so stop in and see why so many discerning customers have brought us their business.

since 1992.Studio City Tattoo Awards

We’ve been voted the  #1 tattoo & body piercing shop in Los Angeles County multiple years by the Best Of Los Angeles Hot List, Citysearch, and Fox LA. Our artists are frequently chosen for LA’s top ten by various magazine though out the years.Studio City Tattoo is also the winner of the Studio City Chamber of Commerce Small Business Award 2014 and United Chamber of Commerce Small Business Award 2014.

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Authorized BWL Dealer

Studio City Tattoo Is Proud To Be An Authorized Bill Wall Leather Jewelry Dealer. BWL Guaranteed To The Grave!

Chloe Grace Moretz, Bill Wall Leather, Ring, Studio City Tattoo

Chloe Grace Moretz Knows Kick Ass Jewelry with her Bill Wall Leather Mini Good Luck Skull Ring here at Studio City Tattoo and Body Piercing. Bill will be customizing Chloe’s new BWL skull ring with ruby eyes

See Chloe Grace Moretz Newest Body Piercing here

 In Cahoots

Hello to all of our friends and family out there. We  have an announcement of epic proportion. If you know Studio City Tattoo then you know of our reputation for high-quality workmanship that comes out of our Pirate themed tattoo and body piercing shop. We are humbled and honored to announce that we are an authorized bill Wall Leather jewelry dealer, Bill Wall Leathers Artisan Jewelry, out of Malibu. We are just one, of the very few “Authorized Dealerships” where you can come inside and purchase your very own premium piece of Bill Wall Jewelry. We will also be glad to work with you, to help you design your very own custom piece if you so desire. Custom pieces are handcrafted and autographed, by Bill himself. All of Bill Wall’s designs are either limited editions or one of a kind piece. His jewelry is worn from connoisseurs to rock stars, men, women, and people who travel the world over, just to be able to come and have their very own creation. His craftsmanship praised worldwide. Bill Wall uses the highest quality metals and gemstones to create his works of art.

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Posted in Tattoo Artists