Mikey Vigilante creates a freehand tattoo on a man's arm at Paper Crane, one of the best tattoo shops in California.
Ask Us Anything

Whether you've got general questions about tattoo aftercare, want to know how much your custom tattoo might cost, or just want some insight on the tattooing experience, our tattoo artists have the answers you need.

Where are you located? Where do I park?


  • Our address is 530 E. Broadway, Long Beach, CA 90802.
  • There is metered street parking available on Broadway and nearby streets.
  • Our artists typically park at the Vons located near the studio and have never experienced any issues. Please use your personal discretion if you choose to park there.
  • If you are still having a hard time finding parking, please give us a call and we’ll help you out with some other nearby options.




How do I get started?


  • The first step to a great tattoo is to find the perfect artist.
    • We encourage you to carefully consider our artists’ portfolios to get a feel for their unique stylistic specialties and aesthetics.
  • Once you’ve found an artist you like, schedule a consultation to discuss your ideas.
  • Our artists offer the highest quality work in the industry and outstanding customer service, so you can rest assured you’re making a smart decision when you come to our studio.




Do I need to bring in exactly what I want you to tattoo on me?


  • Not at all. We actually prefer the freedom to design/redesign your custom piece.
  • Please note we do not create exact copies of other people's tattoos.
  • If your tattoo is based off of original artwork, we typically ask that you get permission from the artist.




What are your rates?


  • Rates are based on experience, ability, and speed, which means they vary from artist to artist.
  • Our rates generally range from $200-$225 per hour.
  • Our artists set their own rates and will discuss the cost/hourly estimate prior to commencing the project.
  • We pride ourselves on giving accurate estimates on how long a piece will take, but please be aware that these can change based on any number of factors beyond our control.
  • Although we do not haggle over our rates or offer “bargain” tattoos, we absolutely understand that you might have a budget in mind. During your consultation, let your artist know your price threshold so we can give you our honest feedback.




Do you accept walk-ins?


  • We accept walk-ins only when an artist has time to provide a quality piece that isn’t rushed.
  • Give us a call or stop by to see if we can accommodate you! If we can’t, we will get you set up with an appointment—often within the same week.
  • Please note that due to the pandemic, walk-ins are very hit-or-miss. Our operating hours are primarily by appointment.




How do I get you to design a tattoo for me?


  • Once you’ve selected an artist whose portfolio you like, please set up a consultation. During this meeting you’ll have an opportunity to discuss your ideas.
  • If you’re happy with your consultation and decide you want to move forward, it’s time to make a deposit and book an appointment! Deposits range from $50-$1,000 depending on the piece. Once the deposit is made, your artist will work on finalizing your design, which will be ready in time for your appointment.
  • Each artist has individual policies regarding canceling and/or rescheduling appointments. Please make a note of your artist's policies during your consultation.
  • Check out [Schedule a Tattoo Consultation page, above] for more details.




How long will my tattoo take?


  • One tattoo might take less than a minute, while another could take multiple sessions over the course of a year.
  • As a reference, a full back tattoo or a leg sleeve could require a total of sixty hours of tattooing.
  • The length of time we’ll spend on your tattoo depends on many factors, including size, complexity, ink density, location, and composition.
  • In addition to these design elements, your skin type, skin health, fat composition, and muscle definition can all impact how long we need to work on your tattoo.
  • Although all estimates are subject to change, we are generally quite accurate in predicting how long a tattoo will take before you commit to the process.
  • For tiny tattoos, please plan to be at the studio for at least half an hour for paperwork, stenciling, tattoo application, etc.




I have a darker skin tone. Can I still get a color tattoo?


Absolutely! Contrary to what might have heard, color tattoos are completely possible on darker skin tones. Some colors will show better than others, so talk with your artist to learn about the mechanics of color on different skin types.




I’m pregnant! Can I get tattooed?


Congratulations! We strongly urge you to wait until after your pregnancy, as the physical stress of tattooing is not what you need at this time.




My tattoo is peeling. Is this normal?


  • Yes, so do not worry—and DO NOT PICK!
  • During normal tattoo aftercare, a light flaking typically occurs after four to ten days, depending on your body’s healing time. Just keep up your aftercare routine until the peeling stops.
  • Sometimes small scabs might remain after the initial peeling, which is also normal.
  • Take a peek at our tattoo aftercare guidelines, and again: DO NOT PICK at your tattoo. Pulling at flaking skin or scabs will prolong healing and remove color.
  • Remember, we’ve seen it all, so we know when you’ve been picking—and we do not offer free touch-ups for color loss that is the result of improper aftercare.




How do I care for my tattoo?


Visit our aftercare page for complete guidelines.




What is your minimum?


  • Even if your tattoo is the size of a dime, we have a session minimum of $100 to account for the time an artist spends designing and prepping for your piece.
  • Please note that artists may have a higher personal minimum based on their hourly rate.




How old do I have to be to get tattooed?


  • California law requires you to be at least eighteen. There are no exceptions to this rule.
  • Please bring your ID to your tattoo session or we cannot tattoo you.




I'm seeing some bruising. Is that normal?


Bruising can be normal on a healing tattoo.




What about blowout?


  • Blowout looks like a bruise but is actually ink that has spread to other parts of the skin. Blowout can fade over a few weeks or months as your tattoo fully heals.
  • Certain skin is more prone to blowout, specifically older skin, thin skin, fatty areas, and generally unhealthy skin.
  • Our artists are highly skilled in tattoo application and know how to avoid blowout—but depending on the area being tattooed, it can unfortunately be a possibility. If you experience blowout, reach out to your artist for potential solutions.