Should I tip my artist?

Yes, if you think he or she did a good job. If you would like a guideline, you can think of it as you would any service industry—the norm is 10-20%, though we very much appreciate whatever amount you feel is appropriate. For multi-session tattoos, itʼs customary to tip at the end of each session…

How do I know your shop is clean?

We take every precaution possible with regard to hygiene. We use sterile, single-use needles and disposable gloves. All other supplies are either single-use or medically sterilized. Our autoclave (thatʼs a fancy word for sterilizer) is tested once a month by an outside service to make sure it is functioning properly.

Is your shop licensed?

Shops are not licensed in the state of New York, but individual artists are. Each of our artists has received education in the area of blood-borne pathogens and is licensed by the New York State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Is getting tattooed safe?

Yes. We take every precaution possible with regard to hygiene. However, there is always a possibility of infection if you do not properly care for your tattoo while it is healing. With that said, all of our resident artists and guests are fully licensed and registered professional tattoo artists, and everyone’s safety is our #1…

Can I use anesthetic or numbing creams before getting tattooed?

Itʼs ultimately your decision, but there a few things to keep in mind. Numbing creams can change the texture of your skin and how it takes ink, which can affect the final appearance of the tattoo. They also aren’t particularly effective, since they get wiped off pretty quickly as the tattoo is being done. Basically…

Can I drink alcohol before I get tattooed?

No. For one thing, we wonʼt tattoo anyone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Alcohol thins the blood, makes it harder to sit still, and turns most people into jerks. Nobody wants that.

What are the most painful and least painful areas to get tattooed?

It varies from person to person. The difference between the most painful spot and the least painful spot isn’t really that big, so you might as well get the tattoo where you actually want it instead of where you think it will hurt less. Pain is temporary, but the tattoo is for good!

Does getting tattooed hurt?

Pain is relative, but…yes. It’s not unbearable, but it’s not exactly fun, either. In general, it is more painful if your system is already stressed for any reason. If you are sick, hungover, lacking sleep, etc. it will probably hurt more. The best thing you can do is get a good nightʼs sleep, eat properly…

Can you fix or cover a tattoo I already have?

We are happy to touch up or rework old tattoos, or to cover them, if we can. Whether or not we can depends on the tattoo. The best thing to do is come by to discuss in person. We’ll take a look, and let you know what is and is not possible with the tattoo.…

Do you do inner lip tattoos?

No. There is always a chance the ink will “fall out” during the healing process, so we cannot guarantee these tattoos. Inner lip tattoos also have a tendency to distort, fade, or disappear entirely over time.

Do you do all-white tattoos?

Some of our artists do, sometimes. All-white tattoos are tricky, because itʼs almost impossible to guarantee how they will look. They really only show up on pale skin—remember, youʼre seeing the ink through a layer of skin, so the darker your skin is, the less visible a pale color will be. Sometimes they end up…

How much will my tattoo cost?

The short answer is, it depends on the tattoo. There is a minimum price of $100 that applies to all tattoos, no matter how small. Any tattoo that can be completed in a single sitting will be charged at a flat rate that is determined by the artist and is based on the size, placement,…

How can I make an appointment if I donʼt live in New York?

If you are coming from out of town, you can schedule an appointment ahead of time by sending us an email at Please let us know the dates of your trip, what you want to get (design, size, placement), and if let us know if there is a particular artist you want to work…

How do I make an appointment?

Appointments must be made in person with the artist of your choice. You can call ahead to schedule a consultation, or just stop by to discuss in person. If there is a particular artist you are interested in speaking with, check their portfolio page to see what days they are in the shop. Please bring…

Do I need to make an appointment to get tattooed at Red Rocket Tattoo?

Appointments are not required, but they are a good idea and we do recommend them. We accept walk-ins whenever possible, but availability varies from day to day. For custom tattoos, it is best to make an appointment ahead of time so that the artist has time to draw for the tattoo.