tattoo shops in charlotte

15 Charlotte Tattoo Artists You Should Be Following on Instagram


Admittedly, I’m not a tattoo person, but it’s not because I don’t think they can’t be over-the-top cool – it’s because I can’t stomach committing to something that permanent.

These artists, well-known and respected in the Charlotte tattoo scene, though? They might make a girl think again.


Who: Alex Santaloci
Canvas Tattoos, 201 West Morehead Street
Followers: 1,700+

Always have a blast when I get to tattoo Faye. #nctattooers

A post shared by Alex Santaloci (@alextattoosnc) on

Had fun doing this custom geometric job on a super tough chick. Thanks, Leah and Courtney! #nctattooers

A post shared by Alex Santaloci (@alextattoosnc) on


Who: Chris Toler
Studio: Seventh Sin Tattoo Company, 927 Central Avenue
Followers: 33,500+

A gnarly Charlie for ya.

A post shared by CHRIS TOLER (@christoler) on


Who: Jake Thorsell
Studio: Fu’s Custom Tattoo, 3200 North Davidson Street
Followers: 6,100+


Who: Jason Hanna
Studio: Made To Last Tattoo, 129 North Poplar Street
Followers: 3,400+

Mountain scene from today. #madetolasttattoo

A post shared by Jason Hanna (@jasonhanna_mtl) on

North Kackalacky with some script #madetolasttattoo #charlottetattooers

A post shared by Jason Hanna (@jasonhanna_mtl) on


Who: Jordan Matchin
Studio: Divine Arts Tattoo, 10915 Monroe Road
Followers: 2,290+


Who: Justin Johnson
Studio: Fu’s Custom Tattoo, 3200 North Davidson Street
Followers: 2,100+

Knock the skullfly out on my homie dome. Fun one. Thanks for looking!

A post shared by Justin Johnson (@justinjohnson_tattooer) on

Stoked I got to tattoo this cow ant on my homie Gerry.. thanks bro ! #charlottetattooers #nctattooers #seustattoos #insecttattoo

A post shared by Justin Johnson (@justinjohnson_tattooer) on

Small peace pizza on lower shin. #makepizzanotwar

A post shared by Justin Johnson (@justinjohnson_tattooer) on


Who: Matt Terry
Studio: Fu’s Custom Tattoo, 3200 North Davidson Street
Followers: 870+

The Prince nebula. #mattterryart #prince #portraittattoo #nctattooers #charlottetattooers #fuscustomtattoos

A post shared by Matt Terry (@lazers_spikes) on

Finally done! @cmered is officially one of my faves… part1.

A post shared by Matt Terry (@lazers_spikes) on


Who: Lee Greene
Studio: Immortal Images Custom Tattoo Studio, 3750 Monroe Road
Followers: 1,760+


A post shared by Lee Greene (@leegreenetattoos) on


Who: Jenn Small
Studio: Made To Last Tattoo, 129 North Poplar Street
Followers: 27,900+

One of my favorites on @tree_tops from awhile back!

A post shared by Jenn Small MTL (@littlejennsmall) on


Who: Nick Friedrich
Studio: Canvas Tattoos, 201 West Morehead Street
Followers: 14,600+


Who: Jeremy Sloo Hamilton
Studio: Made To Last Tattoo, 129 North Poplar Street
Followers: 31,800+

Flowers are the best 🌷

A post shared by Jeremy✨Sloo✨ Hamilton (@slootattoos) on


Who: Stacy Smith
Studio: Tattoo Me Charlotte, 1440 South Tryon Street
Followers: 9,600+

But leave her wild 🌸🌾

A post shared by Stacy Smith (@tattoome_stacy) on

Lion lines 🦁🍂🌼

A post shared by Stacy Smith (@tattoome_stacy) on

Mother tree 🌿✨

A post shared by Stacy Smith (@tattoome_stacy) on


Who: Elijah Blackwell Hernandez
Studio: Sink or Swim Tattoo, 11100 Matthews Road
Followers: 4,110+

fun one from today thanks for looking

A post shared by Elijah Blackwell Hernandez (@tattoosbyelijah) on

piece in progress quite a bit more to do smooth out and such

A post shared by Elijah Blackwell Hernandez (@tattoosbyelijah) on


Who: Tom Michael
Studio: 510 Expert Tattoo, 510 East 35th Street
Followers: 10,200+

Getting close on @corijamestattoo thanks tough girl #510experttattoo

A post shared by Tom Michael (@uglytom) on

I got Eric's pirate ship colored in today, thanks buddy! #510experttattoo

A post shared by Tom Michael (@uglytom) on

All the bullshits done, starting the main event next session on @holladat 😎

A post shared by Tom Michael (@uglytom) on


Who: Matt Bagwell
Studio: Made To Last Tattoo, 129 North Poplar Street
Followers: 17,400+

A post shared by Matt Bagwell (@xskinnyx) on

A post shared by Matt Bagwell (@xskinnyx) on

tattoo shops in charlotte

Tattoos in the USA

1890's tattooed dandyIn the 1890s, American socialite Ward McAllister said about tattoos: “It is certainly the most vulgar and barbarous habit the eccentric mind of fashion ever invented. It may do for an illiterate seaman, but hardly for an aristocrat.”

The most popular designs in traditional American tattooing evolved from the artists who traded, copied, swiped and improved on each other’s work. The developed a series of stereotyped symbols that were put on soldiers and sailors of both World Wars. Many designs represented courage, patriotism, defiance of death, and longing for family and loved ones left behind.

The earliest records are from ship’s logs, letters and diaries written in the early 19th century.

C. H. Fellowes tattoo flash early 19th CenturySeveral tattoo artists found employment in Washington, DC during the Civil War. The best known tattooist of the time was German born Martin Hildebrandt, who began his career in 1846. He traveled a lot and was welcomed in both the Union and Confederate camps, where he tattooed military insignias and the names of sweethearts. In 1870, Hildebrandt established an “atelier” on Oak Street in New York City and this is considered to be the first American tattoo studio. He worked there for over 20 years and tattooed some of the first completely covered circus attractions, including his daughter Nora.One of the first professional American tattoo artists was C.H. Fellowes who was believed to have followed the fleets and practiced his art on board ship and in various ports.

Frank DeBurdg, along with his wife Emma, were a fully tattooed husband and wife exhibit.
The pair were tattooed in New York by Samuel O’Reilly, who later invented the electric tattoo machine.

Along with the usual designs, patriotic symbols etc. Frank and Emma displayed tattoos that showed their bond and devotion to each other. Frank wore a beautiful scroll inscribed with the words “For Get Me Not”, held up by a pretty young woman with the name “Emma”, underneath. Emma bore the names “Frank” and “Emma”in prominent view.

They are best known however, for their religious themes with both Frank and Emma exhibiting exquisite biblical scenes as part of their gallery of tattoos.

Frank’s back was covered from shoulder to shoulder with the “Mount Calvary” crucifixion scene. Emma’s back displayed an even more impressive reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper”. Meticulously done down to the most minute detail. After exhibiting in the U.S. during the mid 1880’s the DeBurdg’s traveled abroad and enjoyed even greater success throughout Europe.

The 1897 article in The Strand magazine entitled Pictures in the Human Skin by Gambier Bolton is an excellent overview of the tattoo scene of the late 1800’s.

Samuel O’Reilly opened a tattoo studio at 11 Chatham Square, in the Chinatown area of the Bowery in 1875. At this time, tattooing was done by hand. The tattooing instrument used by Hildebrandt, O’Reilly and contemporaries was a set of needles attached to a wooden handle. The tattoo artist dipped the needles in ink and moved his hand up and down rhythmically, puncturing the skin two or three times per second. The technique required great manual dexterity and could be perfected only after years of practice. Tattooing by hand was a slow process, even for the most accomplished tattooists.

In addition to being a competent artist, O’Reilly was a mechanic and technician. Early in his career he began working on a machine to speed up the tattooing process. He reasoned that if the needles could be moved up and down automatically in a hand-held machine, the artist could tattoo as fast as he could draw. In 1891 O’Reilly patented his invention and offered if for sale along with colors, designs and other supplies.

Tattooing in the USA was revolutionized overnight. O’Reilly was swamped with orders and made a small fortune within a few years. He used to travel to tattoo wealthy ladies and gentlemen who didn’t want to go to his Bowery studio.

Percy Waters tattoosBy 1900 there were tattoo studios in every major American city. Designs for tattoos were being produced for tattoo artists that didn’t draw well. When O’Reilly died in 1908, Wagner took over the Chatham Square studio and he patented his own improved electric tattooing machine. Sailors continued to be his customers, and Wagner’s business got a boost in 1908 when US Navy officials decreed that “indecent or obscene tattooing is a cause for rejection, but the applicant should be given an opportunity to alter the design, in which even he may, if otherwise qualified, be accepted.” When Wagner was interviewed by the newspaper PM in 1944, he estimated that next to covering up the names of former sweetheart, the work which brought him the most money over the years had been complying to the Naval order of 1908.O’Reilly took on an apprentice named Charles Wagner and during the Spanish-American War in 1898, O’Reilly and Wagner worked overtime as sailors lined up to be tattooed with images symbolizing their service in the war. At that time over 80% if the enlisted men in the US Navy were tattooed.

Percy Waters tattoosDuring World War II, Wagner was arraigned in New York’s Magistrate’s Court on a charge of violating the Sanitary Code, he told the judge he was too busy to sterilize his needles because he was doing essential war work: tattooing clothes on naked women so that more men could join the Navy. The judge must have felt that this was a reasonable defense. He fined Wagner ten dollars and told him to clean up his needles.

Wagner was the first American tattoo artist who successfully practiced the cosmetic tattooing of women’s lips, cheeks and eyebrows. He also tattooed dogs and horses so they can be identified in case of theft. He was also known to be able to combine and organize several small designs to make a larger harmonious pattern.Wagner estimated that during his career he had tattooed tens of thousands of individuals, including over fifty completely covered circus and sideshow attractions. His clients included people listed in the social register. There are photographs in formal evening attire, complete with top hat and boutonniere, tattooing an elegantly attired society lady.

Wagner continued to tattoo until the day of his death on January 1, 1953. He was 78 years old and had worked as a professional tattoo artist for over sixty years. After his death the contents of his studio was hauled off to the city dump. All his original drawings were destroyed. He had tattooed thousands of individuals and hundreds of tattoo artists admired his designs and drew from variations of them. Today he is recognized as a major influence in the classic American style of tattooing.

Oriental inspired modern tattooTattoos also have been recently linked to the American fine art world in a number of ways. One of tattoos most significant ties to the mainstream art world is the profusion of academy trained artists entering the profession. One late 1980’s estimate placed the number of trained artists per year as having doubled as compared with those who graduated in the 1970s. Even though the number of galleries also grew within that period, art schools and programs were turning out more trained artists than the mainstream art world could absorb. Within this climate it is not surprising that art school grads have migrated into the tattoo profession. As a result, the techniques acquired in various art programs influenced the creation of new tattoo styles such as New Skool and Bio-Mechanical, as well as a commitment to innovation and experimentation.

Pierced Hearts and True Love: A Century of Drawings for Tattoos Body ornamentation, especially tattooing, was spread among Western societies when soldiers and sailors returning from conquest and trade imitated the practices they had seen among the indigenous people of Asia, Africa and the South Pacific. Working class men in Europe and America wore tattoos primarily as a symbol of tough masculine pride throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. However, a revival of interest in body modification in Western industrialized societies in the late twentieth century is associated more with domestic youth culture movements than with the foreign origins of such practices. The Beatniks of the 1950s and Hippie movements of the 1960s turned to Asian tattooing techniques as a personal expression of spiritual and mystical body aestheticism. Conversely, working-class young people of the Punk movement in the late 1970s and 80s used tattoos and piercing as symbols of rebellion in an explicit political protest against their feelings of imprisonment in society’s rigid class structure and values.

Cindy Ray TattoosFlash refers to drawings of tattoo designs that are commonly found on tattoo studio walls. Flash comes in two varieties, standardized images that are sold commercially, or images drawn by tattoo artists themselves.The practices and conventions of the fine art world have infused the profession of tattooing. While tattoos have long been recognized for their aesthetic value within tattoo communities, defining moments in tattoo art’s legitimization process only began to occur in 1995, when Soho’s The Drawing Center, a prestigious non-profit art institution presented ‘‘Pierced Hearts and True Love: A Century of Drawings for Tattoos.” This exhibition of Western tattoo flash and its Asian influences marked the first major New York City tattoo exhibition under the distinguished heading of art. When displayed within a gallery context, the meanings and functions of the objects were recognized as having aesthetic value.

Tattoos have not only risen in status to become popular and acceptable, in some milieus, tattoos have achieved an elevated degree of aesthetic value. Tattoo art and artifacts have value. Tattoo, a previously ignored and marginalized practice, is undergoing a process of cultural re-inscription. New meanings of tattoo are being generated by exhibitions that reframe tattoos as art. Recent international exhibitions in American galleries and museums suggest that cultural experts are now speaking on behalf of tattoo culture.In 1999, New York City’s South Street Seaport Museum hosted an exhibition entitled ‘‘American Tattoo: The Art of Gus Wagner” at the same time as the American Museum of Natural History presented ‘‘Body Art: Marks of Identity” which prominently included tattooing. Although these exhibitions differed in content and scope they shared one essential commonality: the designation of tattoo as art in an ethnographic and historical institutional context. Alan Govenar, tattoo historian, researcher, and collector, described ‘‘Body Art” as ‘‘a major breakthrough for the museum to show its outstanding collection and to create a context where that work could be understood.

Some contemporary cultural anthropologists have interpreted tattooing as an integral part of a larger phenomenon of body modification, including branding, scarring and piercing, inspired by the global disintegration of cultural frontiers.

Blog - Charlotte, NC Tattoo Shop

Times are a Changin’ for Tattoo Acceptance

Tattoos have gained major acceptance in the American workplace and the trend is continuing with many companies and even the military rewriting their policy to allow for the self-expression of tattoos!

Nowadays, almost half of the people between the ages 18-40 have either a tattoo or a non-earlobe piercing. This is almost half of the people applying for jobs. The issue is that the people that are doing the interviewing are people that are for the most part older than 40. That means there is already tension between the two generations and their way of thinking. This is why majority of the companies have company policies against tattoos and piercing because the majority of the people setting the standards are the 40 and above people. I believe that once the new generation which is generation Y takes over we will see a shift on strict policies against tattoos and piercings. Generation Y will be more used to seeing tattoos and piercings, making them a much more tolerant generation.

Washington Post Article on Tattoos in the Workplace.

tattoo shops in charlotte

How to Get 50 Custom Tattoo Ideas in 15 Minutes

Raise your hand if you’ve felt like this…

“I’m ready for a new tattoo, but I’m not sure what to get.”

You’re not alone, we have clients every week that stop by the studio ready to get new work but haven’t found a concept they love. While some shops will point you to a wall of flash, we encourage a different approach. We believe that tattoos should be meaningful and coming up with ideas for a custom piece isn’t easy.

Follow this process to quickly generate personalized ideas and images for your custom tattoo.
Click here to download your Inspiration Worksheet that you’ll use through the process.



Brainstorming Image Words

1. Who are the people who have influenced your life?
Write down a list of the most influential people in your life. They could be family members or friends or personalities from entertainment or history. If these are positive people in your life, you could consider a portrait of the person or a design that incorporates their name.

But don’t limit your list to people that made a positive impact on your life. Remember that I said “most influential” not “most loved.” Think about those who challenged you or those who had a negative impact on your life, since these interactions often lead to meaningful experiences in your life.

Now go through the list of people and write down words for the images that come to mind when you think of the person. Did your grandmother love hummingbirds? Great, write that down. Did your stepfather hit you with a belt? That sucks but write that too. Often, imagery that reminds you of people creates the most striking and original tattoos. Make sure your image words include things that can be seen and drawn, don’t include ideas of feelings like “love” or “honesty” that don’t have tangible images.

Write your favorite two image words from this step into the Inspiration List and move to the next step.



2. What are the places that are most important to you?
Start a list of the places that are important in your life. They could include your hometown, favorite vacation spots, locations from the epic trip you took, or even buildings/rooms where memorable events occurred. Now go through the list again and write objects or imagery that remind you of that place in your image words column.

Read through the list and notice the places you respond to the most. Add the top three image words to the Inspiration List and move to the next step.

3. What events have shaped your life?
Start a list of the events that had the greatest impact on your life. Some may be obvious, like a marriage or the birth of a child. Others may take more thought, like when you experienced realizations or experienced rapid growth. If your life flashed before your eyes, what images from the events of your life would you see? Write these down. What are the dates of these events? Those numbers could be incorporated into your custom tattoo.

Now go through the list again and write objects or imagery that remind you of that place in your image words column. Add two ideas that you respond to the most to the Inspiration List on your worksheet.

4. What are your core beliefs?
What beliefs make up your personality? What are your convictions? Don’t limit your list to religious or spiritual beliefs. Think about other values that help you make decisions. What are the assumptions that you have about the world and those around you?

These are difficult questions to answer about yourself. If you’re drawing blanks, this about it this way: If I asked your friends what you believe in more than anything, what would they say? How would they describe your view on the world?

Write two single words from your core beliefs to your Inspiration List and let’s move on. We’re not going to create image words for these items. We’ll get image ideas for these later.

5. What experiences or accomplishments are you most proud of?
This should be an easy one after the core beliefs question. Think back to the things you’ve done that you’re most proud of and list them. They could be achievements like degrees or awards, but also consider experiences you had that were influential.

After you get a good list, go through the items again and write the objects or imagery that first comes to your mind when you recall the experience or accomplishment.

Add two of your favorite image words to the Inspiration List.

6. What inspires you?
What are your favorite books, movies, art, and music? Are there quotes, people, or stories that inspire you? Move quickly and try to get a bunch of ideas. Now go through the list again and write the first image that pops into your head for each item.

Add the two most compelling image words to your Inspiration List and let’s move on.



Inspiration List Image Search

You now have a solid list of visual words in your Inspiration List. And the best part – they all mean something personal to you! Now let’s grab some images to go along with the words.

Go to Google, click the image tab and type your first image word. Go through the first few results pages and save images for anything that catches your eye. Try to save four images for each word, then move onto the next word and do another image search.

IMPORTANT: Don’t put the word “tattoo” in the search – we don’t want to rip off other’s work and you don’t want to be led by tattoos that may not work on your body. We want to come up with an original idea that’s tailored perfectly for you.

Collect all your saved images in a folder on your computer. Look through them for commonalities. Do multiple images share the same colors? Do they share subject matter? Do you prefer a simple tattoo that incorporates one of these elements or a larger piece that weaves several ideas?

You will now have over 50 personal image ideas for your custom tattoo. Remember when you didn’t have any idea what you wanted? Now you have the opposite problem and we need to limit these down to the best concepts. Write your top three concepts down and live with them for a few days. You don’t need to make a final decision now.

When you’re happy with your top three concepts, bring your ideas and images to the consultation with your artist. Your artist will give you recommendations on which concept will work best on your body and you can talk details on the composition, style, and colors. Finally, your artist will sketch your concept and you can watch your idea come to life.

A great tattoo will live on your skin forever and following this process ensures you develop a unique and personal piece that you are proud to show off.


About Canvas Tattoo & Art Gallery

Located outside uptown Charlotte, NC, our new top-reviewed tattoo shop features state-of-the-art equipment with experienced artists who specialize in custom tattoos. The foundation of Canvas Tattoo & Art Gallery is to maintain a clean and professional tattoo studio staffed with Charlotte’s highest-rated artists. We seek to set the standard for customer service, in providing a clean and comfortable tattoo parlor and in delivering the best tattoos to our clients.

Click here to learn more about the shop, stop in our Southend Charlotte location to see what it’s all about, or contact us today to schedule an appointment with your tattoo artist of choice.

tattoo shops in charlotte

The History of Tattoos and Tattoo Aftercare

The History Of Tattoos (and why we choose Saniderm for our aftercare).

We’ve been getting tattoos for thousands of years. It used to be an indicator of our social rank, occupation or even our life experiences. They have also been used simply to decorate the body, especially now. Despite the overwhelming fascination with tattooing, The history of tattoos has been studied throughout the past few decades to determine where they originated. The word “tattoo” itself is said to come from two origins – the Tahitian word “tatau” which means, “to mark something” and the other from the Polynesian word “ta” which means striking something. Tattoos are recorded to have begun thousands of years ago and unfortunately the history is varied as the people who have them. People believe that the first tattoo cultures may have existed before Ancient Greek and Romans, possibly beginning in Europe before the last Great Ice Age, 5,000 years ago. In 1867, bowls with traces of black and red pigments along with sharpened flint instruments were found in France. These items were also found in caves in Portugal and Scandinavia. Based on the size and shape of the tools, it has been suggested that they were used for tattooing. These works of art, sometimes elaborate, sometimes plain, have served as status symbols, declarations of love, religious beliefs and even forms of punishment. The history is what sets the future up and in the tattoo world it’s no different.

Bronze Age

Back in 1991, a 5,000 year old frozen body was discovered on a mountain between Austria and Italy. They called the body ‘Otiz the Ice Man’ and to this day is the best-preserved corpse of that period ever found. Otiz’s skin bears 57 tattoos, a cross on the left knee, six straight lines 15 centimeters long above the kidneys and numerous parallel lines on the ankles. Close examinations revealed that Otiz’s tattooed skin tissue contained carbon particles. Anthropologists believe that a traditional healer made incisions with a heated metal instrument and put medicinal herbs in the wounds to treat Otzi’s rheumatic pains, thus creating a tattoo.

Ancient Cultures

In 1948, Russian archeologist Sergei Rudenko began excavating tombs in the Altai Mountains, which contained mummies that are around 2,400 years old. The mummies had a variety of tattoos that are said to represent various indigenous and mythological animals. This includes griffins and monsters that were thought to have magical significance. When looking at the tattoos as a whole piece, they were believed to reflect the status of the individual bearing them. Tattoos pertaining to the Egyptian period have been dating back to as early as the Xi era. In 1891, archaeologists found mummified remains of Amunet, a priestess goddess, who displayed several lines and dots tattooed on her body that were aligned into abstract geometric patterns. This art form is believed to be restricted to females who were often associated with some kind of ritualistic practice.

Greeks And Romans

The Roma tattoo culture was developed from the Greeks and is a pattern similar to many aspects of Roman culture. Despite the widespread decorative tattoos in other cultures, the Greeks found that barbaric. However, they did begin a form of tattooing that was introduced to them by the Persians. Herodotus informs us that Persians marked their slaves, convicts and prisoners of war by tattooing letters onto their foreheads. The assumption is that Greeks adopted this practice from the Persians because they also tattooed their slaves’ faces. This was a way to make it impossible for a runaway to go unnoticed. In his dialogue on Greek law, Plato refers to the marking of desecrators caught plundering treasure from the temples. Writers such as Virgil, Seneca and Galenus reported that many slaves and criminals were tattooed. Tattooing specific groups made monitoring their movements easier. A legal inscription from Ephesus indicates that during the early Roman Empire all slaves exported to Asia were tattooed with the words ‘tax paid.’ Greeks and Romans also used tattooing as punishment. Early in the fourth century, Constantine banned tattooing on the face. He believed that the human face was a representation of the image of god and should not be disfigured or defiled.

Celtic Culture

The Celts were tribal people who moved across Western Europe in times around 1200 and 700 B.C., reaching the British Isles around 400 B.C. Most of what has survived from their culture is in Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Celtic culture has had a long history of body art and was done with woad, which left a blue design on the skin. Spirals were a very common, whether they were single, doubled, or tripled. The most recognized form of Celtic art is knot work. This design is formed with a complex braid, weaving across each other. These symbolize the connection of all life. Step or key patterns, like labyrinth designs, are seen both in simple border and full complex mazes. Similar in the way labyrinths are walked, these designs are symbolic of various paths that life’s journey can take.


The relevance of tattooing during the late 19th and early 20th centuries was due to circus. When traveling carnivals were prevalent, tattooing prospered. For nearly 100 years, all major circus acts hired individuals who were completely covered in tattoos. Some of these tattooed men and women were exhibited in ‘slideshows’ while others performed in traditional circus acts like juggling or sword swallowing.

21st Century

In the 21st century, tattoos have seen resurgence in popularity. For many young Americans, tattoos have taken on a different meaning than previous generations. It has shifted from a form of deviance to an acceptable form of expression. In 2006, the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that 24% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 50 have tattoos. In 2012, tattooed women outnumbered men for the first time in American history. Western tattooing has become a practice that crossed social boundaries from ‘low’ to ‘high’ class along with reshaping the power dynamics regarding gender. The clientele has changed from sailors, bikers and gang members to the middle and upper class. There was also a shift in iconography from the badge-like images based on repetitive pre-made designs to customized full-body tattoos. Tattooers transformed into “Tattoo Artists” that consisted of men and women with fine art backgrounds along with older, traditional tattooists.

Beyond The Impulse: The Perfect Tattoo From Start To Finish
So, you’re thinking about getting a new tattoo, but you’ve decided to skip the impulsivity that often times comes with tattoos and start planning ahead. Maybe this is your first tattoo; maybe it’s your tenth. Regardless of how many tattoos you have, there are always things you need to think about beforehand, and doing so can pay off big.

As someone who has gotten tattoos since I was 18, I’ve realized that the older I get, the more important it is to take my time when going through the process. The excitement of getting my first, second, third tattoo was so overwhelming that I didn’t fully think them through. You might say that I acted on impulse.

Don’t get me wrong, the excitement of getting a new tattoo is an amazing feeling, but that excitement can lead regrets that later require cover ups. Since tattoos are permanent markings, it’s important to learn the process from start to finish and ask questions along the way.

There are so many questions that come with getting a tattoo. At Saniderm, we love body art and the expression it can give you. For those of you who are new to tattoos or those who still have questions about any part of the process, we have answers to your questions.


Are tattoos safe? Yes, tattoos are definitely safe as long as you have a reputable artist that follows the safety precautions. Every artist in a professional tattoo shop must learn about safety and sterilization during their apprenticeship. If someone wants you to get a tattoo in his or her home, reconsider that decision.

Does it hurt? Everyone has a different amount of pain tolerance, but yes. However, some areas of your body will hurt more than other areas. It almost feels like a hot scratching feeling. But don’t let that deter you. People would not return again and again for new tattoos if it hurt THAT bad. The moments of pain are highly outweighed by the result of your ideal tattoo.

What should I get and where? Choosing a design is one of the best parts of a new tattoo. Often times, this is where people get impulsive and choose something from the wall or a magazine. Your tattoo is an expression of yourself! No matter what the style, choose something that moves you. Think of your interests or even memories and combine them with your favorite style. Once you start to have an idea, discuss it with your artist. Professional tattoo artists are incredibly talented; you might be surprised over what they can create from your imagination.

You should also consider your professionalism with a new tattoo. Although tattoos are becoming more mainstream that does not mean it’s acceptable to all employers or clientele of the professional worker.

Where should I go for a tattoo? This is another situation where impulse tends to take control. Many people just decide they want a tattoo and go to the nearest studio without much thought. One of the most important things you can do before getting a new tattoo is to find the right studio and artist for you. A studio that is clean, sanitary and uses professional products is a studio you are likely to feel comfortable in. Look at examples of the artists’. Most artists will have portfolios that include their best work in the lounge. Take your time and see what where they are limited or where they excel.

Once you find someone you like, talk to them and see where they tattoo. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the design you are thinking of and about their work. You may have to spend a few hours with them so make sure they’re personable and friendly.

How much is it going to cost? When it comes to the cost of anything, remember that you get what you pay for. There are plenty of tattoo shops that are cheap, but it’s worth it to pay a little extra. If you’re worried about the cost, talk to your artist to see what the total will come to and schedule it a few weeks or months away so you can save enough money. This is something you will have for life so it’s better to pay now for quality work.

Don’t forget to show your tattoo artist that you appreciate them by tipping. There isn’t a guide for tipping, but think of two things. How much can you afford and how much you feel it is worth. Tips are a great way to show your appreciation to artists.

Dealing with tattoo aftercare: Once you finally have your fresh new tattoo, take care of it! Your artist isn’t responsible for any infection or problems you have with your tattoo if you don’t take care if it properly. Your perfect tattoo can turn into a disaster if the proper aftercare is not taken and a tattoo is never complete until its fully healed.

Before your tattoo, ask your artist what they use to cover up the tattoo when they are finished. One of the most progressive and health conscious aftercare solutions is Saniderm, which you can buy in individual portions on our products page if your artist doesn’t carry it. If they do carry Saniderm, they will clean and dry the new tattoo and surrounding skin then peel off the paper backing of Sandierm to reveal the adhesive side followed by gently applying it over the tattoo.

Leave the first piece of Sandierm on for 8-24 hours, depending on how much the tattoo bleeds. Ask your artist for an extra piece of Saniderm before you leave so you can keep it clean after the first patch. Remove the bandage, clean and dry the area thoroughly and apply the second piece of Saniderm. The second piece can be worn for up to 6 days, virtually eliminating the hassle of traditional aftercares.

If your artist doesn’t use Saniderm, they will explain the healing process they use which is usually washing your tattoo in lukewarm water with antibacterial soap without a washcloth. Once it is done air-drying, lightly apply ointment (not Neosporin) on it and continue that routine for several days.

However, I do recommend purchasing Saniderm online in individual sheets if you do want an easy, clean way to heal your tattoo without any worries or fuss. It makes tattoos stay their true colors and will help avoid future touch-ups. Plus it can go in the shower without falling off or damaging.

After the aftercare: Once your tattoo is healed, remember to protect it from the sun’s rays. These can fade and damage a brilliant tattoo very fast, meaning touch ups may happen more often than you’d like. Always protect your tattoo with a minimum of 30SPF sunblock when you’re in the sun for an excessive amount of time. Tattoos are a life-long decision that you shouldn’t rush into. The best thing you can do for yourself is to think about every step from deciding what you want to hiring an artist to healing efficiently. The more time you spend on all of these steps, the more likely the dream of having the perfect tattoo will become a reality.

Once your tattoo is all healed, don’t forget to show it off and hashtag Saniderm on Instagram! If we didn’t answer a question that you had in mind, comment on our social media or our blog and we’ll be happy to answer them for you.

How Does Saniderm Work?
In layman’s terms, Saniderm locks in the body’s natural moisture and healing enzymes, allowing the body to heal itself in the most efficient manner possible. After tissue has been injured the body goes through autolytic debridement – a big word for the body’s natural process of removing dead and dying tissue. During this process moisture and enzymes are produced to help break down dead tissue and, in normal circumstances, they dry up and evaporative which reduces their effectiveness. When this happens, longer healing times are required and scabbing and scarring may occur. Saniderm locks in these healing enzymes, called autolysins, and allows the skin to continue to function as normal because the bandage is permeable to oxygen and water vapor (breathable). In addition, Saniderm protects against dirt and germs while eliminating friction and other irritations that might further interfere with the healing process.

How Will It Affect My Ink?
Saniderm’s adhesive will not attach to the weeping area of a tattoo, therefore it can never damage or pull out ink. In fact, customers report that the colors of their tattoo remain more vibrant after using Saniderm, compared to tattoos that have healed by other aftercare products.

What Makes Saniderm Better Than Other Aftercare Products?
Simply put, Saniderm eliminates the tedious process that accompanies traditional aftercare and promotes the body’s natural healing agents. With Saniderm there is no need for lotions, ointments or maintenance 3-5 times a day. Not only is it extremely simple and convenient, but it protects your tattoo from dirt and germs, expedites the healing process, reduces scabbing, and enhances color quality, all while overcoming the following complaints associated with other aftercare products. Lotions are vehicles for bacteria, which can cause allergic reactions, infections and scabbing. Antibacterial soap can dry out the tattoo and cause bleeding, scabbing and fading of color. Antibacterial Ointments can create allergic reactions, discoloration, and excessive fluid weeping while petroleum based products contain no healing agents and may drain color, leaving clothes and sheets stained. Saniderm eliminates all these complaints, while harnessing the body’s natural healing enzymes and ensuring it heals in the most efficient manner possible.

Can I Shower While Wearing It?
Saniderm stays on skin even when immersed in water… so you’re able to bathe, shower and swim as normal. It is waterproof, however excessive exposure to water should be avoided because it could weaken the adhesion.

Can I Sunbathe With It On?
Saniderm does not contain any kind of sun protection, so you should avoid prolonged sun or UV ray exposure. We do not recommend exposing your new tattoo to UV rays, ever – with or without Saniderm. Even after your tattoo is fully healed, continue to use sun protection to maintain the integrity of your tattoo colors.

How Many Pieces Should I Use?
We recommend using three pieces per tattoo, in order to allow ample time for healing. You first piece may be used for 1-2 days, and the next two pieces should be used 1-6 days each, depending on how much fluid the tattoo weeps. If you feel your tattoo needs more time to heal you may continue using additional pieces of Saniderm but most customers report complete healing with 2-3 pieces.

How Long Should It Stay On My Tattoo?
The first piece of Saniderm can be left on your new tattoo for 8 to 48 hours. Since everyone heals differently the length of time will depend on how much fluid your tattoo weeps, which will affect the adhesion of Saniderm. If you notice excessive weeping or fluid under Saniderm, replace it with a new piece. Many people choose to use the first piece of Saniderm for 1-2 days, and wear the second piece for up to 6 days.

Could I Have An Allergic Reaction?
Saniderm is both latex free and hypoallergenic, so allergic reactions are very rare. Some people, however, have very sensitve skin and are allergic to adhesives. (Tape, bandages, etc). If you experience a rash, abnormal skin irritation, or other symptoms of an allergic reaction, discontinue use and wash with mild soap. Consult a physician if necessary. Of-course, Saniderm should never be used on infected skin.

Does It Hurt To Use?
Not at all. In fact, most people report the healing process to be less painful when using Saniderm, compared to using other aftercare products.

Where Did Saniderm Come From?
Transparent adhesive dressings like Saniderm have been used in hospitals for abrasions, burns, road rash, cuts, etc… since the 1980′s. We now bring you Saniderm bandages in sizes that are more adequate for the tattoo industry, and at less than 1/2 the price of the hospital brands.

Canvas Tattoo endorses Saniderm as the best Tattoo Aftercare program in the business!

Saniderm Aftercare FAQs

Written by: Our good friends at Saniderm!

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Tattoo Studio Appreciation

Canvas Tattoo Studio is located in tailgate central for Panther’s Games and only 1.5 blocks from Panther Stadium. Parking in this area ranges from $40-$60 depending on the popularity of the game. As a thank you for your shop patronage, Canvas offers our studio’s spots, by request, to our valued customers at no charge!

Call us at 980-299-2588 or to reserve your spot! We also have the same spots available to studio customers for the NC vs. SC game and the ACC Championship Game.

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T- Shirts have arrived!

Soft and comfortable, tri-blend t-shirts have arrived! $18 for sizes S-XL; $20 XXL and up.

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Kick-off event was awesome!