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Make it yours

Styles and techniques for tattooing are constantly evolving. The level of artistry, design and diversity of styles has risen significantly in recent years. 

What hasn't changed is why we tattoo our bodies- Self expression, beautification, aesthetic, memorials - every tattoo has a meaning and is a reflection of the wearer in some way.

Custom designed tattoos are a way to express your unique story. By collaborating with an artist, you can have your tattoo custom designed just for you ! We strive to make designs that are aesthetically pleasing as well as representative of your ideas.



Your first tattoo is so exciting! You will always remember the experience- hopefully fondly! If you've never been tattooed before, you probably have some questions. Here, I will try my best to cover the most frequently asked questions but please feel free to email and ask if you have other questions.


Tattoos can be very uncomfortable in some areas and in others, nearly painless. So my answer would be ' it depends'. Placement on the body does have play a role - around the joints ( shoulder , wrist, elbow, knee etc.) can be very intense . Other areas that are 'protected' can also be more uncomfortable ( inner bicep, thigh, belly etc.). Most people you ask will have different opinions on which was their most painful. Other factors also come into play with determining how uncomfortable your tattoo will be .

I tell my clients this - Get your tattoo where you really want it. The pain only lasts for the duration of your tattoo and the results are forever!


Discomfort and pain from tattooing can be eased somewhat by doing a few things in advance. Trust me, it makes a difference!

1- Rest well the night before. Try not to stay up too late or go too hard before a long tattoo session.

2- Eat a full meal before - especially for long sessions. This is absolutely a must, not just for pain reduction but it also helps your endurance and keeps you from having nasty side effects like light headedness or even fainting! 

3- You can take a painkiller like ibuprophen or tylenol before your tattoo appointment.

4- Numbing cream! I advise not to use creams like Emla. I only suggest numbing cream be used after the linework session as it interferes with the tattoo stencil that is used to apply the design template to your skin. If you wish to use numbing cream, I can supply it and apply it prior to the appointment. I must know in advance if you want to use it as I need to have it in stock and it does take an additional 20-45 minutes to take effect. I usually only suggest using numbing for longer sessions or more intense areas ( like the ditch/elbow or inner arm ) so that the session can be endured. 

There is a 20$ additional fee for numbing. You must not be allergic to lidocaine.

Trust me, it's not that bad!!! If it were too painful, no one would get them. Be prepared but don't be scared!


Before you book a tattoo we do a consultation together to determine what it is you want, how large, cost, time frame- all the details!

Most consultations can be done via email, text, or phone call. New Tattoos that require working around an existing tattoo or a cover up should have an in person consultation. Some people simply prefer an in person consultation and to check out the shop and meet their artist- that's cool too! You can book an in person consultation online through my website. Booking online is so convenient and sometimes it does take me some time to get through my emails so online booking for consultations is a new feature I'm using.

In person consultations are done daily in the AM and PM. There is no fee for consultations.

At the consultation we will discuss your ideas and placement first. Some questions that will probably be asked are:

1- Do you want colour or Black and Grey?

2- Is there a style you like ? ( ex- realism, illustrated, comic book, traditional, japanese.....)

3- How large and where will it be placed on your body?

4- Have you been tattooed before? Do you have an idea of how long you can sit for?

If you have picture references for your tattoo, that's great! It gives me an idea of what you like and what your vision is. If you don't, that's ok too! Leave it up to me and I will design something based on your descriptions and criteria.

After we discuss what it is you want to get , I can usually give a rough idea of how long the tattoo will take to complete and how many sessions it might take as well as a ball park on cost. 

The last thing to do is book the time and date to start! Sometimes, this will be soon after you consultation but usually it's around 2 weeks to 1 month after the initial consultation.


For in person consultations, you can usually get in fairly soon as they are done daily. usually a day or two in advance at the soonest. They can be booked as far in advance as needed and there is no charge for a consultation appointment.


For a tattoo appointment, it often depends on how much time you need and what day of the week you can come in on. Weekends typically book up the fastest and monday-tuesday-wednesday tend to be less popular and available sooner. 

Currently I am booking 2 weeks to 1 month in advance as I am still building my clientele in Calgary. Wait times for an appointment are typically longer in Summer. 


So! You're ready to book your tattoo! That's great!

fAfter the consultation via email, phone or in person, we can select a date based on availability. 

To book a tattoo session, a NON REFUNDABLE deposit must be made to secure your time and have art work created. This is standard practice in tattooing. This ensures you are given your spot and is a security for the artist against last minute cancellations after unpaid time has already been put into designing and drawing. 

Bookings for the actual tattoo appointment cannot be made without a brief consultation first as only your artist will know how much time you will need.


Deposits must be made prior to booking the tattoo appointment. They're usually left at the time of your in person consultation. 

Deposits are NON REFUNDABLE but do come off of the cost of your tattoo when it is completed. Deposits are carried forward to multiple appointments for the same tattoo. 

 24 hours notice MUST be given in advance of your tattoo appointment to rebook the appointment.  It's cool if you decided you want to go out friday night and your tattoo is booked for saturday. Just let me know in advance so I can try to fill the spot! An email is all it takes :)

If 24 hours notice is not given, a new deposit must be made and the previous deposit is now forfeited and no longer used towards the payment of your tattoo .

Deposits can be made through e transfer, cash or debit. 

The amount of the deposit will be determined at the consult, typically it is $100-$200 depending on the project.


'How much is a tattoo?" is sort of like saying "How much is a bag of groceries?" Every one adds up to something different.

Usually, I can give a pretty good idea of cost based on size, location on the body and detail of the design. I only charge for tattoo time, not for consultations or for drawing in advance of your appointment. 

Typically artists charge either by the piece or by the hour. As of January 2021 I charge an hourly rate of $180 plus GST for new projects. Any pieces booked before January will be at the previous rate. 

For small tattoos, I do a 'minimum charge' of 100$ plus GST for anything under half an hour. I usually recommend if you've got a few small ones in mind that can be done at the same time, it's more cost effective than splitting them up to different days.


Coming in to your tattoo appointment prepared as going to not only help with your level of comfort but make those long tattoo sessions much more bearable.

Have a good sleep the night before a long session. 

A full meal before your tattoo session is highly recommended and is going to keep nasty side effects like light headedness or fainting away.

Wear comfy clothes! 

Feel free to bring headphones and zone out to your tunes or netflix. There is wifi for you to use. Don't forget your charger! 

In the Summer, the building can get hot and cold in the Winter so dress and prepare accordingly.

Bring something to entertain yourself for those long sessions! 

Bring a lunch or snacks, drinks etc. Especially for longer sessions. Eating will help with your endurance and keep your blood sugar up.


You can bring a friend ! currently, at Altar tattoos I am working out of a private space and I do not mind if youd like to bring a companion. Absolutely no children or pets will be allowed into the studio or to remain for the duration of your tattoo procedure. 


There is paid street parking all around Altar. There is free parking available on the residential streets on weekends. I advise my clients not to park on 4th st SW if they will be in for a longer appointment as the parking on 4th is a tow away zone during rush hours. There is also a pay parking lot at Amaranth foods at the intersection nearby.


Payment can be made via E Transfer, Cash or tap/Debit/Credit. A transaction fee is added for using debit or credit cards.

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