Thanks for taking a minute to learn about how we work.
WE KNOW THIS IS A LOT TO READ. And we appreciate you taking some of your own time to read up on our work process. We get an enormous volume of emails, and do not have the manpower to respond to inquiries containing the basic questions and instructions outlined here.
To make the process faster for everyone, if you do not follow the instructions for booking, your email will be deleted without a reply. We're sorry to have to hammer this point in repeatedly on our website, however we constantly receive an overwhelming amount of inquiries from folks who do not read the page and make things slower for everyone else. We are a slow-service establishment. You're been warned!
If your question is not answered on here please feel free to use our contact form.
Do you do piercings? Sell body jewelry?
No sorry, we are strictly a tattoo shop.
How old do I have to be to get a tattoo?
In Boston the legal age to receive a tattoo is 18 years old. We can not tattoo minors even with parental consent, or adults without a government-issued ID (like a driver's license, state ID, military ID, or passport), no exceptions.
Do you take walk-ins? How long until I can get a tattoo?
Unfortunately (for you or fortunately for us) due to high demand for work, we are no longer able to accommodate walk-in tattoos, and switched to a strictly appointment-only shop as of August 15th, 2015. All our artists require an in-shop consultation to get to know you and your tattoo idea before we book you an appointment for a future date, so we do not do any same-day tattoos. Most of our artists accept a smaller percentage of clients on a rolling basis and book about 6-8 weeks in advance. To give everyone some context for our volume of inquiries, our staff is able to accommodate 10-20% of inquiries due to time constraints. Because of this, if you are on any kind of time crunch please include it in your inquiry so we can let you know right away if we can not accommodate it. If you need to get the tattoo before 8 weeks (due to moving, visiting Boston on vacation, etc) we recommend looking for a local shop that accepts walk-ins. Boston is lucky to have a high level of quality among its walk-in shops.
So I want to make an appointment with an artist. Now what?
Well, first off, thank you for choosing us!! If you want a larger, or more involved or stylized tattoo, and have not yet chosen the artist you'd like to work with, we recommend doing a lot of research on the style, size and placement you're looking for in a finished tattoo, and work backwards from there to the right artist for the job. If you find an artist on our site with work in their portfolio that matches the style of work you want, you might be a good match! Choosing a tattoo artist is a very personal decision based on the final product you're picturing, so unfortunately we do not have the required staff available to help everyone choose an artist if they are not particular. We ask that you decide yourself who you're comfortable working with based on their portfolio.
Your next step is to contact the artist you'd like to work with and ask if they would like to take on your tattoo project; if they accept they will arrange a time to schedule an in-person consultation and collect a deposit before scheduling your actual tattoo appointment. We are fortunate to receive more requests for tattoo work than we can accommodate at any given time, so if your design does not fit within the artist's preferred tattooing styles, or they simply can't take on any new work at the moment, they might decline and, if they are able, make a recommendation for another artist who would do a great job at it. If this is the case please be respectful that we have to turn away some work to do a great job at the ones we do accept, not compromise quality or time spent with clients to take on a higher volume. We want you to end up with the artist that has the time, interest and ability to give you the attention your tattoo deserves and who will do an amazing job at it, even if they don't work in our shop. Additionally, if your chosen artist does not make a recommendation for someone else, it is because they do not have a good local choice to offer. Boston has a deficit of tattoo artists for the local volume of demand, so it is common to have to research on your own and travel to the right artist.
Our artists schedule their own consultations and appointments personally, so contacting them directly through EMAIL IS THE ONLY WAY they schedule consultations. Please be thorough in your email with a description of: the tattoo you want, size (approximate dimensions in inches, placement on the body, and reference photos that help describe your ideas to the artist, to avoid any unnecessary emailing back and forth before we can even understand the work you want done. If your email does not contain this information about your tattoo, it will not receive a reply. If you call or walk in to schedule a consult, we will ask you to email the artist anyways, so feel free to just start with an email.
Our artists get a very large volume of emails, which they respond to for free in their off hours, when they could be tattooing, drawing tattoos, promoting, enjoying their personal life, or doing laundry, among many other things. To save time, our artists respond to all their emails in batches every week or two, so it is not uncommon to wait a week or more for a reply. We do however try our best to reply to everyone. You're welcome to resend an email if you do not hear back within a month (it might have gotten lost in the bustle), but please do not call the shop or resend if you have not heard back in 2 or 3 days. This is not emergency dental work, and we value our artists' well-being by encouraging them to work on emails at their own pace. We thank you for being patient with a response.
Can I just call the shop or walk in to schedule?
While we do have a phone, we use it mainly for clients to call to notify us of last minute cancellations or lateness, or for urgent matters like aftercare questions. You'll notice we never answer it when we're tattooing (which is most of the time we're in the shop). If you have questions for an artist in particular, email them. Additionally, we do not give price quotes or schedule anything over the phone.
If you walk in and ask to schedule a consultation or appointment, we will ask you to email an artist through the website. If we scheduled everyone who walked in in person, they would essentially be cutting in line ahead of everyone who is patiently waiting in our inboxes for a reply. So save the travel time and just email to make it fair for everyone.
How much does a tattoo cost?
Asking "How much does a tattoo cost?" is similar to asking "How much does a bag of groceries cost?"... it varies hugely based on on whats in it, how big the bag is, and whom you're buying it from. There are as many factors in pricing tattoo as there are factors in designing tattoos, so we can not give you a price until the tattoo is designed and sized with you in person. Your idea of "small" or "simple" may not be the same as our idea, so we do not want to give anyone inaccurate information. After talking with your artist at a consultation, they can give you a ballpark range for a single-session tattoo, or an hourly rate for a larger, multi-session tattoo. Our minimum price to set up for a minuscule tattoo (smaller than a quarter with no color) is $60 and they go up from there. We can not give you a price range for a tattoo over phone or email.
What happens at a consultation?
It is super helpful to bring in any reference pictures of tattoos, artwork, or photos that you like the look of to help explain your ideas to your artist, but remember we are all custom artists, and will use your references as inspiration only and not directly copy someone else's tattoo that you bring in. Don't worry, this will ensure that you get a super unique tattoo designed just for you. We do have a large library of reference material for you to check out, but do not have many pre-drawn ("flash") designs, with the exception of some drawn by our artists. Since our artists all work in a set drawing style, we realize we can not effectively tattoo 100% of styles. If you want a tattoo in a style that we don't feel like we can rock effectively, we will happily give you a recommendation for an artist if we can, even if they don't work with us. We firmly believe that commissioning a tattoo is just that, commissioning a piece of artwork from an artist that you connect with. We prefer to tattoo a smaller amount of customers who "get" our work, to give as personalized a service as we can. We hope you understand and appreciate that as well.
At your consultation your artist will discuss size, layout and placement with you, and if you like the direction they are going with it, they will take a deposit, equivalent to one hour of the artist's hourly rate, towards the tattoo to start work on your design. This deposit is to ensure that you're serious about getting the tattoo you've discussed with your artist, and if you decide not to get the tattoo for any reason, do not show up to your appointment, or are over 20 minutes late, the deposit is kept as payment for the artist's time. We recommend you look over and understand our deposit and billing policy here: http://www.brilliancetattoo.com/deposit-policy
What types of payment do you accept?
We accept Cash and Credit Cards (Visa, MC, AmEx, and Discover). While we do accept cards, like any small business we appreciate cash transactions, and luckily for all of us there is a Bank of America ATM in the lobby of our building, so you can get cash without even going outside (or carrying it on the train). How convenient!
How should I prepare?
Be well rested, and eat two to three hours before your appointment. Wear comfortable clothing that you would not mind getting dirty, and will grant access to the area we need to tattoo. Feel free to bring music or other entertainment (your phone, magazines, a laptop with a movie for very long sessions, anything you can enjoy without moving, so no gameboys etc). We also recommend bringing a small snack and a sugary drink, especially if this is your first tattoo. Next door to us are a coffee shop and convenience store to get snacks beforehand. Being tired, hungover or having low blood sugar can increase the discomfort level, which brings us to our next point:
Can I drink or take pain medication before my tattoo?
No. Alcohol and aspirin thin your blood, making you bleed more than normal. This not only makes the job harder and your tattoo take longer, but excessive bleeding can make your tattoo heal improperly causing it to look faded and unattractive. As far as drugs go we are not pharmacists and there is no way to tell the way every drug will affect you being tattooed. Most importantly we want you in a clear state of mind and with the least possible chance of feeling ill during the tattoo. This is an exception of course for prescribed medications, which you should let us know if you are on any beforehand, and check with your doctor if you are not sure if it is safe to receive a tattoo on your medication. So please come in feeling like yourself, we won’t tattoo you otherwise. And yes (because everyone asks), after the tattoo you can drink again after the first few hours (after bleeding has stopped), or take tylenol or ibuprofen to help with swelling or pain.