Walk In Tattoo: Can I Get One And What Do I Need To Know?

If you don’t know what a walk-in tattoo is, here’s a rough explanation. A walk-in tattoo means that you go to a tattoo studio, without an appointment, and get a tattoo the same day. This seems pretty self-explanatory and trivial, so many wonder what’s so special about a walk-in tattoo.

Well, things aren’t always as simple as they seem. To get a walk-in tattoo, you need to know what you want, how you want it, and whether you’re ready for such an experience.

So, if you’re thinking about getting a walk-in tattoo, you’re at the right place. Here’s everything you know, all the pros and cons of walk-in tattoos and how can you get one. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Walk-In Tattoos: 9 Things You Must Know

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1. What Are Walk-In Tattoos?

As we mentioned in the introduction, walk-in tattoos mean that you just walk into a tattoo studio and get inked. The process isn’t that simple though. You need to know whether any tattoo artists are available to get you tattooed, and you can’t really expect huge, complicated tattoo designs. Walk-in tattoos are generally smaller, simpler designs that can be done the same day.

2. So, You Don’t Need An Appointment For Walk-In Tattoos?

No appointments are required for walk-in tattoos, of course, but, we do recommend you call the tattoo studio before you actually walk in. This way you can check if anyone is currently available.

But, hurry up, because, if someone comes before you, they’ll go first. Walk-in tattoos work on a first-come, first-serve basis, and you don’t want to be waiting around for something that should be done quickly.

3. Aren’t Walk-In Tattoos Super Expensive?

Now, this depends on the tattoo shop. Each tattoo studio has a tattoo minimum, which usually goes between $100 and $150 (+tax and tip). That is an estimated price for a small tattoo design.

Bear in mind that you’ll discuss the tattoo design prior to the tattooing, and the tattoo artist will give you an estimated price which will not change after the tattoo is done (regardless of the time it required the tattooist to complete it).

4. Which Tattoo Should I Get For a Walk-In Session?

Generally speaking, tattoo artists only do small to medium-sized tattoos for walk-in sessions. The design they do is also simple. That is because larger and more complicated tattoos require more than one session to complete; that would cost much more and require more time on your hand as well. So, when you come to a tattoo studio, try to have a design in mind and discuss it with the tattoo artist.

5. What Should I Know Before I Go To the Tattoo Studio?

  • Always choose a high-quality, reliable, and professional tattoo studio to get your tattoo, regardless of whether it’s a walk-in or a regular tattoo. This will minimize any of the potential tattoo side effects and help you have the best possible experience getting inked.
  • Bear in mind that you can always talk to a tattoo artist, ask questions about anything, and discuss the wanted design until you find it perfect. The tattooist won’t be offended, because they want to provide you the best experience possible.
  • Try to provide your tattoo artist with valuable feedback. Don’t just sit there and let them make all the decisions in your name. Speak up and provide proper feedback before you get permanently inked.
  • Make sure to discuss the potential price of the tattoo once you’re satisfied with the design idea. Ask where that is the definite price and whether the price changes after the tattoo is completed.
  • Talk to your tattoo artist about the aftercare routine for your tattoo. The aftercare routine is generally the same for all tattoos, but it can vary depending on the tattoo location and other factors.

6. Are There Cases When Tattooists Refuse To Do Walk-In Tattoos?

No tattoo artist will do a walk-in, or any tattoo session if you’re intoxicated (alcohol or substance abuse). In many states, it is illegal to provide tattooing services to people who are intoxicated, and the tattoo artist could lose their license and their studio otherwise.

Furthermore, tattoo artists won’t do any facial tattoos during walk-in sessions. Such tattoos require a more thorough discussion and consideration. Moreover, they also take more time to be done and carry higher risks of tattoo side effects. No tattoo artist wants to bear such a responsibility.

And, finally, no tattoo artists will do hate-, racially insulting- or culturally appropriative tattoos, regardless of whether you’re going for a walk-in or a regular tattooing session. Before you arrive at the tattoo studio, think about the potential tattoo design and whether it has any hate, offensive, and insulting background. Otherwise, you won’t get a tattoo.

We do have to mention the obvious case of a tattoo artist being already booked and unable to provide a walk-in tattoo service. In such case, you can come back another time, and previously contact the tattooist to see whether they’re booked for the day.

7. What Are The Benefits and Disadvantages Of Walk-In Tattoos?

The benefits of walk-in tattoos are as follows;

  • You get to have a spontaneous walk-in experience
  • You can get a unique tattoo on a whim
  • You can improve your overall appearance and feel happier
  • You don’t have to spend as much money as you would on a larger, more complicated tattoo
  • You can consider a walk-in tattoo as a part of your own adventure

The disadvantages of walk-in tattoos, on the other hand, are;

  • Your favorite tattoo artist might be booked
  • The tattoo studio you chose might not do walk-ins
  • You may regret the walk-in tattoo if you’re not fully ready or committed
  • You may have to wait for hours if someone got to the studio ahead of you
  • You may not be able to choose the tattoo artist for your walk-in tattoo

8. Do All Tattoo Studios Offer Walk-In Tattoo Services?

No, not all studios offer walk-in tattoos. That is one of the disadvantages of deciding to do a walk-in tattoo; you may run into a studio that doesn’t offer such services. So, how can you know whether a studio doesn’t do walk-ins? If a tattoo studio goes under the title of being a ‘private studio’ chances are you won’t get your walk-in tattoo there.

9. Are There Any Rules To Getting a Walk-In Tattoo?

Yes, there is a number of rules you’re supposed to follow to get a walk-in tattoo and ensure you don’t cause any problems to the tattoo artist. For example;

  • You cannot come for a walk-in tattoo and expect your tattooist to do a large or complicated design in one day. If that’s what you want, then you should make an appointment.
  • Before you go to a tattoo studio, try to come up with a potential design idea you might be satisfied it. It will save your tattooist time and make it easier for them to perfect the design.
  • If your pain tolerance is low, make sure to let your tattooist know. This will help them find a perfect tattoo placement if you’re not sure about it, for obvious reasons.
  • Don’t come to a tattoo studio expecting you’ll pay a lower price for a walk-in tattoo. You will have to pay full price for a walk-in tattoo, just like you’d do for a regular one. The price is determined according to the tattoo design, size, and placement, or by the hour rate provided by the tattooist.
  • Don’t forget to tip your tattoo artist. It is rude not to tip, especially if the artist has come out of their way to squeeze you in for a walk-in tattoo. Many artists find it incredibly rude when they allow someone to get a walk-in tattoo, and they don’t tip.
  • Do not come to a tattoo studio under influence of drugs or alcohol. You will get kicked out, for sure. No tattoo artist will tattoo an intoxicated person; it’s not fun, they might hurt you and they might even lose their license since it is illegal to do drunk tattooing in some states.
  • Make sure to take a shower before you go to get a tattoo. It is important to be fresh and clean, and not gross the tattoo artist out with weird body odors. Try to have a proper meal and hydration before a walk-in as well.

Final Thoughts

Walk-in tattoos are a super fun, spontaneous experience. It feels pretty adventurous to simply walk into a tattoo studio and get tattooed the same day. However, before you go to get your walk-in tattoo, please consider all the possible negative aspects of such an experience.

If you’re not ready for a tattoo, don’t really know what to get or your pain tolerance is low, you might not have a good time. So, make sure to prepare in advance and come to the salon ready to get inked. Good luck and have fun getting a new tattoo!

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