FAQs

What kind of tattooing do you do?

Currently, all of my work is hand poked (without a machine, AKA stick 'n' poke) using only black and gray ink. I am open to using white and small amounts of color ink but it really depends on the design. If this is something you are interested in, please mention it in your booking proposal, but know that I may wish to do the design in black and gray ink only.

What is your rate?

My rate is typically $125/hr with a $125 minimum.

What is sliding scale pricing?

Sliding scale pricing is pay-what-you-can pricing. I offer this option for disadvantaged folks who battle adversities like systemic racism, hurdles associated with having a disability, and mistreatment for being LGBTQIA+. My goal with this is to help make tattoos more accessible to folks who have been historically barred from getting them. I do not require any proof or explanation of need for sliding scale pricing. Please take a moment to consider if this option is right for you prior to requesting and please do not take advantage of this offer if you do not need it! 

 

How can I pay you?

Full payment is due on the day of the tattoo session. Cash is preferred, but payment via Venmo or PayPal (be sure to send it as friends & family!) are also acceptable. Venmo @Alex-Rae-Phelps or PayPal at paypal.me/alexraephelps

 

Is tipping required?

Tipping for a tattoo works similarly to tipping at a bar or restaurant or tipping your barber or gardener: tipping is usually expected and it's a great way to show your tattooer how much you appreciate them. Tattoos can seem expensive, but more than half of the money I make on each tattoo goes to the shop's cut and to paying for supplies. Tips help make my job more sustainable and help me live more securely, free of stress as to how I will pay rent next month. It's a good idea to budget for a tip when figuring out how much you can afford to pay for a tattoo. A standard tip is 20% and if you are a white cis person who has a stable, high paying job, with regular expendable income, you should consider tipping more.

 

How long will the tattoo take?

This can vary widely based on the size, difficulty, and level of detail in a piece. Tattoos around 2 inches square usually take 1.5 - 3 hours. Tattoos around 3 - 5 inches square usually take 3 - 5 hours. Ear tattoos usually take 1 - 2 hours. However, tattoos can take more or less time, depending on the factors mentioned above. 

Is Modern Electric Studio accessible?

There are three threshold lips at the studio: one at the front door, one about two feet inside the front door (approximately 1.5 inches high), and one that divides the lobby from the procedure area. Most of the tattoo chairs can be raised and lowered with a pedal and they are adjustable at the back and foot area. We have pillows available for client use. At this time, the bathroom is not wheelchair accessible and it does not have any wall bars (**however, we are waiting to hear back from neighboring businesses to see if they have wheelchair accessible bathrooms that tattoo clients could use). Cleaners with strong smells are necessary for cleaning the shop and for tattooing. During a tattoo session, clients' skin will be cleaned with alcohol, Dettol, and a water/soap mixture called green soap. We do not use any cleaners in the shop with artificial scents. Our typical cleaners include bleach, Madacide, and Cavicide. If you have accessibility concerns or questions, please email me at alexraephelps@gmail.com. If you have accessibility needs that you would like help with during your appointment, please describe them in the idea section of your booking proposal. If Modern Electric Studio does not meet your accessibility needs, please send me an email and I will try to figure something out! 

Should I bring food for myself?

Yes! I highly encourage my clients to bring snacks with them, especially healthy sugars like fruit or juice. While no food or drinks are allowed in the tattoo station or lobby, clients are welcome to take snack and hydration breaks outside. Additionally, there are many restaurants, cafes, and convenience stores nearby.

 

Will it hurt?

Hand poked tattoos tend to be gentler on the skin than machine tattoos. However they often take significantly longer to complete, due to the slow and methodical nature of the process. Some people start to feel “tapped out” after a few hours of tattooing, even with a more gentle process. This can be a good time to take a short snack break and replenish your blood sugar levels. I can split a tattoo in to multiple sessions if the client desires. My top priority is my clients’ comfort and happiness! Also, there is a numbing product called Hush that works really well to help with pain from tattooing in sensitive areas! This is particularly helpful if you are prone to uncontrollable shaking or jerking while getting tattooed. I do not supply this for my clients, but you can order some here and I will be happy to use it during your appointment. Please let me know if you would like to use Hush, as it needs 1 hour to be fully absorbed by the skin before tattooing.

 

What is aftercare like?

One of the best things about hand poked tattoos is that they usually heal very quickly. The complete tattoo healing process can take from two to four weeks, but most of my clients report their tattoos being most of the way healed in about one week. However, it is still best to follow proper aftercare instructions for a full two weeks, to ensure that everything heals properly. Please see the aftercare page for more. 

COVID-19 Policies

While I am so so soooo excited to return to tattooing, I need my clients to be aware that I am putting myself at risk by going back to work because social distancing cannot be maintained during a tattoo session. I take sanitation and safety very seriously and it is important that my clients do as well. Before submitting a booking proposal, please take a moment to evaluate your approach to social distancing and COVID-19 safety and make sure that you are doing everything you can to keep yourself safe.

Policies for clients:

 

Clients are required to take a COVID-19 test 4-7 days before their appointment, and then must quarantine as much as possible between the test and the appointment. Tests can be taken anywhere, but I recommend the West Oakland free community testing site (color.com), the Curative self-test kiosk at Berkeley adult school (test.curativeinc.com), and the Optum testing site at MLK Youth Services Center in Berkeley (lhi.care). Clients are required to present their negative test result upon arrival. Clients are required to quarantine and social distance as much as possible between testing and the tattoo appointment. I will not be booking tattoos on back-to-back days for a while, so if you have been tested but you do not have your results in time for your appointment, just let me know and we can push the appointment a day or so. This rescheduling will not affect deposits.

 

There will be no deposit penalty for rescheduling an appointment due to illness or experiencing potential COVID-19 symptoms. The health and safety of my clients and myself is my first priority and I don’t want anyone to be stressed about having to reschedule.

 

No walk-ins at this time. To make an appointment, fill out the booking proposal form here.

 

Clients will not be permitted to hang out in the lobby. As a result, clients cannot arrive more than 5 minutes before their scheduled tattoo appointment. This helps minimize the number of surfaces that we have to clean frequently.

 

Masks must be worn at all times by both client and practitioner. Street masks will not be permitted in to the studio. Clients will be given a fresh disposable mask upon arrival.

 

Clients will use hand sanitizer upon arrival and frequently wash hands throughout their presence at the shop.

 

No tattoos on heads (including ears).

 

Do not bring guests to your appointment. I know how fun and reassuring it can be to invite a friend or loved one to visit you during your appointment, but we need to keep the number of people in the shop to an absolute minimum. The fewer people present, the safer everyone will be. 

 

Clients will not be permitted to bring personal items in to the procedure area. This includes bags and bottled beverages. Clients can leave their belongings in a vehicle (out of sight!!!) or we will provide a secure place in the studio to store them during the appointment. If clients need to take a snack or water break during the appointment, we can take a break and they can go outside. There is an awning in front of the shop for protection in case of rain.

 

Cash payment is still accepted and preferred. Cash hand-off (and all other payments) will occur in the lobby after completion of all steps of the tattoo procedure. Cash will be placed in a new plastic bag and immediately sealed. I will not open the bag for at least 48 hours, to ensure that any infection dies before removal.

 

Clients are encouraged to change their shoes and clothing

immediately upon returning home and retire them to the laundry. 

 

Policies for me:

 

I will be getting COVID-19 tests as often as possible— ideally once per week. 

 

I will always wear a mask in the presence of clients.

 

I will maintain social distancing and quarantining as much as possible outside of work.

 

I will wear all new disposable and/or properly cleaned reusable personal protective equipment for each session.

 

I will self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before each appointment. If I experience any symptoms, I will immediately call clients to postpone appointments until after I have received a negative COVID-19 test result.

 

If I test positive for COVID-19 or come in to close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, I will postpone all appointments until I receive a negative test result.

 

I will monitor myself for increased hand hygiene, including frequent hand washing for at least 20 seconds with antibacterial soap.

 

All common areas and procedure areas will be disinfected after each use.

If you have questions about any of my COVID-19 policies, you can send me an email at alexraephelps@gmail.com :)

Deposits, Payment & Cancellation Policy

I require a deposit to secure tattoo appointments. The deposit goes toward the final cost of the tattoo (ex: if a tattoo is $200, the deposit is $50 and then the client pays $150 on the day of the tattoo). 

Deposit breakdown:

$50 for tattoos priced $125-250

$100 for tattoos priced $251-600

$200 for tattoos priced $601+

 

Deposits can be paid via Venmo @Alex-Rae-Phelps (Please do not use the words "tattoo" or "deposit" in the caption. Just  use some random emojis. Thanks!) or PayPal as “Friends and Family” at paypal.me/alexraephelps . All remaining payments must be made in cash on the day of the tattoo appointment. 

 

The deposit is not refundable in the event of cancellation or rescheduling. Clients can reschedule up to 14 days before an appointment without penalty. Clients who reschedule less than 14 days before an appointment are required to pay a new deposit prior to booking the new appointment. **This policy has been changed for COVID-19 until further notice. Clients’ deposits will not be affected in the event of rescheduling within 14 days of the appointment due to illness or potential COVID-19 symptoms. Rescheduled appointments can be pushed however far in to the future is necessary.**

 

Tipping for a tattoo works similarly to tipping at a bar or restaurant or tipping your barber or gardener: tipping is usually expected and it's a great way to show your tattooer how much you appreciate them. Tattoos can seem expensive, but more than half of the money I make on each tattoo goes to the shop's cut and to paying for supplies. Tips help make my job more sustainable and help me live more securely, free of stress as to how I will pay rent next month. It's a good idea to budget for a tip when figuring out how much you can afford to pay for a tattoo. A standard tip is 20% and if you are a white cis person who has a stable, high paying job, with regular expendable income, you should consider tipping more.

© 2020 by Alex Rae Phelps