FAQs

What kind of tattooing do you do?

Currently, all of my work is hand poked (without a machine, AKA stick 'n' poke) using primarily black and gray ink. Sometimes I use white or spot color, but it really depends on the design. If this is something you are interested in, please mention it in your booking proposal.

What is your rate?

$175/hour with a $175 minimum.

My sliding scale rate is $150/hour with a $150 minimum.

My minimum for wedding ring tattoos is $200 per person. Wedding ring projects typically involve a lot more collaboration and design changes the day of the tattoo. This higher price covers me for that extra time.

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 strongly 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

PAYMENT POLICY UPDATE 1/1/22:

All non-cash payments over $400 will require a 10% additional fee. This fee is meant to discourage non-cash payments and cover the costs of digital payment processing. Cash payments are VERY STRONGLY PREFERRED because they allow me to better manage my income and make a more affordable living off of tattooing.

 

Is tipping required?

Tipping for a tattoo works similarly to tipping at a bar or restaurant or tipping your barber or gardener: tipping is not required but is usually expected and it's a great way to show your tattooer how much you appreciate them. Tattoos can seem expensive, but a large amount 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 15-20% and if you are a white cis able-bodied 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, placement, 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 - 8+ hours. Ear tattoos usually take 1 - 2 hours. But tattoos can take more or less time, depending on the factors mentioned above, as well as nuances in the client's skin and whether or not the client experiences twitching. However, the amount of time spent at the tattoo shop is much more than this because you need to account for breaks, making changes to the design, photos, bandaging, and preparing the station. It is a good idea to avoid making set plans for after your tattoo appointment.

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, Cavicide, and Pine Sol. I set my client chair very high in order to avoid back pain, which can make it difficult to hop onto for some clients, but I can provide a stool to help if desired. 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

POLICIES UPDATE 4/1/22:

 

All clients and practitioners are required to wear an N95 or KN95 mask due to the proven superior efficacy of these masks against COVID-19 compared to fabric or surgical masks and alternative face coverings. This means no scarves, bandanas, or single use surgical masks PLEASE. Since these masks can be expensive, we request that you bring a fresh one with you. If you do not have a fresh N95 or KN95 mask, we will provide one for you.

I continue to require that ALL CLIENTS MUST BE VACCINATED, having received their last dose at least 2 weeks before the tattoo appointment. For additional safety, all clients must meet at least one of the following requirements:

-Have received a booster shot within 6 months of the appointment.

-Have taken a PCR lab covid test 4-7 days before the appointment.

-Have taken a home rapid covid test for 3 consecutive days leading up to the appointment. 

Clients who take a PCR lab COVID-19 test must do so 4-7 days before their appointment, and then must avoid any potentially risky activity between the test and the appointment.

Clients who take a home rapid test, must take 1 test each day for the 3 consecutive days leading up to their appointment. They must also avoid any potentially risky activity for 7 days leading up to their appointment.

For clients who have received a booster shot, PLEASE avoid any potentially risky activity for 7 days before the appointment.

Potentially risky activity is defined as spending time unmasked, indoors, with large groups of people (more than 6 people), regardless of the vaccination status of those people. 

Tests can be taken anywhere, but I recommend the Optum testing sites throughout the Bay Area (lhi.care).

All clients are required to show their vaccination cards and test results upon entering the studio.

 

There will be no deposit penalty for rescheduling an appointment due to illness or exposure to a person who has covid. 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.

We encourage clients to bring snacks and stay both nourished and hydrated during the tattoo session. However we are no longer allowing eating to take place in the lobby. Quick sips of beverages will be permitted in the lobby. All eating or extended beverage consumption must be done outside of the lobby and studio. We have a covered backyard area for folks to comfortably and safely take snack breaks.

 

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

 

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. 

 

Cash payment is still accepted and preferred.

 

Policies for me:

I received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine shot on 4/6/21. I also received a Pfizer vaccine booster on 11/8/21, as well as another one on 5/10/22. Additionally, I continue to get COVID-19 tests regularly.

 

I will always wear an N95 or KN95 mask in the presence of clients.

 

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.

Deposits, Payment & Cancellation Policy

PAYMENT POLICY UPDATE 1/1/22:

All non-cash payments over $400 will require a 10% additional fee. This fee is meant to discourage non-cash payments and cover the costs of digital payment processing. Cash payments are VERY STRONGLY PREFERRED because they allow me to better manage my income and make a more affordable living off of tattooing.

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). When doing multi-session tattoos, we will use $50 of your deposit for each session, with the remainder going toward the last session. 

Deposit breakdown:

$50 for 1-2 hour sessions

$100 for 3-5 hour sessions

$150-200 for multi session projects

 

Deposits can be paid via Venmo @Alex-Rae-Phelps (Last 4 digits of my phone # are 5786. 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 not required but it’s usually expected and it's a great way to show your tattooer how much you appreciate them. Tattoos can seem expensive, but a large amount 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 15-20% and if you are a white cis able-bodied person who has a stable, high paying job, with regular expendable income, you should consider tipping more.