How to look for a tattoo artist in the age of COVID

As you may know, gone are the days of popping into your local tattoo shop to check it out, as we’re all currently appointment-only due to health and safety protocols implemented after the COVID shut down. So here are a few tips in finding the right artist for you:

Recommendations and online reviews are are always great, but everyone loves their artist. If you see great tattoos while out and about, ask politely who did them. Most people are excited to let you know who did the tattoo.

Go to the artist or tattoo shop’s website or Instagram to check out their work. Don’t look for the image you want, but look for clean lines, solid colour, nice shading, and if the artist’s particular style suits the tattoo you want.

Do they do the style of work you’re looking for? All tattooers are not the same. Some are jacks-of-all-trades and some specialize in certain styles. If they don’t do the style of work you’re looking for, they will likely know who to recommend for the style.

Things to watch out for while looking at portfolios: 

Obviously photoshopped tattoos ie: blacked out backgrounds, fuzzy/ blurred photos and black and grey or tribal tattoos photoshopped in black & white. These are all common tricks used to hide mistakes or add contrast to poorly done tattoos.

Like what you see? Contact the artist via their preferred contact info on the site to set up a consultation. A consultation is an initial appointment to talk about what you’re looking to get tattooed. Keep your email short and sweet - there’s no need to get into every detail as that’s what the consultation is for. Send a brief description of what you’re looking for with a couple of reference photos.

Once a consultation appointment is set, your artist should send you the basic safety protocols for coming and going at the shop. Most places will also have the new protocols posted on their shop doors or windows as per current health and safety guidelines.

If yours is a project they are interested in taking on, your artist will also use the consultation time to take measurements, notes and a deposit, and either set up an art check, appointment or timeline for the work to be completed.

Deposits are used to hold your appointment time and to ensure your artist’s time is not wasted. They are typically $100 non-refundable cash which is then applied to the price of your tattoo. Your deposit will carry over on multi-session tattoos and will be applied to the cost of your final appointment.

You will lose your deposit if you change the drawing/tattoo idea; fail to show up for your appointment; show up high or drunk, dirty, underage (we are 18+ only) or without ID; cancel with less than 48 hours notice; are excessively late for your appointment (half hour or more); or are rude to staff or artists.

I hope this helps you find the right artist for your next tattoo



Predrawn custom one offs available

Due to our being appointment only currently, it’s hard for people to check out my sketchbooks of available custom pre-drawn tattoo illustrations.  I created a second instagram @tli_draws to show off my available pre-drawn one offs. 

How it works: Go follow @tli_draws on instagram; when you see something you want to get tattooed comment “interested” and email info@kirksheppardtattoos.com to make arrangements for a deposit. Once a deposit is left, I will pull the image and set it aside with your name on it and we can set up an appointment to do the tattoo at Urge 3 Tattoos in beautiful Penticton BC.


Reopening Update June 4th 2020

As we are currently going to be open as a appointment only shop for the forseeable future due to health authorities recomendations all appointments will be first arranged by email:  info@kirksheppardtattoos.com 


Urge 3 Tattoos-Safety protocols and procedures 

-If you are sick, have a fever or have been exposed to someone who has, please let us know ASAP so we can reschedule your appointment.

-Only those with appointments will be welcomed into the shop. Please don’t bring friends or family to your appointment.

-On arrival to your appointment knock lightly on the front window to let your artist know you’ve arrived, as our doors will be locked. 

-Once let in you will be required sanitize your hands with hands-free hand sanitizer by the door.

-All clients will be required to wear a mask at all times while in the shop. If you cannot bring one we will provide one for you. 

-Clients will not be permitted to handle or touch potentially contaminated personal items ie: cell phones, jewelry, etc 

-If you are unable or unwilling to follow all protocols, we will not able to tattoo you at this time.

Thank you


Working toward reopening

We’re currently working on a reopening plan for Urge 3 Tattoos. Once we finalize our new procedures for the shop I’ll be posting them here and on my social media.
I’ve been getting a ton of emails as of late looking for new work. While I am taking names for a waitlist, I am prioritizing the clients I rescheduled at the beginning of this pandemic. Once those clients are rebooked (about 3 months worth of appointments) I’ll start contacting those of you on the waitlist. Please be patient as things will be moving a bit slower than normal. We care about your safety and the safety of our families.
If you had an appointment previous to the lockdown I will be contacting you once we have everything set in place.
For those wanting new work please just email, with name, phone number, and brief description so that I can add you to my waitlist.Email is info@kirksheppardtattoos.com

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