Frequently Asked Questions

We now have 2 locations! The original True Blue is located at 607 Red River in downtown Austin. The shop is open for tattooing and piercing from 1PM to Midnight Sunday through Thursday and from 1PM to 2AM on Friday and Saturday. Our newest location is at 4507-B Airport Blvd. and hours are Noon to 8PM every day. Our Airport Blvd. location only offers tattooing. For piercing please contact our Red River location at 476-OUCH.
True Blue does not have any dedicated parking spots. There are many metered spots downtown, which cost $1/hour. There is also free 2-hour parking on 6th Street between Red River and Brazos Streets. Additionally, there are many pay-to-park lots located throughout the downtown area, several within 2 blocks of our location. Our Airport Blvd. location has parking right in front of the shop.
No, walk-in customers are welcome, however walking in does not necessarily mean we'll be able to tattoo you immediately. The shop does tend to get busy, and waiting times vary, depending on the number of customers, the work involved, and the number of artists working. To minimize waiting times, you can also set an appointment with an individual artist.
Appointments are made with a specific artist. There are nine tattoo artists working at True Blue. Each artist is very talented, and each has their own style of tattooing (traditional, portraits, black-and-gray, etc.). It is highly recommended that you look at each of the artists' porfolios (available on the website in abbreviated form, or at the studio), decide which artist's style best suits your taste, and contact them via e-mail, or by coming into the shop, to set up an appointment time. Most appointments will require a cash deposit, which is then deducted from the price of the tattoo. We DO NOT make appointments over the phone.
At True Blue our minimum price for tattooing is $70. Our artists set their own rates, but typically you can expect to pay $100- $125 per hour of tattoo work. On smaller sized tattoos, we can often give you a price beforehand, but with larger tattoos, we tend to price the work by the hour. If you are curious about pricing a particular piece, you can come by the shop for an estimate, or contact an individual artist via e-mail. We DO NOT give price quotes over the phone or via email.
No. Under Texas Law, no person below the age of 18 can legally be tattooed, even with parental consent. The only exception is with a Court Order to obscure gang-related symbols or offensive language already tattooed on a minor.
The tattooing process may involve various levels of discomfort. Everybody has their own individual perception of what the process feels like. Typically, there is a vibrating sensation accompanied by a light to moderate stinging feeling while the tattoo is being applied to the skin. There is usually a lingering soreness after the process which can last for several days, but typically goes away within a week. There may be redness around the new tattoo, which usually goes away within a few days. There may me mild to moderate swelling of the area after the tattoo process, this usually subsides within a few days.
Because the tattooing process involves intruducing pigment (a foreign substance) into the permanent layers of the skin, there are risks involved with the process. These include, but are not limited to: alergic reactions to the tattooing pigments, localized swelling, discomfort, infection, and the possibility of the transfer of infectious diseases. At True Blue, we minimize these risks by maintaining our work environment and equipment to meet or exceed the standards set by our regulating body, The Texas Department of Health. Our needles, pigments, and disposable equipment are all strictly single-use items and all reusable equipment is thoroughly cleaned and sterilized using our two steam autoclaves. Our autoclaves are spore-tested regularly by an independent testing facility to verify efficacy. All of our artists have years of experience in the industry, and are well practiced in aseptic tattooing technique, to greatly minimize the risk of cross-contamination and infection. The tattoo artists will inform the client verbally, and in writing, of the proper aftercare for the tattoo. Following these instructions properly will serve to minimize the risk of infection, and will provide the best possible healing of the tattoo work.
During the healing process, tattoos may lose some pigment. Obviously, proper care of a healing tattoo will minimize this possibility. In the event that a tattoo needs a touch-up after the initial process, individual artists will determine when will be the best time to do the work, and will schedule a touch-up appointment. Usually touch-up work is done free of charge, however, if the artist determines the cause of the damage was caused by abuse to the healing tattoo (neglect, picking, soaking, scratching, etc.), there may be a charge for the additional work.
Yes. Feel free to bring in your own design. If there are foreseeable conflicts with the design as a feasible tattoo (i.e. too small, too crowded with detail), our artists can usually find an agreeable solution, and create a workable design from your idea. We are also happy to create original custom designs for our clients, based upon their conceptual ideas and visual imagery. This type of work typically involves a waiting period; while the design is drawn, and usually involves setting an appointment (see question #4), and a deposit on the drawing.