Despite being in the midst of a refurb this friendly, relaxed but professional team made this a tattooing experience I would love to revisit, skin space and pennies allowing!
From the informative greeting to being collected from the cafe across the road when they were ready, and being included in the music choices (Kill Bill sound track......genius) I felt wholey relaxed and included in the process.
Having been given permission from the boss to add to another artists piece, Olivia embraced the job whole heartedly, free handing some lovely art nouveau lines and flowers across my back. Her line work is clean and bold, just what I wanted.
They loose points however for the not so comfy breakfast bar type stool I had to spend 90 minutes leaning over and the fact the autoclaving equipment was in the room I was being tattooed in, which meant someone else squeezing past me whilst draped across the uncomfortable furniture. (I suspect this will change when refurb'd)
My hubby is now next in line to be "inked" at this shop, and where normally I drop him off and bugger off for a brew I may actually consider hanging around to enjoy the company and the fierce choice of tunes.
Ever wanted to get tattooed with Metallica playing at full volume?
Nah, me neither. Luckily, when I got my ankles tattooed at Sacred Art several years ago, head tattooist and owner Mark was kind enough to forsake his beloved heavy metal and play something a little more mellow. The first Portishead album relaxed me enough that the time seemed to fly by with only the occasional nudge of pain.
Based in leafy Chorlton, Sacred Art is a small and welcoming tattoo studio that specialises in a variety of styles from Japanese and tribal to American pin-ups. Alongside Mark, there's an equally friendly female tattooist - Sandy - whose covered head to toe in ink herself.
If you're interested in getting something done, the best thing to do is pop in for a consultation and take a look at the designs in Mark and Sandy's portfolios. Their rates are reasonable, the studio is clean and cosy and I was very happy with the work they did for me. One ankle took about 60 minutes from outlines to full shading, the other about 90 minutes including flowers and a koi carp.
I haven't had a tattoo here myself, and I don't think I'll ever be brave enough to have one, but I can vouch for the talent at this studio because my friend has the most incredible flower and star design on her back in the most vivid colours that I never thought possible.
The shading, especially, is so well executed, like a watercolour painting almost. According to my friend, the studio itself is very laid back and the staff are extremely friendly and make you feel at ease immediately.
Check out the designs of Mark and Sandy on their website, I love the fact that they specialise in Japanese and Indian designs, but really there's nothing that they can't do well. It almost makes me change my mind.
I was initially a tentative tattooer. All through my teens when all my friends were getting Chinese symbols inscribed onto their ankles or roses on their shoulders, I was watching from the sidelines. I had to be entirely convinced that I wanted my body branded forever and I waited, and waited, and waited. Many moons later I decided to celebrate my birthday by taking the tattoo leap and I visited Sacred Art in Chorlton. Firstly I went in with my friend Craig for a consultation and with a home drawn picture of my personalised design. I was given a quote of £85 and after surveying how clean the shop was, I booked my appointment for a week later.
Sandy ,the gorgeous tattoo artist, recognised immediately that I was one of the nervous ones and she put me at ease, talking me through the entire process. Sandy herself is a living work of art, and back then she told me that the only place she hadn't had tattoed was on one thigh. She was so professional and gentle and even though I cannot pretend it did not hurt, the experience was much less traumatic than I had anticipated. An hour and a half later I walked out of the studio door tattoo complete, and feeling pleased and empowered. I know so many people who have had negative encounters getting tattoos done and I have referred them all onto Sacred Art. Their prices and portfolio designs are amazing but what I found impressive was the attitudes of the staff. Perhaps I will return there for another tattoo or just to find out if Sandy has had her thigh done.
I liked the art examples I saw, and have heard good things about Sandy, so I cannot dip below 2 stars, but I cannot recommend this shop. I ended up trying via Facebook (via which i was told to send ideas via email) and then two emails to get an appointment, but got no reply.
By that point I went in to see if a face-to-face request would be any more effective, but was greeted with a decided lack of enthusiasm - not a great thing when the person you are dealing with has a hand in putting permanent art upon ones body.
Upon leaving the store to go home and wait, I finally got a reply to my email. It consisted of one word: "What?" It looks like reading down to previous emails was too much for whoever mans their account.
I include the email chain below as final reason for the rating I give.
The art that Ben did, however, while being a total gentleman, is gorgeous, however.
These were the 2 emails I sent - an inquiry with art images I was advised to send by someone manning your FaceBook, and a follow up after receiving no reply for over a week - in hopes of getting an appointment for some ink-work. Instead, I came in with friends today, and made tentative plans with two luke-warm gents at the front to return for some work after my friend was finished, but your fantastically curt reply has decided me: I will find somewhere with customer service that matches artistic skill - they aren't difficult to find. Hipster word-of-mouth will only get you so far, kids.
I am, &c.
Sent while galavanting.
On Sep 10, 2013, at 12:24 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org… wrote:
Quoting Kristin Nielsen:
Is there no opening I could steal?
I am, &c.
Sent while galavanting.
On Sep 1, 2013, at 1:28 AM, Kristin wrote:
I contacted you via FB earlier in August in the hope of setting up an appointment on (or around) September 10th. I have narrowed down my ideas to the attached. I am not sure how I'd change them for inking purposes... I think I'd like the piece to be black ink, but I am easily swayed.
What say you, sir? No matter what, thank you for your time and consideration.
I am, &c.
Sent while galavanting.
My dad took me here initially. I'd pestered him about wanting a tattoo but was too young. Knowing my pigheadedness though he researched it, found Sarced Art through recomendation and took me to meet Mark for a chat.
Then, a couple of years later when I was old enough and unsurprisingly my wish of a blue butterfly had changed to things a little less obvious, I went back. My friend had a tribal looking star and I went for : )
I've had all my tattoos done here (strangely though, not my numerous piercing over the years).
Mark did my first and my second. He's great, really easy going, put me at ease, explained after care to me clearly - I now swear by Preparation H, keeping it dry and wearing loose clothing thanks to him. I've never had any problems and healing's super quick with no itching, unlike friends who have been elsewhere and had awful experiences.
He's done work for numerous celebs, recently Amy Winehouse.
My third was done by Sandy. I'm not sure why I switched, I think Mark was just busy at the time and after looking at Sandy's portfolio I was quite happy to have her take a section from one of my favourite paintings and come up with something delicate, which she did.
Admittedly, I've not had any colour work but from what I've seen, they're excellent at that too.
If you're thinking of getting a tattoo then they're a good place to go to just for a chat, help you put together a design if you need help, they're honest about how different colours fade with time, prices and time it will take. If you're set on getting one, I recommend them whole heartedly, it is big decision and one you really want to get right.
I'll be getting my fourth soon
I had my first (and so far only) tattoo done here in September 2008. I'll admit that when I put my £40 deposit down to get it done, I was suffering from a massive amount of the collywobbles, but Sacred Art's experienced and professional staff were quick to put me at ease and assure me that getting inked wouldn't hurt and that my tattoo would look damn cool once it was done.
And you know what? They were right. When the deed was being done, the nice gentleman inking me up put me at ease by discussing our favourite black metal and electronica artistes, and before I knew it, I had a lovely bright red tattoo on my right wrist.
Eighteen months on, and my tattoo still looks as fresh as it did on the day that it was done, no doubt due to the excellent after care advice given to me by the staff there. I'm currently saving up for my second tattoo, and I know that once I'm a bit flush with cash, I'll definitely be asking Sacred Art to work their magic on my skin once again.
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