“Welcome my friends, welcome to my chocolate factory” - well, more like welcome to Cardinal Tattoo! This stunning black and grey Willy Wonka portrait was done by Will. So if you are looking to get anything like this, grab your gobstoppers and swing by!!
Mitch came into Cardinal Tattoo about a month ago wanting to get a patriotic tattoo inspired by his military background. Mitch is a veteran who now works with other veterans. Here is a photo from one of his sessions.
One and DONE! Last weekend at the Fifth Annual Carolina Tattoo and Art Gallery we entered a single contest with Tasha’s Ice Cube portrait and brought home an award for most realistic black and grey!!! No too shabby at all!!
We also have to say that the awards at the show were SUPER COOL! There is a local distillery in Lenoir and the trophies were made from old whiskey barrels that still smell like the alcohol that aged in them. That’s a great touch by the hosts of the convention, Dragon’s Den Tattoo Company.
Another highlight from the show was Tasha had the unbelievable opportunity to be coached by the one and only Jime Litwalk (you may have seen him on Ink Masters Season 3 where he placed second in the finale). To have had the opportunity to learn from such a prolific figure in the industry is quite a moment. We can’t say enough about his talent, how he has honed his craft and how gracious he was.
Tasha also got tattooed at the show, by Will. Her new piece is a black and grey portrait of Livio Scarpella’s Veiled Souls from his series “Ghost Underground” which depicts ghostly souls both peaceful and in anguish. The photos above are of the tattoo and the reference photo that was used.
Once again, we would like to say thank you to Lenoir, North Carolina and the Carolina Tattoo and Art Gathering for being such gracious hosts. The scenery was beautiful, the food was amazing and we walked away from the convention with new friends that are genuine, kind and amazingly talented. Overall, it was a great weekend.
It was a whirlwind weekend in North Carolina but both Will and Tasha enjoyed themselves and met some really cool people. We took lots of pictures and will post them throughout the week but these are a few from last Friday night. Be on the lookout for more to come! Special thanks to Carolina Tattoo and Arts Gathering and Lenoir, North Carolina for being so welcoming.
Be sure to click on each picture so that you can see the slideshow. Also, stay tuned to check out the cool awards that we won this past weekend!!
We know this is the last summer holiday and that Fall is just around the corner but that doesn’t mean it’s not still going to be hot - especially here in the South. We realize that there are still plenty of lake and pool days ahead so we just want to remind you of some very vital piercing and tattoo information to keep your investments in tip-top shape.
Piercings should heal for at least ONE MONTH before entering the water. Lakes and oceans - even though they’re vast - are dirty. They have bacteria that can cause some pretty intense infections. Pools have harsh chemicals that can cause severe irritation.
Fresh piercings should have limited sun exposure. The rays of the sun can cause excessive damage around a piercing that your body is working hard to heal. Sunburns can cause great irritation and flaking of skin around the piercing, compromising the new piercing and increasing the risk of rejection.
NEVER apply sunscreen to a healing piercing. The chemicals in sunscreen are extremely abrasive on broken skin and the sticky texture allows germs to stick to, and infiltrate, a new piercing which could lead to infection.
Tattoos must heal for at least three weeks before entering water. Submerging a tattoo in water before it is properly healed can cause infection in the early healing stages. In the later stages, it can cause the fresh skin that grows over a new tattoo to swell up and slide off the body. It’s very painful, very itchy, and can reopen the tattoo to the possibility of infection.
NO direct sunlight. ZERO.
Getting tattooed causes the same type and amount of damage as a severe sunburn. Adding more of that same type of damage on top of a concentrated area can have painful effects that cause your tattoo to heal very poorly and much more slowly.
Sunscreen should NEVER go onto a fresh tattoo. For the same reasons as it should not go on a fresh piercing. sunscreen should not touch a new tattoo for at least three weeks after getting it.
And last but certainly not least, always, always, ALWAYS apply sunscreen to a healed tattoo before exposing it to direct sunlight. This will help preserve the colors and not subject the tattoo to sun bleaching. For color tattoos, this will keep lighter tones (yellow, orange, pink) from fading into obscurity. For black and grey pieces, this keeps the black values as dark and rich as possible while preserving small, light details.
We here at Cardinal Tattoo realize that summer can be a tricky time to get a new tattoo or piercing because well, it’s summer and they enhance the way a person looks and feels. Quite possibly, you want to show them off and we don’t blame you!! But we also want to remind you that just because summer is almost over doesn’t mean the aftercare changes in regards to sun exposure and submerging in water.
We hope this serves as a refresher course in proper healing and maintenance. Happy Labor Day and stay safe out there!!
We get it all the time, “Man that’s really dark, I dunno…” from someone who doesn’t tattoo (or who doesn’t tattoo well). The diagnosis: fresh black and grey blues!
No worries, we at Cardinal Tattoo are here to help! You see, when the skin is tattooed there is an inflammatory response that results in some minor swelling and a darkening of the skin due purely to irritation. This darkening will continue to build for approximately 20 minutes during the tattoo process before it begins to subside, this is of course a general rule, everyone’s a little different. Also, certain parts of the body can darken, or take on a more reddish hue in people with lighter skin tones, more than others. Calves tend to get darker that arms for instance, especially after the person stands.
Once the client goes home, the real detail of the piece won’t be discernible for several days, until the upper layer of skin flakes off and the finished tattoo is revealed underneath. During the tattoo process, the upper (non-permanent) layer of skin is damaged and will flake off similar to a sunburn usually within a week of getting the tattoo. This layer of skin has absorbed pigment as well, so the tattoo must be applied darker than how we want it to be in order to allow for this lightening during the exfoliation process.
Refer to the example here: The fresh tattoo is really dark, some of the details are harder to make out and may blend together a bit. Once compared to the healed version below, we can see the difference in the hair, eyes, and the overall exposure of the piece. It exhibits a good amount of detail and contrast, the eyes look alive and the tattoo has a lifelike quality that you want from a portrait. It is smooth and without healing defects, performed in a single five-and-a-half hour session by our resident realism artist Will. At the time of this photo, roughly four weeks into the healing process, the tattoo has already ‘greyed out’ nicely, taking on the look it will have for years to come!
Thank you for taking the time to read this and understand the art and craft of professional tattooing with us at cardinaltattoo.com
#tattoo #tattoogallatin #howtotakecareoftattoos #tattoohealingprocess #qualitytattoo
“Believe it or not, some of us have piercings and tattoos and dye our hair because we think it looks pretty, not for any deep sociological reason. The isn’t an act of protest against cultural or social repression. It’s not a grand, deliberately defiant gesture against capitalism or feminists or any other social group. It’s not even the fashion equivalent to sticking two fingers up at the world. The boring truth of it is that we don’t do these things to draw attention to ourselves or make a statement. We do it because we think it looks nice.”
Alex Bell, The Ninth Circle
Cheers! On August 1st, Cardinal Tattoo celebrated our 5th year doing business in Gallatin, TN. We would like to thank everyone who has helped and supported us, some of you can’t even comprehend how much you did to keep us motivated and working hard to be the best we can (especially our haters, we love you guys too!) Here’s to the future of Cardinal Tattoo and to all those who wish us well! Cheers!
If you’re feeling that summertime sadness then maybe its time to get that tattoo you’ve been thinking about getting. We are sure Lana would support it!
We are strong believers in the saying, “no pain, no gain” here at Cardinal Tattoo; and tattoos can be painful at times - especially when you are nearing the end of an all day session like our friend Blake here. We have started doing candid photography as a thank you to our customers who don’t always have someone to do it for them. And frankly, we are tired of the crappy bathroom selfies that are getting posted to social media that don’t ever do the art justice.
Cardinal Tattoo is now accepting Apple Pay!! Apple Pay is easy and works with the Apple devices you use every day. You can make secure purchases in stores, in apps, and on the web. Apple Pay is even simpler than using your physical card, and safer too.
With all of the rave about the new release of “Stranger Things 3”, we thought it was time to share this gem!! While you’re eating your Eggos and drooling over the Demogorgons and Shadow Monsters, maybe check out our website, cardinaltattoo.com or call us at (615)527-7102 to set up your next appointment!! We are sure we could make it bitchin’!!
We are changing our piercing times to 5PM to 8PM Sunday through Friday and noon to 10PM on Saturdays. You can call the shop at (615)527-7102 to set up an appointment over the phone. We will still accept walk-ins during that time but all appointments will come first.
(click on the image to fit it to your screen) This is the outcome of a five hour session, the poor guy couldn't take anymore! Our next session will fill out the details in this realistic piece. As always, we'll keep you posted on our WIPs (Works-In-Progress). Stay tuned to Cardinaltattoo.com for more updates!
With the impending arrival of the summer season, everyone is getting ready to show some skin and get in the water. People are also getting inspired to get their next tattoo or piercing to accent their beachy summer look. Before you decide to rush off to the closest tattoo shop or piercing parlor, keep in mind just a few things.
Piercings should heal for at least one month before entering the water!
- Lake and ocean water are dirty enough to cause pretty intense infections in deep puncture wounds and pool water contains tons of harsh chemicals that will severely irritate any piercing it comes into contact with. Saltwater pools are off limits for this time frame, as well.
Fresh piercings should have very limited sun exposure!
- UVA and UVB rays can cause an excess of damage around a piercing that is already working hard to heal. Sunburns can cause great amounts of irritation and flaking off of skin around a fresh piercing, compromising the piercing itself and increasing risk of rejection.
Sunscreen should NEVER come into contact with a healing piercing
- The chemicals in sunscreen are extremely abrasive on broken skin, and the sticky texture causes debris and germs to easily stick to and infiltrate a fresh piercing.
Tattoos must heal for at least three weeks before entering water
- Submerging a tattoo in water before it is properly healed can cause infection in the early healing stages. In the later stages, it can cause the fresh skin that grows over a new tattoo to swell up and slide off the body. It’s very painful, very itchy, and can reopen the tattoo to the possibility of infection.
Tattoos should not come into contact with direct sunlight
- Getting tattooed causes the same type and amount of damage as a severe sunburn. Adding more of that same type of damage on top of a concentrated area can have painful effects that cause your tattoo to heal very poorly and much more slowly.
Sunscreen should NEVER go onto a fresh tattoo
- For the same reasons as it should not go on a fresh piercing. sunscreen should not touch a new tattoo for at least three weeks after getting it.
Sunscreen SHOULD be applied to healed tattoos before sun exposure
- To preserve the colors and not subject the tattoo to sun bleaching, sunscreen should always be applied over healed tattoos when covering them with clothing is not possible. For color tattoos, this will keep lighter tones (yellow, orange, pink) from fading into obscurity. For black and grey pieces, this keeps the black values as dark and rich as possible while preserving small, light details.
Look into the portfolio of every tattoo artist and piercer you will be working with
- This is more of a general rule that should always be followed, but is easily forgotten during vacations. The temptation to get a tattoo or piercing to commemorate a trip can be overwhelming, but use discretion in what you get and from whom you get it. A lot of shops in tourist-flooded areas don’t perform as immaculate work on out-of-towners because they know the likelihood that those people will return to complain or ask for a touch-up/repierce is very low.
Be careful out there this summer and most importantly…make good decisions! Stay safe and have fun, everyone.
Ever done something you wish you hadn't? It seemed like a good idea at the time but later you realized it might not have been the best decision? Yeah, us too. That's life. But it doesn't have to be that way with tattoos. At Cardinal Tattoo we pride ourselves on a service we call 'pumping the brakes'. You've been in a relationship for three months and want your significant other's name tattooed? Pump the brakes. You don't think he did it so you really want a portrait of Bill Cosby? Pump the Brakes. You want a tattoo because it'll be funny? Pump the brakes. Tattoos are permanent and while they're great fun, without a little foresight you could end up with something that you really hate down the road and we don't want that.
Tattoo regret is the single most damaging thing to the tattoo industry as a whole. At Cardinal Tattoo we'll tell you if we think what you're getting is a bad idea and sometimes we'll simply refuse to do it. No Swastikas, ever. No gang tattoos. Don't ask us to tattoo your boyfriend or girlfriend's name on you, we won't do it. If you want your hands, neck, or face tattooed and you don't already have one of those areas done or are otherwise covered in tattoos, forget it. We're not the kind of people who will take your money and do whatever you ask.
At Cardinal Tattoo we answer two questions before we start any tattoo: Does this person know what they're asking for? An example of this would be the old guy who doesn't know that the rainbow tattoo he just asked for is a gay pride symbol. Or the black guy who wants the Thor tattoo that's actually a white supremacist icon. We have to make sure people know what they're asking for before they get it. Question #2: Will getting this tattoo cause the person undue harm? Some people hate tattoos and they give tattooed people as much flak as they can get away with. It's harder to get certain jobs with tattoos that can't be easily covered with clothing. These are widely understood concepts and it's accepted that these things come with the 'being tattooed' territory. What some people don't know is that getting that rebel flag tattoo will brand you as a racist, even it you're not. That getting you're lover's name tattooed on you is a big no-no, especially if you're not married (if you have to go through a divorce, a tattoo is the least of your worries), or that Creed is a terrible band and no one should ever get their logo tattooed on themselves, ever. We're not being snobby, we're just looking out for our people. We want all of the work that comes out of Cardinal Tattoo to be loved, for life.
R.I.P. David Bowie.
Alright folks, it’s about that time; Spider-Man: Far From Home is hitting theaters Tuesday and that means it is time to throw out some tattoos that will make your web spin !!! All six of these tattoos were done by Will up at Cardinal Tattoo.
Since opening, Cardinal Tattoo has had a 'no hate' policy with regard to the tattoo work that we provide. No Swastikas or hate speech, no gang tattoos, we won't even do your girl or boyfriend's name, it's just not a good idea.
The Confederate battle flag means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. While we recognize that not everyone who flies the flag is a racist we also see the writing on the wall. White supremacists have used this symbol since it's inception and the numbers of those who would defend its meaning now are in steep decline. The meanings of symbols change and out of a sense of responsibility to our younger customers who may not fully understand yet the impact of their decisions, but to those who are professed white supremacists, let us be very clear: Cardinal Tattoo will not do Confederate Battle Flag tattoos.
We do not support hate speech, and this flag has become that. Failure to admit when the meaning of a symbol has changed is folly. If this upsets you we ask that you reconsider your position on the matter and that if your mind isn't changed that you go somewhere else.
With love, Cardinal Tattoo.