New Piercing Times !!

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.

Tattoo Regret

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.

Hand, neck, and face tattoos...

So you've decided to get your first tattoo.  On your hand.  Great.

But sorry, no.  Not at Cardinal Tattoo.  Not ever.

Unless you already have one of those done.  Or you've already covered a large amount of your body with tattoo.  Or you can prove to us that you're independently wealthy.  Or a felon.  

Here's why:  There’s this thing called gainful employment and if you get your hands, neck, or face tattooed you can pretty much forget about it.  Think about your dream job: great pay, benefits, lots of vacation time, totally awesomesauce.  One problem, you can't have any visible tattoos.  Life ruined.  If you're rich this isn't an issue because rich people don't have to live by regular people rules and if you're a felon, well, you're already screwed, what's one more bad decision right?

People that are heavily tattooed are different.  They've had time to adjust to the way society treats them and they've made peace with or at least learned how to maneuver in a culture that still doesn't accept them.  In short, they've earned it.  You?  You're 19 and think you know better than someone who's been tattooing professionally for almost as long as you've been alive.  You don't know what life has to offer and the hard road that you're paving for yourself because you don't want to listen to what those who have been through it are telling you.  

So we're going to clear things up for you.  If you want  your hands, neck, or face tattooed and you don't meet the above criteria don't even bother.  We'll tell you once what a bad idea it is, nicely, and if you insist you'll be asked to leave. Nicely.  (We're always nice, until it's time to not be nice anymore.  Thanks Patrick Swayze!) 

Another important thing to remember about getting those impossible-to-hide tattoos prematurely:  It doesn't speed you to the front of the 'We got a badass here' line.  Quite the opposite, it makes you look like an ignorant jabroni, a poser, a jerk, a dipshit, moron or a tool, a dumbass or fuck stick, etc., etc., etc.  So don't embarrass yourself.  Tattoos are permanent and time should be invested into collecting them before you go all Al Pacino and jump in the deep end of the social reject pool with both feet by getting your throat or face done.  I don't care what you saw on Pinterest, it's not cool.

But, if you're a tattooed badass (a real one) and you're ready to take the next step in your tattoo career, Cardinal Tattoo is the place for you!

Special Piercing Hours for Thursday, June 13th

Cardinal Tattoo will not be offering piercing until after 4pm on Thursday, June 13th.

As a matter of fact, we are toying with the idea of limiting our hours for piercing to a four-hour window: Either 3-7pm or 4-8pm. This will allow us to become more efficient at serving both our piercing customers as well as our tattoo clients.

For the past four years, Cardinal Tattoo has offered piercing services as a walk-in only service. Since we have become the only piercing establishment in Gallatin our piercing business has grown significantly, sometimes creating significantly long wait times to get pierced (more than 30 minutes). In order to alleviate this issue, we are instituting an abbreviated window of time to get a piercing and we will being accepting appointments for piercings in 10 or 15-minute windows of time. We would appreciate our customers’ opinion on this matter and will take every reasonable measure to make this transition a smooth one for everyone.

This will allow all of our piercing customers to receive prompt service and avoid protracted wait times. We will continue to revise the way we do business to better serve you! Log on to for updates!

Will's Schedule and Booking

Our esteemed realism artist Will currently has only four more days available for tattoo appointments in August and his weekends are full until October. We strongly encourage any of his existing clients to contact Cardinal Tattoo and book, as Will is going to be raising his daily rate after the first of the year, even for his existing clientele. Please take advantage of this grace period before all of the time is booked!

Additionally, Will is going to be attending the Lenoir City Tattoo Convention in North Carolina with George Patrick from To the Grave Tattoo from August 30th to September 1st. His Friday appointment will be an $800 session, and his Saturday appointment will be for $1200 (this is a 12 hour day), large-scale realism work only. If you are interested in attending, please contact Cardinal Tattoo and submit your idea for approval, Will only does tattoos at these shows that he believes can contend for Tattoo of the Day awards, so he tends to be a little more picky about what he’ll do there.

Also on the convention schedule (an abbreviated one this year, due to familial obligations) is the Pit Row Tattoo Expo at the Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 4th-6th. A friend of ours, Mr. Cody Gower of Against the Grain Tattoo invited us to attend and it looks like a great time! Tasha Grey will also be attending and Will and Tasha are looking to book two all-day sessions apiece, the Friday appointment for either artist will be $800, the Saturday appointment will be $1200. Interested parties for either artist can contact Cardinal Tattoo at 615 527-7102 to submit your idea for approval and leave your contact information. If selected, we will call you to leave a deposit and arrange travel plans.

Going to shows with your tattoo artist is one of the more in-depth experiences you can have as a tattoo collector and we strongly recommend that you try it if you have the ability to do so! We never fail to have a good time and get some great stories to tell!