190 Main Street - East Haven, CT 06512 / 203-469-9208
Open Tuesday thru Saturday, 11ish to 7ish

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions and answers we hear regularly at the shop, and may act as a guide of what to expect, and help you in your tattoo experience.  Due to current COVID-19 regulations, many of answers to these quesions may not currently apply.  Please see our news update on these current practices for more information.


Does it hurt?

Yes, tattoos hurt.  Most people handle it quite well, as it isn't the end of the world, but it is definitely uncomfortable, to say the least.  So be prepared, as tattooing puts a stress on your system.  Getting adequate sleep the night before, as well as eating a healthy meal, prior to your appointment is highly recommended.


What should i do the day of my appointment?

On the day of your tattoo appointment, make sure you have eaten within the hour. If you are going to be here for an extended period of time, bring something to drink with you. It's important to keep hydrated! Make sure you get plenty of rest the night before. Keep in mind that drugs and alcohol lower your immune system and might affect the healing process of your tattoo, and they are also not allowed in the shop. Try to abstain from these activities a few days prior to your appointment, and show up sober.

If you want to a bring a friend with you, that is fine, but they might not be able to sit with you. Our stations are small and usually friends in the tattoo area are not possible. Wear comfortable clothing where the tattoo area is accessible. Preferably something you wouldn't mind getting messed up from tattoo ink.

It is important to remember to bring proper photo identification as well.  We only accept government issued valid id's, such as driver's licenses, state id's, passports, and military id's.


Do you take walk-ins?

We love to accomodate walk-ins whenever possible.  However, we don't always have the time to take clients when they just walk in.  So if we can't take you right away, we will find a time for you that is convenient for both you and the artist.  It is best to call the shop the day you want to come in first, and we can let you know if and when there is time that day.


Do I have to leave a deposit to make an appointment?

Yes, deposits are required for all appointments.  Deposit amounts are applied to the price of your tattoo and ensure your appointment time.  Deposits are non-refundable, unless you cancel your appointment atleast 48 hours in advance, and if no drawing fee applies to your tattoo.  If you miss your appointment and fail to notify us atleast 48 hours in advance, you will lose your deposit, and you will be required to leave an additional deposit to reschedule your appointment.  Deposits amounts are dependent on the length of your appointment, and are as follows: $200 - Full Day, $100 - Half Day, $50 - 2 Hour of less.  Making appointments and leaving deposits can be done at the shop, or over the phone only, we do not make appointments via email or facebook.


Do you take credit cards?

Yes we take Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover.


Do you tattoo minors?

Yes we do, with proper consent and paperwork.  We tattoo minors, 16 and 17 years old, with both parents or legal guardian's consent.  In the case that only one parent has full custody, or a guardian is appointed, we need proof of it in the form of a legal court order.  All parties need to have photo id with them.  We also need identification for the minor, a birth certificate, and some form of photo id, such as a school id.


Do you pierce minors?

Yes, we pierce minors, 13 years or older for most piercings.  The minor needs to be accompanied by one of their parents or legal guardian.  Both will need proper photo identification as well.


Should I tip my artist?

YES! tipping is a great way to let your artist know you're really happy with your tattoo.  the average tip on a tattoo is $20-$100.


What is the shop minimum? Do you charge per letter?

The shop minimum for tattoos is $65.  The pricing of tattoos vary, we can give you a fair estimate before starting your tattoo.  Lettering depends on many variables,  font, size, placement, etc.  We do not charge by the letter.  See the info page for more information on tattoo pricing.


Who's the best artist?

Picking the right artist for your tattoo is up to you.  We can certainly steer you in the right direction, as different artists have different styles, but ultimately the choice is yours.  Do your research, check out our portfolios on the site, as well as on our social media sites.  We do have portfolios for you to look through at the shop as well.


Do you sell Gift Ceritificates?

Yes we do.  We sell gift certificates for any dollar amount, or we can customize it for a body piercing, tattoo time, etc.  If you are hosting a benefit, or charity event, please don't hesitate to ask for a complimentary gift certificate, as we are always willing to help raise money for a worthy cause.


Are you hiring?

We are always on the lookout for new talent!  We have a very positive atmosphere and helpful staff hell bent on producing the best tattoos and experience for our clients.  If you think you have what it takes, and would like the opportunity to work at Darkside, we would like to meet with you.  Only professionals who leave all their baggage, drama, and headaches at home and bring only their A game to the studio need apply.  If you are a very talented, self motivated, responsible, and hard working tattoo artist, who wants to invest time building a clientele, please give our manager, Melinda, a call, and she'll set up a time for an interview.  Applicants considered for the position will be expected to do a guest spot or two before starting full time.  You can also send your info and link to your online portfolio to -



-Back to Info-