Where are you located?

I work at a private, by-appointment-only studio, Constellation Tattoo Collective, located within the Cathedral Park Place complex at 6635 N Baltimore Ave, Suite 292, in the north Portland, Oregon neighborhood of St. John's. 

How do I schedule an appointment or consultation? 

Fill out and submit your tattoo proposal using the form on my Booking page.

After reviewing submitted proposals, I will notify you via email about the status of your proposal's acceptance. If I accept your proposal for this booking period, I will share my calendar with you so you can fit yourself into my schedule with the date and time that works best for you according to my availability. When you select your date, you will be prompted to secure your appointment with a non-refundable* $50 deposit. Your deposit will ultimately be subtracted from the cost of your tattoo upon payment at the studio.

Once you have selected a date and secured your appointment via deposit, your appointment is confirmed, and I will be in touch for your consultation the week of your appointment! (See next question)

What is the difference between Custom, Freehand, and Flash appointments?

Custom Work appointments are for unique tattoo designs based upon your proposed idea & budget, drawn in advance of your appointment, and often designed with your input via the sketch consultation process (see next FAQ question). I try my best to make your specific ideas come to life, and will have a finished drawing ready the day of your appointment so you can make a final approval that the drawing is everything you want it to be. This is the best option for very specific ideas & details, species-specific animals & plants, first tattoos, tattoos based upon pre-exiting artworks, and pet portraits.

Freehand appointments are for tattoos drawn on your skin the day of your appointment. By selecting a freehand appointment, you are consenting to giving me total creative freedom, and will not be able to preview a sketch before your appointment date. Sometimes I will have a rough compositional sketch ready the day-of, or will make one with you to give you an idea of what I’m going to do— but generally, you should expect not to see a sketch of your tattoo until I have drawn it onto your skin. This is the best option for gap-fillers, complex placement ideas, body-contour/musculature-specific placement ideas, dragons and mythical creatures, and adventurous folks who really like my drawing style and are are not concerned with specific details.

Flash appointments are for pre-existing drawings tattooed with no changes. Flash pieces are sold at flat rates dependent upon scale & level of detail. I prefer not to tattoo flash on ribs, stomachs, heads, or necks due to the fixed flat rate, so keep this in mind when booking a Flash appointment.*

*At the moment, I do not have a flash book available to peruse. Please do not ask to see it or select a Flash appointment, unless I have published new available flash on instagram.

How does an email consultation work?

My consultation process is done via email, beginning with your submitted proposal form. When your proposal is accepted and your appointment confirmed, I will email you any thoughts and questions I have about your proposal. I welcome you to send me any references you have and your own drawings and mock-ups at this time. I ask that you please contact me with any significant changes to your proposal (ie, scale, subject matter, placement) in this initial round of emails. I reserve the right to cancel your appointment and keep your deposit if you “bait-and-switch”— if you significantly change your proposal concept once your appointment is confirmed. (ie, I booked you for a large custom dragon tattoo and you decide you want a palm-sized horse.)

When the week of your appointment date arrives, I will follow up with any additional questions about your design I may have. This is our email consultation. 

Do you do in-person consultations?

Unfortunately, I do not have time in my schedule to accommodate in-person consultations (except for special occasions where I feel it is necessary to discuss details and take specific measurements.) If this is something you are uncomfortable with, I am willing to make an exception for an in-person meeting, but it is important for you to know that this is not a common practice for me. I am confident that the email and sketch consultation process is sufficient for most custom & freehand appointments.

Will I be able to see sketches and/or make changes to my design before my appointment?

Only if you opt in for the "sketch consultation." The sketch consultation process is my standard procedure for custom work. You will not see a sketch if you choose a Freehand appointment.

When you submit your proposal, you will be given the option to either opt in or opt out of an additional sketch consultation. If you opt in for the sketch consultation, you agree to pay a $50 sketch consultation/drawing fee that will be added to the total cost of your tattoo the day of your appointment. The sketch consultation process is designed to allow you the opportunity to clarify your concept and make changes if you desire. I want you to be stoked about your design, and will try my best to accommodate your vision! 

I will send you a rough sketch or mock-up of your design before your appointment, and you will have the opportunity to request revisions and add your input to the design. Any revisions will be made at my discretion. The more thorough, specific, and considered your initial proposal description is, the more efficient this draft & revision process will be.

Opting out of the sketch consultation means you agree to waive the $50 sketch consultation fee and to NOT receive a sketch for review and feedback before your appointment. (You will still participate in the written consultation via email.) This is a great option for tattoo designs based on pre-existing works from art history, adventurous collectors who believe they will be excited about whatever custom work I come up with, or people who plan to provide extensive photo references and sketches for me to work from. I do not recommend this option for most clients or most designs!

When will I see a sketch of my design? Can you send me a preview before I book or pay a deposit?

I will email you a sketch of your design (if you opt in for the sketch consultation) a few days (generally 2-5) before your appointment. I do not send previews or sketches earlier than this. I do not provide sketches for Freehand appointments.

Because I create mostly custom work, I create sketches for custom appointments on a rolling basis as they correspond to upcoming tattoo appointments-- meaning that just because you may have booked your appointment in advance, I wait to create your sketch until your appointment is drawing near. This is simply my booking organization process, and how I am able to best ensure that each design is given the attention it deserves, and to give every client the same set of expectations regarding their consultation timeline. Unless your appointment is less than a week away and you haven't received an email, I am working on other sketches for other clients that week. I appreciate your patience!

The final inked drawing of your design will be available to see at your appointment regardless of whether you have opted in or out of the sketch consultation. At this point, minor design changes may be made at my discretion. Size can be altered limitlessly at no additional cost. If design changes require reworking over half of the inked drawing, there will be an additional $50 drawing fee.

What is your rate? Do you have a drawing or consultation fee?

Sliding scale $120-160/hr for custom or freehand appointments. My sliding scale policy is new as of October 2018 { My rate before October 2018 was $150/hr for custom work (+ $50 sketch consultation fee, if you opt in for it.) } Click here to read more about my sliding scale policy.

My sketch consultation fee (described in answers above) is a $50 flat fee for custom concept work, including an initial sketch/mock-up, one set of revisions if necessary, and one final inked drawing. If you have approved the design and I have moved onto your final inked drawing, there will be an additional $50 drawing fee for any additional changes to the final inked drawing if the requested changes require reworking over half of the inked drawing.

Freehand appointments do not include any sketch consultation process, and therefore no $50 opt-in option for a preview sketch.

Do you take cards?

Not at the moment. I can accept money via the cash app Venmo, but I strongly prefer cash.

How do you determine a cost estimate for a tattoo? 

The complexity of line & texture detail, line size/weight, variety of separate elements, placement on the body, and scale of your design influences the amount of time your tattoo will take. In general, fine lines take longer to execute than thick lines, stippling and black fill take longer than just linework, and wrapping placements, as well as placements with multiple muscle/skin transition zones take longer than flatter planes on the body like the forearm or thigh. When writing your proposal, please consider all of these factors to come up with your ideal budget- a number that reflects the sizing, placement, and level of detail you want to see. I do my best to work with and not exceed your specific stated budget.

Do I need to include a numerical "ideal budget" on your Booking form?

Please include your best numerical estimate on this booking form- I want to design a piece for you within your ideal budget range! If you say "whatever makes sense," or "you decide," I may end up creating something way under or over your budget and then we will have to start over! This section on my Booking form is here so that I can design within your range, and determine how to work with you on your concept to have it fit your personal budget.

What if I need to cancel or reschedule?

Shoot me an email about it- I will totally understand! In most cases, I will try to work with you to reschedule if I have room for it.

Your deposit is non-refundable.

I regard your appointment as cancelled if I have tried to contact you with no response the week of your appointment. Expect my follow-up and email confirmation sometime the week of your appointment, and I will be expecting your response as my confirmation from you.

When do I need to arrive for my appointment?

No need to arrive early. Your appointment time is the best time to arrive!

Can I commission you to design a tattoo for me for another artist to tattoo? Can I get a design that you have already tattooed?

Sorry, no. The drawing fee for my work is a special flat rate for clients receiving the tattoo, and the design I create for each client is a custom, original drawing. I have a separate rate for freelance art and illustration, and welcome projects like flyer and album art! To see more of my art and illustration, visit my website and send inquiries to

Do you give booking priority to clients you have already tattooed?

That doesn't sound very fair to me! I accept proposals based upon how interested I am in the content/subject of the tattoo, and based upon my personal & professional schedule for that booking period. To get an idea of what kind of proposals are more likely to get accepted, check out my work and follow me on instagram

Do you do Express Booking (see: allow clients to pay extra to skip the line and reserve a special advance date in my calendar)?

I personally find this to be a problematic practice and never plan to implement an Express Booking option.

Is there anything you won’t tattoo?

I won’t tattoo another tattooer’s work or a tattoo based on an artwork reference (from Pinterest, google, or otherwise) without knowing the artist and having their permission (if living) or being able to credit them for the design. I don’t do human portraits or trees; I just don’t like drawing them, and I’m just not your artist. I won’t tattoo in a cultural art style that is not my own (ie, Japanese style dragons, Thunderbirds, etc…) I am a white person of Norwegian, German, and Scotch-Irish descent, and I view this as cultural appropriation. I also do not tattoo runes or tattoos depicting Norse mythology due to the conflation between this content and fascist imagery.

What kind of ink do you use? Is it vegan?

I use Waverly Bluebird and Waverly Dark Black for my black inks. Both are vegan, and made with powder pigment, distilled water, alcohol, and kosher vegetable glycerin. And made in Baltimore!

How should I care for my tattoo after my appointment?

I will be giving you both verbal and written aftercare instructions after your tattoo (or first session) is complete!  But if you want to get a head start, stock-up on A&D ointment or Aquaphor, liquid antibacterial soap, paper towels, and an unscented moisturizer like Lubriderm (coconut oil works too). For more information and recommendations, click this link.

Do you do guest spots in other cities?

No plans at the moment! Let me know if you think you know a great space for me to tattoo in your city.

To keep track of news & updates regarding my booking and travel plans, follow me on instagram at @v_a_l_l_e_y and sign up for my mailing list.