Call Tribe Tattoo Glasgow 0141 337 1940 or Call Tribe Tattoo Edinburgh 0131 622 7220

Tattoo Info/ Tattoo Aftercare/ Vegan Tattoos : Tattoo Studio Glasgow & Tattoo Studio Edinburgh

Popular tattoo styles and who to ask for

Japanese tattoos

Japan has a long and rich tradition of tattooing, with recurring themes like dragons, koi, samurai, geishas and of course flowers like cherry blossoms and peonies. If you look into the symbolism of each of these designs, you will find something that speaks to you, as they are often representative of human archetypes or struggles. The koi swimming upstream for instance, is symbolic of the struggle of humans to attain wisdom and to overcome obstacles.

Japanese tattooing focusses on covering large areas of the body, like a whole arm or back, and less on small, individual pieces.

Morag is our japanese tattoo specialist 

Blackwork, Celtic, Polynesian tattoos, Maori tattoos, mandala tattoos

These styles are drawn from indigenous art from cultures around the world, and are usually in black ink only, although splashes of colour can be quite interesting when added here and there. They are abstract and often made up of repetitive shapes that make up their own patterns and textures. These pieces look best if done a good size to really let the patterns emerge and can be rendered in lines and dots.

Raffaella is our queen of blackwork. Her freehand work is amazing, she tailors every piece to the wearer’s shape.

Illustrative tattoos

This is a large category and includes big and small pieces, colour and black and grey, or just black linework. Usually, these pieces are highly individual and are custom drawn for the client. Nothing is too big or small, too ‘out there’ or too dark for our two artists who specialise in this style, Nik, and Brunella.

Watercolour tattoo

A fairly new style that imitates the effects of watercolour on paper, with delicate colours that blend together or drip out of the lines for an artistic effect. Most things can be rendered in a watercolour style, if the concept isn’t too complex, and if enough space is given to really let the loose line work and colour splashes shine. It’s a nice way to introduce a bit of lively linework and artistic flair to a tattoo design.

Best artists for this style are Morag, Erik and Simon

Script tattoos and lettering

Tattoos that are just decorative lettering have emerged out of the Latino/Chicano culture of California and have evolved into proper works of art in their own right. The words are sometimes not immediately legible, adding to their mystique and beauty.

Our tattoo lettering specialist is Fraser

Trash Polka tattoo

A new way of designing tattoos that take inspiration from graffiti, technical drawings, realism and script, and chuck them all together in an anarchistic way, splashed across the body in a seemingly random way. These pieces can be completely customised to reflect the wearer’s interests/ likes/fears- anything goes!

Artists to ask for are Nik and Tim

Realistic tattoos

These categories include colour and black and grey portraits, and images like flowers, animals and even comic book art sometimes

Artists who specialise in this are Simon and Morag

Of course, your tattoo idea doesn’t have to fall into any of these categories, just chat with the receptionist, email or facebook your thoughts and we can take it from there

how do I go about finding a design/ getting a custom piece designed up?

Good old google is a great place to start looking for designs but so is artwork and fabrics.

If you are looking for japanese inspiration -

Mandala ideas -

black and grey -

Next contact your local tribe studio - Glasgow or Edinburgh either by phone, email or by popping in.

Bring/email any reference images and let us know the size, placement, colour choices and anything else relevant to the tattoo.

From all that we can organise either a free consultation with the most suitable tribe artistd

Tribe Tattoo & Piercing Glasgow

1 Bank St, Glasgow, G12 8JQ

Tribe Tattoo & Piercing Edinburgh

30 West Nicolson St, Edinburgh, EH8 9DD

Tattoo aftercare..

* remove the dressing after at least one hour and wash the tattoo with mild soap and warm water.

*pat dry with a clean towel or kitchen roll.

*once the tattoo has dried completely (15mins) apply a thin layer of aftercare cream. Recommended Vegan tattoo aftercare is Ultrabalm from Lush or hustle butter (available online). continue to apply a thin layer of cream 3 times a day until healing is complete.

*after  a few days the tattoo will form a scab. Do NOT pick it off  as this will result in pale patches in your tattoo.

*your tattoo will go through various stages during the healing process, from raised and scabby and then pale looking. DO NOT PANIC. This is perfectly normal and should not be interfered with. Be gentle to the skin, do not apply harsh creams and do not scratch. Always wash your hands before touching your healing tattoo.

*keep the tattoo out of the sun as much as possible for the first 3 weeks and after that, it is advisable to apply sunblock when sunbathing.

*avoid soaking the tattoo in water until it is healed(showers are fine) - avoid saunas until it is healed.

*the healing process will take between 7 and 10 days, possibly longer if you have large areas of solid colour.

if you have and questions or problems contact us .. glasgow tattoo  or edinburgh tattoo

Vegan Tattoos

all our products are vegan
but if you can't come to our studio or visit an artist elsewhere, here's what you need to know...

Some products used during the tattooing process might not be vegan. The three things to watch out for are the inks, transfer paper(to get the stencil on) and the aftercare products. Here is a guide to help you get a vegan tattoo.


most coloured tattoo inks contain glycerin, which is a byproduct of the soap industry. Soap can be made from tallow(animal product) or vegetable oil, so the ink manufacturer needs to know which source their glycerin comes from to determine whether their ink is vegan or not. Here is a list of some of the tattoo pigment brands who have stated that their inks are vegan .....

Dermaglo      SkinCandy   Fusion  Intenze  Eternal  Solid  Silverback  Starbrite  Sumo  Alla Prima

you could ask your tattooist if these are inks he or she uses, or try to buy some of your own to bring with you. Just remember that most tattooists prefer certain brands and that most tattoo suppliers only sell to registered artists. You might need to work with your tattooist on that one.


The main aftercare product recommended by tattooists is bepanthen, which unfortunately is not vegan as it contains lanolin. We have had good results with ultrabalm from lush, and there are other products on the market which cater specifically or incidentally to vegans . we dont endorse any specifically,, its down to personal taste.


RAZORS - some razors contain a soapy strip, which may or may not be vegan. Generally, these are not used in tattooing but you can check with your tattooist.

PETROLEUM JELLY - rumours have been circulating on the internet that petroleum jelly is filtered through bone char. after extensive searching, we have not been able to confirm this. writing to vaseline about this resulted in an email from them stating that no animal products are used in the manufacture of vaseline.

UNETHICAL COMPANIES - some products from companies who test on animals can be used in tattooing. even if these products are vegan., some customers and/or artists may object to their use. these include dettol or vaseline but alternatives are available.


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