Recommended Posts

This one's for artists and collectors alike. What's the longest you've ever sat for a tattoo and (for artists) the longest you've ever worked on a client?

I've had several 5-hour sessions, which is kinda pushing it, but once, I sat for 9 hours. Without a break. Overnight. File under never again. The worst part is that I didn't really plan for a long session--it just ended up taking forever.

I'm sure some of you have some crazy stories, possibly involving Shige, Filip Leu, and/or Chris Trevino. :)

For the record, the last 4 tattoos I got took under 3 hours, combined. Much more fun!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I flew into NYC to get my sleeve worked on. I got there at 6 am, started tattooing at 6pm, stopped at about 3am. Got back on a plane the next day at 1 pm. I will never do that again.

I have done a couple 5-6 hr sessions.

I have flown into SD gotten tattooed for 4 hours, then flew home early the next day. That is about as much as I can handle now, 4 hours seems to be my limit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That is about as much as I can handle now, 4 hours seems to be my limit.

Yeah, I'm cool for the first 3.5, but then I would really like a cold beer. We'll see how long I'm "cool" for on my rib sessions next month, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Six hours on my arm, and about four on my ribs. Not the in same day, but those are my two longest sessions. The guy on the cover of the Gods and Warriors, Chris Trevino, book would come down to Austin and sit for eight hours a day five or six days in a row. He would lay there getting his ribs done and talk to you like nothing was happening, and he is probably twenty years older than me. I have never seen anyone sit like that before or since.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me it was my second session with Shane O'Neill. I drove from CT to PA on a Thurs. afternoon and stayed overnight at a hotel. The next day we did the 8 hour session to finish the tattoo which ended around 7pm. Obviously it was a long day with few breaks and little to eat and my back was throbbing from being tattooed and leaning over a chair all day. Unfortunately I had to get home that night so immediately after the session he wrapped me tight and I had to drive the 4 1/2 hours back home with a fresh tattoo and sore back. I think it was worth it though and it just adds to the whole tattoo experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I only have the two so far, and both took about 4 hours. To be fair, the first would have been done quicker but my artist was not liking the feel of the needles she was getting out of a new shipment, so she took a couple breaks to change them until she found one she liked. The second was a solid 4 hours of work.

Either way, I don't see me going much past 4 hours...after 3.5 is when it starts to really get to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The longest I have tattooed is one that started at 11:30 pm and ended at 9 in the morning. Every time I'd start a line, the girl would jump off the stool and start screaming. And crying, and blubbering, and freaking out. The tattoo was a pretty huge coverup, and the payoff was so good that I just kept at it. I probably could have finished the tattoo in a few hours tops, but she moved and jiggled so much it took forever. When she first started freaking out, I told her she would have to come back another time when she could sit still, but she was a long distance truck driver and was going to be driving away the next day and never coming back or whatever. So we had to finish it that day/night/morning. Did I mention I was working a double shift, and had been at the shop since noon, tattooing all day? It was pretty awesome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The older I get, the less I can sit.

A few years ago, Bill Salmon told me that I should get all the tattoos I want as soon as possible. He said that the older you get, the more it hurts and the longer it takes to heal. Mr. Salmon knows a helluva lot more than I do about these things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A few years ago, Bill Salmon told me that I should get all the tattoos I want as soon as possible. He said that the older you get, the more it hurts and the longer it takes to heal. Mr. Salmon knows a helluva lot more than I do about these things.

I must agree wholeheartedly. The longest I've sat was 4 hours for the backs of my arms by Juan Puente. That was about 10 years ago. I've slowly gotten less and less tolerant over the years, but also, the majority of tattoos I've gotten are done in 3 hours or less. Now Scott Sylvia is working on my back and I keep teasing him that we are going to finish it 15 mins at a time. Truthfully I can only hang for about 2, maybe 2.5 hours tops these days. I used to love getting tattooed, now I fucking hate getting tattooed, but I still love having them so I suck it up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The older I get, the less I can sit. I'm also 100% convinced that Restless Leg Syndrome is a real thing and I have it.

My wife's leg twitches a lot when shes getting inked

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My wife's leg twitches a lot when shes getting inked

That's interesting, my leg cramped when I was getting work done on my chest. It was really uncomfortable, the artist said it was likely nerve related.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A few years ago, Bill Salmon told me that I should get all the tattoos I want as soon as possible. He said that the older you get, the more it hurts and the longer it takes to heal. Mr. Salmon knows a helluva lot more than I do about these things.

I sat through a four hour session recently I didn't think it was too bad, mind you afterwards was pretty tender (upper arm) and it healed within the week. I'm 55 years old.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do believe that it actually does hurt more not necessarily as we get older, but with each tattoo that we get.

It's my theory ( I don't know what truth there is to it) when you experience any pain your response should be to remove yourself from what is causing it--- so when you get your first tattoo and it hurts - and you don't remove yourself from whatever is causing the pain - then the next time, the body says-- well, let's make it hurt a little more --- so that you'll withdraw yourself from the pain. The body doesn't understand that you are voluntarily submitting to what's causing the pain.

My 2 cents

The longest session I've sat for was 8 hours at a convention

Trevor Mcstay did my sleeve over a 4 year period,

What with talking and bathroom breaks- I don't know exactly how long-- but that's what I paid for ha ha!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike Wilson outlined and shaded a backpiece on me when we were both whippersnappers. He did just over 12 hours for the first sitting. By the end of it his wrist/hands were as swollen as my skin. That was 16+ years ago... the most I can sit for now is five or six hours, and that's begrudgingly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The longest I've sat was about 8 hours. I've also done a 7 hour session where I could have gone longer, but my budget ran out!

The longest I've tattooed is a killer 12 hour session, followed by a quick nap before I opened up the shop again. I was younger back then... Not that I had more stamina, I just tattooed a lot slower!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Second tattoo I ever got was about 4.5 hours on ribs, started around 10:30 at night got done bout 2:30, two hour drive back to school, had class at 8 so said fuck sleep went to all my classes then went out partying, ended up gettin no sleep for like 50 hours.. 2 days later I was so sick I couldnt even get out of bed.. College is such a great learning experience

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've sat for any where from 15 mins up to 6 and a half hours.. which that last one absolutely sucked. The 15 min one was just to finish the outline on my chest piece, and the 6.5 hour one was for my leg, which was the worse, my artist kept waking me up to have me either roll over or move my leg.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've generally booked full days and travelled over to London to get work done. So I've done a few full days (and two days back to back), but those wouldn't be unbroken... it'd be 3-3.5 hours in the morning, then a half hour break for lunch, and then maybe the same again. I think the longest I sat for unbroken is probably only around the 4 hour mark, which is fine with me - I like a break for coffee and sugar!

This September I'm booked in for 2 days with Ching from East Tattoo in Taiwan, since they're visiting Ireland. Plan is to start a back piece in the time allocated. I think that could be a situation where they'll tattoo as long as I can physically manage to sit for. I'd like to get a very good chunk done since they're coming around the world to do a guest spot ... but we'll see :/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Four hours on my thigh one day, than another 4 hours on the same piece the very next day. They day after the second session, every time I got up from a sitting position, I literally had to wait about ten seconds for the painful swelling sensation to subside enough for me to walk. The rapid influx of blood really made it throb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.