We understand that booking a tattoo appointment can be an exciting but sometimes overwhelming process, so we’ve compiled a list of commonly asked questions to guide you through the process and ensure a seamless experience.

You can make an enquiry by filling in our contact form, or send us an email directly to info@thedarkessence.com

Please include as much info about your idea as possible, such as:

  • reference images
  • size and position on body
  • artist (or if you would like us to choose one for you)
  • style
  • your availability


We will then get back to you to discuss the options. We can set up a free consultation if necessary, or book you straight in depending on the design.

Every booking requires a deposit. No deposit – No booking.

Deposits are non-refundable.
The deposit will come off the total at the very end of the tattoo.

We require a minimum of 72 hours to reschedule any appointment. Anything after this time will forfeit the deposit.

For our full booking policy,  Check out our booking policy

You will need:

  • a current ID (passport or drivers license)
  • a bank card or cash to pay for your session (atm on site)
  • comfortable black clothes that don’t restrict the area to be tattooed
  • a full stomach – make sure you eat a good breakfast and bring lots of snacks and sugary drinks
  • 1 and 4 hour parking spaces are available in front of store. Please be aware that these can change into tow-away zones so read the signage carefully.
  • 2 hour parking spaces are available on Baker Street
  • Public car park located 250m west along Victoria Street. Rates are from $3
  • Tram: 12, 78 and 109 trams stop on the corner of Victoria Street and Church Street which is just a few metres from the studio
  • Train: The nearest station is North Richmond which is approximately 1km west down Victoria Street

Not at all, we accept walk-ins 7 days a week. However we do recommend booking an appointment to avoid disappointment if there isn’t an artist available.

Our deposits are non-refundable if you decide to cancel your appointment.

Ground Floor, 300 Victoria Street, Richmond VIC 3121 

Of course! Every design we do is custom, as we don’t copy any other artist’s work (without permission).

Absolutely! All of our artists work different days, just get in touch with us to check their availability, particularly as weekends tend to book out faster.

Make sure you read through our booking policy before booking in and leaving your deposit!


We strive to provide transparent pricing and ensure that each customer receives a fair and upfront quote for their desired tattoo.

All tattoo bookings are paid directly to artists by either cash or bank transfer. We do accept card for merch, aftercare or giftcard purchases. Fees apply.

Most of our artists charge by hour, but will charge a discounted rate for full or half days. Some of our artists have their own designs which they may price differently.

Yes, you can choose any amount and pick up from the studio, or we can mail it out to you by registered post for no extra cost.

Our vouchers are valid with any of our artists and are valid for 12 months. Free postage with tracking or pick it up in the studio!

Buy online or at The Dark Essence Tattoo Gallery

Our artist’s minimum price for a tattoo is 1 hour. This is because even though the actual tattoo may take much less than an hour, there is still a lot of time involved to draw, stencil, set up, pack down etc. 

However, for a tiny tattoo smaller than a 5c piece, our artist’s charge just $120.

Each artist is different based on skill level and time tattooing. They also charge a capped rate for a full day.


If have questions about care, retouching, design, equipment and more. We’ve compiled a list of the questions to provide you with reliable and informative answers that will help you make the most of your tattoo experience.

Each artist works slightly differently, but most artists prefer to discuss the design in a face-to-face consultation either before the tattoo or on the day. Our artists don’t send out designs beforehand for copyright reasons but will be happy to sit and discuss until you are 100% happy with the artwork!

We will go through the aftercare procedures with you after your tattoo and give you a chance to ask any questions you may have. 

If you would like detailed information, you can find it on the aftercare page.

Call or email us any time if you have any questions or concerns.

It depends case to case. Send us an email and include some clear photos of your existing tattoo and some ideas of what you would like to cover it with. Not every idea is possible with cover-ups, but we can take a look and figure out what might work for you.

Yes, we do free touch ups on tattoos that are under 6 months old. It will need to be at least 3 weeks old before re-touching to ensure it is fully healed. We do not offer free touch ups if the tattoo was not looked after correctly or for tattoos on fingers, side of hands, inner lips and feet as these areas are always prone to falling out.

No, it is illegal in Victoria to tattoo anyone under the age of 18. No exceptions.

Yes, we use all vegan friendly inks.

Yes, we use very strict hygiene practises. For each client, all equipment is sterile and used only for that client. This includes the use of medical grade Metrix Needle Cartridges for each tattoo.

You should not be tattooed if:

  • you have any medical condition which might affect the healing of the tattoo. This could include a broken bone, recovery from illness or surgery, etc. If you are unsure, please speak to us and your doctor before making a booking.
  • you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • you have any skin conditions, rashes or are sunburnt in the area.
  • you are under 18 years of age.

While we won’t say it doesn’t hurt, it’s not the most painful sensation. We do our best to make you as comfortable as possible and help you get into the zone!

We do, however we don’t do these tattoos as first tattoos and we also will warn you for the potential for drop-outs/fading on hands/fingers/feet/lips. Those areas are highly likely to fade or become patchy within the healing process (first couple of weeks) and we do not offer free touch ups for this reason.

Unfortunately not! The reason for this is because your immune system is weakened and many medications are not able to be taken.

Again, unfortunately not. While this is up to the discretion of each artist, as a studio we do not recommend getting tattooed while your body is healing from something else. At the end of the day, a tattoo is not a necessity and there is an increased risk of infection if your body is not ready.

This also is at the discretion of each artist. 

While we know that it can be daunting to commit to a full session without pain relief, there are some things to consider.

The main reasons that artists may advise against using numbing cream are that it changes the texture of the skin, making tattooing more difficult and can affect the outcome. It can also make healing more difficult, some suggest even increasing risks of infection. Lastly, the cream only works for a short amount of time. This means that if you have a larger session, it will wear off well before you are halfway through. Once the numbing wears off, the pain is much more difficult to bear than if you were to be tattooed without it. If you are unable to sit through the session due to this, you would still be required to pay in full. 

Please let us know in advance if you are wanting to use numbing cream so that we can ask your artist. If you are going to use it, be sure to apply well before your session and come into the studio with it on. Numbing cream takes quite a while to work on the skin and we won’t be able to push back your session to wait for it. 

First Timer

If you’re thinking about getting your first tattoo, you probably have a lot of questions about the process. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Some people describe it as feeling like a cat is scratching you over and over again. While it’s not the most intense pain you’ll ever experience, it can be uncomfortable – especially when your artist uses multiple needles for shading. Typically, this sensation is more noticeable in areas that are not bony or ultra-sensitive. But don’t worry, we’ll do everything we can to make you feel as comfortable as possible during your tattoo session. Just sit back, relax, and let us work our magic!


– get dehydrated or hungover (make sure you’re drinking plenty of water!)

– come in hungry (have a big dinner the night before and breakfast morning of)

– shave the area (we wil do this for you. You can trim if the area is really hairy but avoid shaving as it can cause irritation)

– take asprin or any other blood-thinning medication within 24 hours 

If you’re feeling a bit uneasy, we recommend bringing a buddy along with you. Having a friend who’s been tattooed before (and had a great experience!) can be a huge help. Not only will they be able to offer support and encouragement, but they can also walk you through the process as it’s happening. Trust us, having someone to talk to and share the experience with can work wonders. So, grab a friend and let’s make this a memorable experience together!
If you have a longer session, they may want to come with you just for the beginning. Our studio space can get very crowded on busy days, so for this reason we only allow yourself and your artist in the tattoo area, but your companion is more than welcome to wait at the front with our friendly receptionist and bottomless tea/coffee!