Please feel free to email with any questions you may have.


***Please note that I am currently relocating from Austin Texas to Brooklyn as of March 2018***

Guest spots, upcoming cancellations, and open time slots will be posted through @leslie.karin on Instagram - if you're looking for bookings over April-June, please check there or email for availability.


I do my best to respond to emails within a week, but responses can sometimes take 2-3 weeks depending on current message volume and travel dates. Your patience is deeply appreciated and I look forward to helping!

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tattoo policies

Please take a moment to read through my tattoo policies, in order to answer some common questions and streamline the booking process. If you have any questions, please be sure to let me know and I will be happy to clarify:

- TO BOOK: I book one month at a time, starting in the first week of the previous month. So booking for January will open December 1st-7th, booking for February will open January 1st-7th, and so on. If you email outside of those ranges, I’ll send through an auto-response with instructions on how to book next time around. Generally project proposals are given priority based on how well they fit with the direction my work is currently moving in. This means that if I get a lot of the same requests, or if it’s something that doesn’t fit with the body of my work, I may politely decline that particular project proposal for the month.

- DEPOSITS: To book any time slot, and to allow me to start working on your drawing, all appointments require a $50-300 deposit. Most appointments require a standard $100 deposit, but I can let you know during our email / consultation what your deposit would be, based on your project. This means I cannot put you on the schedule or draw for you without a deposit. Deposits are payable in cash at the shop by appointment, or via PayPal to Deposits come off the total cost of your tattoo at the time of your appointment (like a down payment), but they are strictly non-refundable in the event that you miss your appointment or choose not to get tattooed. If you need to reschedule, simply let me know at least 48-hours in advance at and your deposit will roll over to your rescheduled appointment. Rescheduling without 48-hour notice, or rescheduling two or more times may result in forfeiture of deposit.

- CONSULTATIONS: I am happy to schedule an in-person consultation for your tattoo if you think it would be helpful to best communicate your goals. Consultations are free, 15-minute appointments where you come in with reference photos or ideas and we sit together to make a game plan for your tattoo. Consultations must be scheduled in advance - please reach out at to schedule a time slot.

- TATTOO DRAWINGS: Like most tattooers, I do not email drawings or drafts before your appointment time. Your drawing will be made ready for the time of your appointment, but not before. This is to preserve the security of my copyrighted artwork and so that we can talk more easily about the design in person, instead of by email. I schedule my appointments with plenty of cushion time, so if you ask for changes to your drawing (like the size, content, small details or edits) we will have time to do so at the time of your appointment. Depending on time constraints, asking for two or more re-draws may result in rescheduling, so that neither your drawing nor your tattoo are rushed. If you are coming in for a large-scale tattoo (full back, sleeve, full front, etc.) we will schedule a second consultation to look at preliminary drawings and talk about drafts together. 

- THE DAY OF YOUR APPOINTMENT: One friend is welcome if you feel it’s necessary, but please bring no more. Space is limited and it is best to reduce distractions. Be sure to sleep well, and eat a full meal within 2 hours of coming in. You need your blood sugar to be high for your appointment, so it is also smart to bring high-calorie snacks (like protein bars, juice, etc.). Legally and ethically I must decline clients who have had alcohol before their appointment - please refrain from drinking until after your appointment is over. Please be sure to check your messages and emails before your appointment time - if I am running late or need to reschedule due to health or family emergency I will contact before your appointment time.

I try to confirm appointments a few days in advance, but do not always have time. Please don't rely on a confirmation to remember your appointment time - if you are unsure of the day/time of your appointment, or want to confirm please email me.

- ACCESSIBILITY: Black Iris is a garden-level studio, and entry requires moving down 2 short flights of 3 stairs each. We regularly burn incense, play music at medium volumes, there are regularly about 4-10 people in the shop at any given time, and the studio is brightly lit from a variety of fixtures. If any of these conditions will create a less accessible environment for you, please let me know and we can work together to find a solution. Similarly, if you need or want any accommodations that I haven't listed here, please let me know.

- PAYMENT/TIPPING: Cash only - I cannot process card payments, Paypal, or Venmo. Thank you for your understanding.

It is customary practice to tip your tattooer for their services, like you would tip a restaurant, bartender, or nail salon. While there is no set "rule" for tipping, and anything is appreciated greatly - people most commonly tip between 10-20% for their tattoo session. "But getting tattooed is already expensive?" It is - but remember that out of your tattoo cost, your artist only makes about half that much after paying their shop fees, taxes, and supply costs!

RESCHEDULING: If you need to reschedule - Give me as much notice as possible. Reschedules within 48 hours of your appointment time, or rescheduling the same appointment two or more times, may result in forfeiture of your deposit depending on the circumstances. Please communicate with me to see if we can sort something out. If I need to reschedule - Please bear in mind that I am just one person working for myself, and sometimes need to reschedule appointments for health or family reasons. I know this can be inconvenient or disappointing - understand that I feel the same way! In the event that I need to reschedule an appointment I will give as much notice as possible and fit you back into the schedule as soon as possible. I appreciate your understanding!

- LATE / NO SHOW: If you arrive 15 or more minutes late to your appointment, I reserve the right to reschedule your time slot. If you no call / no show for a consultation, scheduling another consultation will require a deposit for your appointment. No call / no shows or same-day cancellations without fair reason (at my discretion) on the day of your tattoo will result in forfeiture of your deposit. If you think you will run late, PLEASE CALL THE SHOP OR EMAIL TO LET ME KNOW!  If you don't give me a heads up I may think you're not coming at all and leave for the day!  

- PRICE QUOTES/MINIMUMS/BUDGETS: Custom work runs $200/hour,. There is no "average" or "standard" tattoo cost, so all quotes are given directly based on your tattoo and how long it takes to complete. So in order to give an accurate price quote, I need detailed information about the tattoo you have in mind - the size (described in terms of likeness - "palm-sized", "hand-sized", "the length of my forearm", etc.), the style in mind (illustrative, traditional, etc.), the location on your body, and any reference photos you might have been looking at that are similar to the project you have in mind. Once I have a sense of what you're looking to get, I will be able to give you a general time & price range. It is impossible to tell in advance exactly how much time and work your tattoo will take, so a final cost will be decided once we have completed your tattoo. We will never exceed the quote you have been given, without expressly talking about it firsthand.

I keep a $200 / full hour minimum for custom work, so if you are looking to get something very tiny, I recommend saving the idea for when you come in for a larger piece.

If you are working with a set budget, absolutely let me know. If your proposed idea exceeds your budget, we can work together to scale back your idea to meet your budget. This usually means making the proposed idea smaller, or reducing the level of detail in the piece. Within reason, I am almost always able to make a compromise. 

- SLIDING SCALE: I offer need-based sliding scale pricing for all clients who are members of marginalized groups. This includes anyone who identifies as LGBTQ+, is POC, neurodivergent, or disabled folks. Rates will be offered from $80-150/hour based on the kind of project you are asking for, to be determined by both of us in conversation before setting your appointment. This is an honor-based system intended for folks who are otherwise unable to pay my normal rate of $200/hour, so please be realistic about whether or not this option applies to you. Please understand that I offer this while living in one of the most expensive areas of the country (and with significant personal expenses), so I ask that everyone approaches this agreement fairly and with honesty. Lastly, this system is still evolving and I am always open to input. If I can be doing better, or if anything isn't clear, please feel free to let me know.

- TOUCH UPS: Touch-ups are free within one year of the tattoo, and must be scheduled in advance. If you would like to come in for a touch up, please email me directly at with clear photos of your healed tattoo to schedule a time. Any touch-ups scheduled after a year will incur a fee - typically the shop minimum will cover any touch-up work. If due to extenuating circumstances you cannot come in within a year let me know and I will do my best to accommodate.

- RESPECTFULLY DECLINED PROJECTS: As an illustrator and craftsperson, it is at my discretion to decline projects that are not a good fit for me. This does NOT mean that I don't like your idea, or that it's not good - just that I don't feel that I am the right person for the project.

This most commonly includes - tattoos in a style that I do not work in (traditional Japanese tattooing, geometric or mandala designs, Eastern or Hispanic/LatinX spiritual motif, etc.), some coverups, and reworks of old/existing tattoos. If you'd like to schedule a consultation about either, please email at I'm happy to give my best advice even if I am the wrong person for your project.

I also do not offer only-white or white outlined tattooing at this time. The results are so inconsistent from person to person that I do not feel comfortable providing clients with a service that might disappear, change hue, or look like a scar once it has healed.

Similarly at this time I generally do not accept projects to re-create an existing design (drawn by yourself or a family member, images from another illustrator, concept found on Tumblr/Pinterest, etc.), or concepts that I feel fall too far outside the realm of my work & aesthetic. A tattooer's work carries their reputation, so it is important that tattoos I put out into the world are originally drafted and designed in my specific hand and style. Thank you for understanding!

- HANDS/NECKS/FINGERS: With much respect- I generally do not tattoo these areas on strangers. This is mainly due to the societal implications of wearing these tattoos and my personal beliefs on the matter. It is also worth noting that these areas (particularly hands), tend to heal and age less perfectly than other areas of the body. This means that your tattoo will look older and more worn-in, sooner. They are also much more challenging to heal, and are best suited for people who have successfully healed many tattoos on many different areas of their body. For many people this result is disappointing, and so I deeply appreciate your understanding if I choose to decline a proposal for these areas.