Where does Onnie work and how can I get there?

Onnie works at Tattoo Rosie’s in Surry Hills, Sydney, NSW, Australia. It’s a 13 minute walk from Central Station (uphill almost the whole way though!) and there are several paid parking stations in the Surry Hills area. As the studio is in an old town house accessibility is limited, although accommodations are always possible. If you have accessibility questions please reach out to Onnie or Tattoo Rosie’s to work something out!

How can I get an appointment?

Onnie takes bookings every quarter in three month blocks, usually January-March, April-June, July-September and October-December. Books open approximately one month before the beginning of each period and you can email tattoosbyonnie@gmail.com during this time to apply for an appointment. Be sure to include your name, phone number, design ideas, location on the body, a photo of the area you’d like to get tattooed and any budget restrictions to help ensure you get a booking. Places are limited and the more information you can provide the easier it is to book you in and the more likely you are to be selected. If you follow Onnie on Instagram @onnieolearytattoos you’ll be able to see when books open and any projects Onnie is especially keen on doing.

How do I prepare for my appointment?

One week before have a read of your deposit email, as this contains lots of helpful tips and tricks to make your appointment go as smoothly as possible. Visit a pharmacy and ask them for some Fixomull Stretch or other aftercare bandage, some pH neutral soap for cleaning your tattoo and an aftercare balm like Dr. Pickles (make sure whatever you choose that it doesn’t contain petroleum). These bandages make healing as quick and smooth as possible. It’s a good idea to do a little patch test in case you have any allergies or sensitivities to the adhesive. This is rare, but it’s always good to be prepared! If you’re not able to use these your tattoo will be wrapped in Glad Wrap to keep it clean for you overnight.

On the day of your appointment have a shower and a big meal beforehand. Get cash out and bring some lunch for yourself and snacks like sandwiches, bananas or lollies. It can be hard to eat if you have the usual pre-tattoo nervous energy, but it’s very important as it will dramatically lessen the pain of getting tattooed. Low GI foods like whole grain toast, muesli and bananas will help keep your blood sugar regular, for longer and help make pain manageable. Lollies are for during the tattoo to give you a little kick of energy when you get low. You might want to take some paracetamol or ibuprofen an hour before your appointment too, but this isn’t usually necessary.

It’s a good idea to bring your phone with some games or movies on it to keep you distracted during your tattoo. There’s plenty to look at in the studio and it’s always nice to chat, but sometimes it’s helpful to just zone out and listen to a podcast.

Wear comfy clothes that won’t impede access to the spot you’re getting tattooed. You might be asked to take your shirt or pants off if you’re getting a thigh or shoulder tattooed, so it may be a good idea to bring some loose shorts or a tank top too. Clean, cosy socks are a must!

Don’t make any big plans for after your tattoo if you can help it. Getting tattooed, whether it’s big or small, can be an ordeal. It’s rare you’ll feel like dinner with friends or be on your A-game at work afterwards. If you’ve bought all your aftercare supplies you can just go home, order some takeaway, watch a movie or two and let your body recover and heal.

How do I heal my new tattoo?

Treat your new tattoo like the wound that it is! The first couple of days are the most important in healing your tattoo and will dictate how good it will look for the rest of your life.

Leave your bandage in place to allow your tattoo time to heal. Between 12 hours and five days is ideal, depending on how comfortable you find the bandage. With Fixomull Stretch it’s possible to gently wash your tattoo through the bandage with warm soapy water. If you have Glad Wrap on it then take it off before you go to bed and gently wash the gunk from the surface with warm soapy water. You can then pat the tattoo dry with a very clean towel or paper towels and apply a very thin layer of aftercare lotion before reapplying new Glad Wrap for the first night only. Little and often is the key with lotion, if you imagine you’re applying moisturiser to your face this is a good guide for how much to use. Smothering your tattoo in aftercare lotion or washing it more than once or twice a day will make your tattoo take longer to heal. Make sure to wash your hands before touching your tattoo to keep it clean and prevent infection.

Wear loose fitting clothing over your tattoo for the next couple of weeks to allow it to heal smoothly. You can continue to apply aftercare lotion for the rest of your life if you like, it’s always good to keep your skin moisturised.

Vitamins A, E and C are great for your skin and your immune system in general, so you might want to make sure you’re getting enough in your diet along with drinking enough water.

I’m fat. Can I get tattooed?

Yes! There are no reasons why you can’t get tattooed as a fat person and at Tattoo Rosie’s we make every attempt to accomodate anyone who wants to get a tattoo. Onnie’s tattoo bed is rated up to 140kgs so anyone who weighs less than this can comfortably sit or lie while getting tattooed. For anyone else we have very solid chairs and arm rests. You don’t need to lose weight to get tattooed, and there are only a few areas on the body where the skin will stretch dramatically with weight gain or loss which may alter the appearance of your tattoo. These vary from person to person but generally the stomach, underarms and inner thighs are the most prone to stretching or looseness. You can still be tattooed comfortably in these areas, it just requires a little more time and design consideration than other areas like the outer arms, forearms and lower legs where the skin won’t change much.

No preference is given to clients based on weight when taking bookings. Everyone deserves to get cool tattoos!

I’m overseas, can Onnie draw a tattoo for me and have my local artist do it?

No. ︎

When will Onnie be travelling again?

As soon as possible! All travel announcements will be made via Instagram @onnieolearytattoos with all booking information included. Overseas placements are extremely limited, so get in quickly and with all the relevant information (see ‘How can I get an appointment?’) to get a spot.

Does Onnie do commissions?

You’re welcome to submit a request via email at tattoosbyonnie@gmail.com, but due to tattooing Onnie has very limited time for commissions, personal or commercial.