Portfolio of Work

Studio Location

Rachel is pleased to announce that starting August 2018 she will be working with Jay Eakin at East Side Tattoo - 6514 SE Foster Road, Portland, OR 97206. Located in Southeast Portland, the newly opened shop is part of the ever-changing Foster landscape with several new bars/restaurants/cafes having moved to the neighborhood.

East Side Tattoo - Front
East Side Tattoo - Interior
East Side Tattoo - Interior
East Side Tattoo - Interior

Appointments

I just want to thank everyone who made my big Project Request Day on 7/28/2019 such a success! I look forward to reading through all of your emails and getting back to you about setting up in-person consultations.

If you missed my window to submit your project request, but we have already spoken about your tattoo project, email me anyway and I'll see if I can still accommodate you. If you just missed the window entirely – don’t fret! I will do this all over again in a few months. Until then be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram to hear about my other updates and reminders.

Frequently Asked Questions

I've prepared answers to most of the questions generally asked about the tattoo process. Please click on any of the questions below to view the answer. If there is anything I have not covered, please feel free to email me.

What hours do you typically work?

I work by appointment only and am not available to accept walk-ins. Typically tattoo sessions are scheduled between noon and 6pm - I do not schedule evening appointments but earlier start times are possible upon request. Generally I book appointments Monday-Saturday each week with weekend dates typically reserved for out-of-town clients. Sundays are reserved for my day off (everyone needs some downtime).

How much do you charge per hour?

My hourly rate is $170/per hour. I happily accept most major US credit/debit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover) and cash is always appreciated but never mandatory!

How do I book an appointment with you?

I only open my books for new projects 4-5 times per year, usually about once every 2-3 months. These are the steps that will occur if you are interested in booking a consultation:

  • I announce a specific date for my next big "Request Day" about 3 weeks in advance. Please make sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram for these announcements. I will also update my Appointments page with information regarding what day I will accept new project requests.
  • On the big day you will need to visit this site and fill out the Consultation Request Form on the Appointments page. Include a brief description of the tattoo you want, any relevant photos, and of course your availability. My form will be up for that day only and at the end of the day the form goes away until the next point where I'm accepting new projects.
  • It is not uncommon for me to receive 30-40 project requests on the "Request Day". I will respond to each request in the order it was received to set up an in-person consultation. If you are traveling from out of town, consultations can be arranged via email.
  • Please note that submitting a project request does not guarantee you an appointment. If after reviewing your request I feel I am not the artist for the type of project you've submitted, I will respond and try to provide recommendations for a local artist who may be a better fit for your project.
  • In between official "Request Days" prospective clients are welcome to email me just to check in make sure it’s worth waiting for my next project request day.
What happens at the Consultation?

Once you've heard back from me after submitting a new project request, the following steps will occur:

  • You will come into the studio on the date/time we scheduled for your consultation and we will sit down together to discuss the details of your tattoo project.
  • After reviewing the project details in person we will pick out a date/time for you to return and get to work on your first tattoo session! Please note that depending on my schedule, it could be weeks before the first tattoo appointment. I promise, the wait will be worth it!
  • A deposit is required to officially hold a date for a tattoo session and is typically equal to 1 hour of tattooing.
  • Prior to your tattoo session I will email you a drawing of your tattoo for approval. Any necessary alterations should be discussed/finalized before you come in and we get started.
What do the deposits cover?

Your deposit reserves your appointment dates and will be put towards the final total of your tattoo cost. I will roll over a deposit into your next appointment when your project will require multiple sessions to complete and it be deducted from the final payment at the end of the project.

Deposits are non-refundable - You lose your deposit if you:
A) Are a "no-call no-show" to an appointment.
B) Cancel your tattoo appointment with less than 48 hrs notice without a very good excuse.
C) In the event you are not satisfied with how the design is progressing and you cancel the project before your first tattoo appointment, the deposit is put towards my time to prepare the drawing.

What should I know about my tattoo appointment?

Please show up dressed comfortably with clothing that will allow me to access the area getting the tattoo and try to be as rested and relaxed as possible. Please shower before your appointment and try to avoid strong smelling soaps, perfumes or colognes as we will be working very close to eachother for several hours.

Being excited or nervous is perfectly normal, but please try not to be sleepy, hungry, or hungover. Get some rest, eat some food, bring snacks for later in the day, and feel free to have your normal morning coffee or take something for a headache. Just be ready to hang out for the day!

How do I care for my tattoo?

I will go over thorough instructions in person after your session. We can discuss alternative healing methods if adhesive is a problem for you. Generally I use the products and established methods of SecondSkin™ - please take a look at their website for detailed instructions.

In addition, I've prepared a detailed aftercare instruction page for you to just in case all you have questions afterwards. In the event that your tattoo doesn't look like it's healing correctly or you have any concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Aftercare Instructions

In order for your new tattoo to properly heal, I have put together specific aftercare instructions to follow.

If you are using a clear film bandage

  • The initial bandage (that I apply at your appointment) can remain on for anywhere from just overnight up to 24 hours.
  • The tattoo will natural produce some fluid (mostly plasma, but tinged with all the colors used in the tattoo, which usually mix into brown). Some tattoos produce a lot of fluid – don’t be alarmed! It’s kind of gross, but also kind of cool, and perfectly normal.
  • How long the initial bandage stays on depends on the amount of fluid. Use your own best judgement on when to change the bandage based on your comfort.
  • If the bandage leaks – oops! Sorry. Stains should come out in the wash.

To remove the bandage

  • Get a corner of the bandage peeled up, then slowly and gently use a wet soapy washcloth to help roll the bandage down off the skin (you can use it to separate the skin from the bandage).
  • Wash the tattoo thoroughly to get all the fluid residue off using a plain antibacterial liquid soap (Dial, Dr. Bronners, etc) Pat dry with a clean towel.

Apply the new bandage

  • Peel the paper side off first, then lay the exposed sticky side on the skin, then peel off the plastic side while pressing the remaining bandage down against the skin to gently flatten wrinkles.
  • If you get an air bubble, try to squeeze it out towards the edge of the bandage. If you accidentally pop the air bubble, use a little extra piece of bandage to seal up the hole - you don’t want a hole in your bandage!
  • Leave the bandage on for 4-6 days. Keep showers at a moderate temperature (no excessive heat/steam/sweat as it may affect the adhesive) and keep the tattoo out of the sun as the bandage is not UV protective.

Tattoos get itchy when they heal

Use your own best judgement on when to remove the bandage based on how your tattoo feels. Remove the bandage, clean the tattoo, and use a plain unscented lotion as necessary as the tattoo finishes healing. Some light peeling may occur, don’t pick or scratch at it!

Troubleshooting/warning signs

  • Remove the bandage right away if you notice:
    a) the skin under the bandage is rashy or red/inflamed
    b) if the new bandage fills up with fluid again
    c) if the bandage smells funny.
  • Please email me and tell me what’s going on so I can advise you! I will most likely recommend that you revert to the Old Fashioned healing method using antibiotic cream (see below).

If you are healing the Old Fashioned way (no film)

  • The initial bandage stays on overnight. Up to 24 hours is acceptable if you’re not in a position to change it in a clean place (i.e. traveling). The tattoo will produce some fluid that will be tinged with all the colors used that day – don’t let it alarm you!
  • Remove the bandage and clean the tattoo gently with an antibacterial liquid soap (Dial, Dr. Bronners, etc). The tattoo will be a little sore to the touch like a bruise, but that’s ok, just be sure to clean all the fluid residue away.
  • After the tattoo is cleaned and patted dry with a clean towel – leave it be for a while. If you notice any more clear fluid building up on the surface clean the tattoo again.
  • When the tattoo remains dry on its own and starts to feel a little dry (like typical dry skin) you can start to use an antibiotic cream on it (any brand is fine, just be sure to use cream and not ointment) Treat the cream like lotion and apply small amounts at a time, rubbed in thoroughly so the skin is not damp to the touch. Do this periodically as needed as the tattoo starts to go through the peeling phase of healing. After a couple of days you can switch from the cream to any plain, unscented lotion.
  • When a tattoo is in the middle of the peely phase it can look weird! The skin getting ready to fall off can appear muddy and dark, and the brand new skin beneath can seem shiny and silvery, maybe a little milky. Just be patient with the process!

Rules/Troubleshooting

  • Do not soak the tattoo underwater until all peeliness is gone (showers are fine but no swimming, tubs, etc).
  • Keep your tattoo out of the sun (sunblock is acceptable after the peely phase has passed).
  • Do not pick or scratch at the tattoo – that will pull ink out! A few flecks of color may come off on your hands as you lotion the tattoo, but those bits were ready to come off on their own, no worries.
  • Full healing can take 2-3 weeks, everyone is a little different!

About Rachel

Rachel Gilbert Falkowski

How did this all begin? I started tattooing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin back in 2001 (please note that this was way before all these tattoo-themed TV shows plagued the airwaves). In 2007, I moved to Portland, OR to join a larger, more supportive, and inspiring community of fellow artists - it’s amazing to be able to live and work in a city with artists of such a high caliber!

My passion? Whimsical, light hearted, 3D realism! I love creating pieces of art that are intricate, ornate, and full of vibrant color. My inspiration is often found in nature – plants, flowers, fruits, vegetables (yes, really!), birds, bugs, and I'm especially fond of adorable underwater creatures! I don't mind drawing skulls, as long as I can drape them in pearls and flowers, maybe add an ornate frame and a ladybug or two!

Tired of hiding a bad tattoo? I do lots of full cover-up tattoos and also what I refer to as “tattoo facelifts” (reworking older tattoos and restoring them new glory). Life is too short to walk around with a tattoo that doesn’t make you happy!

When I’m not tattooing, I’m off enjoying live music with my wonderful husband, having adventures in our old VWs, singing a little karaoke with friends, possibly scuba diving, or just hanging around our goofy dog (FYI I will force you to look at painfully adorable photos of her). I also tend to sing while I work, you should know that up front.

I invite you to contact me for a consultation - let’s work together to create something unique and beautiful!