– Portland, Oregon –
Welcome to the website for Rachel Gilbert, AKA "Inkstress".
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.
Hello and thank you for taking an interest in my work!
Unfortunately I'm not taking on any new requests at this time. I'm currently booked up solid through the next few months, so I'm taking a short break to get caught up. Please periodically check back here and when I'm ready to accept new work I will activate the Consultation Request Form once again! I'm not giving out a specific date when books will reopen, you'll just have to come back and look!
In the meantime, you are welcome to email me with a very brief description of the tattoo you want so that I can determine if I'd be a good fit for you and if it's worth waiting for my books to reopen.
Thanks so much for your patience, I hope to chat again soon!
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.
As of December 2023 I'm changing up my process for taking on new requests.
Previously: My books would be closed until I announce a specific Request Day when interested folks could submit their ideas, and then after that single day they would close again. Most of the time the form would only be available for 15-30 minutes before I reached my quota. I'm attempting to do away with this method and replace it with something less stressful than everyone racing to submit a consultation requst.
New process: If you are interested setting up a consultation for a tattoo, go to my Appointments page. I will be periodically activating my Consultation Request Form and leaving it open for longer periods of time. I'm no longer giving out specific dates/times to submit your requests, you just have to check the page and see!
When the form is down you are still welcome to email me a brief description of the tattoo you want so we can make sure that I'm a good fit for your idea and if it's worth waiting for me to be available. If I feel like I can not accommodate you and I know of a trusted colleague who might be better suited to your project, I'll be happy to point you in their direction.
I work by appointment only and am not available to accept walk-ins. Typically tattoo sessions are scheduled between 10am and 6pm - I do not schedule evening appointments. 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).
My hourly rate is $180/per hour. I happily accept most major US credit/debit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover) and cash is always appreciated but never mandatory!
If I think that your proposed project is intricate or complicated enough that an in-person consultation will be useful, I will schedule an in-person meeting at the studio. If I feel that we can easily arrange all the necessary details via email, I'll do that instead. If we do schedule a meet at the shop the same COVID precautions that apply to tattoo appointments will apply to consultations - see here for information.
Once you've heard back from me after submitting a new project request, the following steps will occur:
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.
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!
The city kind of picks and chooses when they feel like enforcing the 1-hr limit signs in front of the shop on Foster, so it's best to park on one of the side streets like 65th or 66th - as long as you are conscientious about not blocking anyone's driveway your car should be totally fine there all day! You can also park all day in the Plaid Pantry parking lot as long as you are not in one of the spaces directly in front of the store.
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.
Skin is a weird medium, you can do everything right with the healing process and still need a little touch up here or there, it's just how skin is!
Touch ups that are simply due to the natural course of healing (ie not because the client did something ill-advised) are free for up to 1 year after the tattoo is complete. After the first year I charge half my normal price for touch-ups (only $85/hr instead of $180). Just email me and let me know you require a little visit.
There is no specific timetable for when you are "supposed" to get a touch up, it's up your own discretion, everyone is different. Does the tattoo look like it needs it? Then schedule! If it doesn't? Leave it alone!
Per Oregon mandate, masks will no longer be required indoors starting March 11th 2022. While the mask mandate has been lifed I will be continuing to observe a few precautionary rules.
(Updated: 2022.03.11) Per Oregon mandate, masks will no longer be required indoors starting March 11th 2022. This means that you do not have to wear a mask when we tattoo, but you certainly can wear one of you prefer. There are plenty of reasons why you might want to keep masking up, and I'll be perfectly happy to wear one as well if you'd prefer - I don't mind at all. I want you to feel comfortable being in our shop.
I will not be asking for proof of vaccination, but please understand that I would personally prefer it if un-vaccinated clients continued to wear a mask to their appointments.
Still expect to have your temperature taken when you arrive at the shop and we will still ask if you've had any recent symptoms or been in close contact with anyone who tested positive for covid within the last 2 weeks.
You should still reschedule your appointment if you're feeling unwell or exhibiting symptoms of illness - fever, cough, sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, etc. This was actually always a rule, but it took covid for people to start taking it seriously! Artists don't get any paid sick days, so please keep your cold to yourself, thanks!
If you have to cancel last minute (ie under 48 hrs notice) due to illness it will not adversely affect your deposit.
We still want you to come to your appointment alone - the shop is too small to comfortably accommodate extra people. Besides, having companions around is just an unwanted distraction anyway.
If you have any questions about these rules, please email me before your appointment so we can clear up any issues!
Thank you for your continued patience and understanding!
In light of recent rulings I want to promote the idea that everyone has the right to safe, available healthcare. So, for the months of July, August, and September 2022 if you bring proof of a recent donation to either Planned Parenthood, NARAL, or a similar pro-women's health/body-autonomy organization, I will deduct that same amount from your tattoo cost that day.
By "recent" I mean close to your tattoo appointment, like at least within the same month. Offer only good for appointments set through 2022.09.30 - one donation/discount per visit. Each donation is good for one discounted day only. Yes, you can do this when you put down a deposit for a new project. Yes, if you have multiple appointments and make multiple donations you can do this more than once!
In order for your new tattoo to properly heal, I have put together specific aftercare instructions to follow.
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!
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!