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EXPERT tattoos and piErcing

MODERN ART x CRAFTED WITH LOVE

 

location

204 N. Fifth Street
Mebane, NC, 27302

@thecardinalskinartandgallery

@TheCardinalTattoosAndGallery

919-568-9759

The Cardinal is the premier tattoo studio in North Carolina.  Established by Keron McHugh in 2017 to create art and influence in the small town that he is from, the Cardinal is an ambitious project on 5th street in historic downtown Mebane.

Focusing on quality and modern realism, The Cardinal is in high demand. 

"We know that we will continue to grow because we love what we do and believe in our community."

 
 
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keron mchugh

Keron McHugh is a renowned artist and entrepreneur, as well as the founder of The Cardinal. Keron has years of experience in the tattoo industry and has received notoriety for his work. Keron’s work has been featured in Central City Ink Magazine from Los Angeles, the Jamwhich Magazine from Greensboro, Around the Triangle radio show, and the Hustler Files podcast.

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Rosemary Van Dyke

Rosemary knew from a young age that she wanted to be a tattoo artist. While she always possessed a deep love of traditional tattoo design, she struggled to find her place in the more traditional parts of the tattoo industry until she found her home at The Cardinal. Here, she strives to make a safe, welcoming space for other members of the LGBTQ+ community and anyone else who has felt alienated in their search for body modification. A gentle giant and proud oddity, she channels her background in fine art and voracious appetite for learning into an every improving style of distinct traditional tattoo designs. 

 
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FAQ

 

How do I get to the studio?

See location map above, we are located conveniently right of highway 70 in downtown Mebane, easily accessible from interstate 40/85 as well.

 

How old do I need to be to get a tattoo?

By state law, only adults 18 and over, no exceptions, even with parental consent.

Are walk-ins welcome?

Heck yes, come hang out with us anytime and play games on the big screen or chat with our artists.  If you just pop in you might have to wait a while to be seen, the best way is to call and make an appointment. 919-568-9759

What do you recommend for tattoo aftercare?

Taking care of your tattoo when you leave our studio is just as important as every other part of the process up to this point. Please follow our instructions and never hesitate to contact your artist for clarity or further information. We like to be involved in the process from start to finish until your next tattoo.

Remove the bandage after one to two hours. All wounds need to breathe if they are to heal properly.

Wash the tattoo using a mild antibacterial soap (such as Recovery Aftercare Soap, Dr Bronner’s, or Dial Gold) and warm water. Take care to remove all traces of blood and plasma as this will cause scabbing. Do not scrub the tattoo with a washcloth during the two week healing period. Pat it dry with a clean, soft cloth or paper towel and leave it alone for about 20 minutes, basically until it starts to feel like the skin is a little tight and dry. This allows for excess moisture from the swelling under the skin as well as moisture introduced by washing the tattoo to evaporate out. It's very important to let your tattoo "breathe" like this any time you get it wet before it gets into the peeling stage.

 

Once dry, apply a very thin coat of ointment to the tattoo. We recommend Recovery Tattoo Salve. Only use enough to make it shine, a little goes a long way. Too much ointment traps germs into your new tattoo which can potentially lead to infection. Just a dab will do. Work it in well. Dab off all the excess with a paper towel. There should be just enough to keep the tattoo moist and to keep it from scabbing. Do not re-bandage the tattoo.

Repeat the cycle of washing, drying, and applying ointment to the tattoo about 4-5 times per day for the first 3 days (while the tattoo feels tender).

Ointment can be applied whenever the tattoo is feeling stiff or dry but beware of over-moisturizing. Your body will absorb what it needs where it needs it. Apply ointment twice a day for 4-5 days then switch to a regular *Unscented* moisturizer like Recovery Tattoo Lotion,  or something over the counter such as Eucerin, Lubriderm, Curel, or Jergens. Apply moisturizer twice a day for the remainder of two weeks. Do not use lotions that contain color or fragrance at all until the healing is complete. (Usually anywhere from ten days to two weeks; Possibly longer for slower healers.)

You must keep your tattoo moisturized! When the tattoo is kept moist it doesn't have a chance to form a scab but does form a thin membrane to protect the tattoo while it heals. This layer peels off very similar to a sunburn (do not peel your tattoo, you will pull the ink out!) and it is perfectly normal to see small flakes of colored skin falling off during this stage of healing.
5. NO SUN, NO SWIMMING or SOAKING for 2 weeks.


 

Repeat the cycle of washing, drying, and applying ointment to the tattoo about 4-5 times per day for the first 3 days (while the tattoo feels tender).

4. Ointment can be applied whenever the tattoo is feeling stiff or dry but beware of over-moisturizing. Your body will absorb what it needs where it needs it. Apply ointment twice a day for 4-5 days then switch to a regular *Unscented* moisturizer like Recovery Tattoo Lotion,  or something over the counter such as Eucerin, Lubriderm, Curel, or Jergens. Apply moisturizer twice a day for the remainder of two weeks. Do not use lotions that contain color or fragrance at all until the healing is complete. (Usually anywhere from ten days to two weeks; Possibly longer for slower healers.)

You must keep your tattoo moisturized! When the tattoo is kept moist it doesn't have a chance to form a scab but does form a thin membrane to protect the tattoo while it heals. This layer peels off very similar to a sunburn (do not peel your tattoo, you will pull the ink out!) and it is perfectly normal to see small flakes of colored skin falling off during this stage of healing.

You must keep your tattoo clean! However, long showers or baths must be avoided for 2 weeks. Prolonged soaking can and will loosen scabs if any have formed, or will soak through the soft tissue turning it into a soggy mess and cause your ink to flow down the drain. This includes swimming in the Ocean or a Pool, Hot Tubs, and Saunas. Short showers are best, under ten minutes if possible.


  • Please, please, please refrain from scratching or picking at the tattoo. Scrubbing with a washcloth can be very harsh on a tattoo and will cause your colors to fade. Disrupting the tattoo while it's healing can also cause scar tissue. It is normal for the tattoo to become very itchy during the healing time. Just remember not to pick or scratch no matter what!

 

  • Remember, the sun is BAD for your tattoo! Whether the tattoo is new or old, if you want it to look nice and heal properly, keep it out of the sun. A sunburn on a new tattoo can cause a lot of problems. It will dry out your tattoo and could cause it to form a horrendous scab resulting in fading before it is even healed. It will also take much longer to heal completely and promotes scarring in a new tattoo. Wait until it is fully healed to go back in the sun or a tanning bed and make sure you put on a high quality sunblock. Never put sunblock on a tattoo that is still healing. Wait until it is fully healed before going into the sun.  Our clients that cannot avoid spending lots of time in the sun should us Recovery Tattoo Lotion regularly to hydrate and protect the ink.

Following all of these simple steps will ensure that you end up with the best result with minimal complications and your new art will stay looking bright and beautiful for many years to come.

Do I have to leave a deposit to schedule a tattoo?
 

Yes. The deposit is roughly a quarter of the estimate of your tattoo.

Can I choose which artist does my tattoo?

Only if you make an appointment, walk-ins will get the next available artist

How much do tattoos cost?
 

There is no set price for a tattoo as each one is a unique piece of art.  They vary by size, location and complexity, the best way to find out is to come in for a free estimate. Our shop minimum is $60, and we bill an hourly rate of $150. Because every canvas and every design is unique, it's best to come in and let our artist price your tattoo based on your specific needs