Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to common questions about our tattoo services at Barnacle Ink. Discover pricing, aftercare tips, and more in our comprehensive FAQs

Most provinces allow a person under the age of 18 to receive a tattoo with permission of a parent or guardian. In others, tattooing under a certain age, with or without permission is prohibited.

Regardless of the law, it is important to understand that these rules are in place to help mitigate future potential regrets. Our body, our mind, and our preferences change rapidly before full adulthood, often resulting in younger tattooed people to have recent tattoos turn into blobs (especially if too small or detailed), or tattoos they want to cover-up because their opinion, point of view, and/or preferences have changed over time.

That being said, we sometimes agree to proceed with a project or another, but that is at the discretion of the artist, and it relies on the nature, shape, details, placement, and meaning of the tattoo to be done on the minor. ONLY if we think the tattoo is appropriate and will last over time do we accept, and never under 16 years of age.
If we agree to tattooing a minor, the signing parent is required to stay for the full length of the tattoo, and photo IDs from both the signing parent and the minor are required.

Our shop minimum is currently $150+tx for under half an hour with appointment.

The hourly rate varies from one artists to the other according to their experience and abilities. Fluctuations might also occur according to placement, as some areas are much more difficult to tattoo.

If you choose one of our Up-For-Grabs, we set the price to a percentage off the hourly rate, or a set price depending on the design chosen.

A deposit is required to secure your appointment. The deposit also serves as a guarantee for the artist that the time spent on your drawing is being compensated for in case you unexpectedly get cold feet and decide not to show up, or if you decide to cancel altogether (Cancellation fee).
That being said, if we do not receive a deposit, your appointment is not booked, and no artwork is produced.

Deposits can vary in cost depending on the size, complexity, and nature of your project. Minimum deposit cost is $8o for project we deem might take an hour and a half or less.

The deposits are deducted off of your tattoo once completed. For the reasons set above, they are otherwise non-refundable. As soon as a sketch has been produced, the deposit is considered spent for that project. In some instance where no design has been initiated, and the appointment is being asked to be rescheduled for a later date, the deposit can be saved for up to 9 months.

As long as you go to a reputable artist that is following all recommended safety precautions, getting a tattoo is perfectly safe. Make sure you’re fully honest about any medical conditions, as it may alter the healing process and possibly bring in complications, which subsequently may alter the final result.

The pain of a tattoo is often likened to a mild burning sensation or a cat scratch. However, the real factor as to how much a tattoo hurts is really down to where you intend to get it, and how much work will be done at once. Any area directly over bone will be particularly sensitive; this includes ribs, feet, hands, head, and pelvis to name a few. Add to this the number of nerve endings in an area and this defines the most painful places. If you are looking for a less painful spot, then you should consider a less sensitive area protected by a large muscle; such as the fore-arm, upper-arm, shoulder, calf and thigh. That being said, everyone’s pain threshold varies, so there are no hard and fast answers to this question.

From the tattooist’s perspective, the creams can cause the skin to harden and bleed, and become a little more puffy than usual in some customers. This means that the tattooist needs to work harder to get the ink into the skin, which can cause additional trauma. This will obviously have some repercussions during the healing process and can create an undesirable amount of scabbing during that time.

We recommend not using numbing cream, and not abusing of pain killers. In some instance, toward the end of a tattoo we might use a bit numbing cream, but -not- if avoidable.
Some tablet pain killers can also cause a problem. Aspirin is the biggest problem as it thins the blood and reduces clotting, this will cause excessive bleeding during your tattoo, which will affect the quality of the finished tattoo. Aspirin will also extend the healing time that your tattoo needs so it is best avoided.

Tattooing is not a quick process, nor should it be rushed as you will be living with the results permanently. We work as fast as we can to ensure the very best results.

An averagely complex piece of work about the size of the back of your hand, usually takes about two to three hours to complete, depending on a few factors. Larger or more complex pieces can take tens of hours, and will require several sittings to complete. A full sleeve (done by any decent artist), could take anything from ten to fifty hours work to complete depending on complexity. Some smaller pieces may only require a thirty minute appointment.

Factors that may affect the time of completion are: size, style and technique, colour or black and grey, amount of details, type of linework, and how well you sit for the tattoo.

Although you can get a tattoo any time of the year, your skin gets a lot more abuse during the summer with swimming, tanning, and just being more often exposed to the elements. Winter time is really the best season to get a tattoo.

The majority of your new tattoo healing process will be done within the first two weeks. However, the skin is still working to heal and rejuvenate and you need to plan on a 4-6 weeks for your skin to be back to its previous state.

All tattoos heal at a different pace. Diet, rest, stress, age, health conditions, and aftercare all have an effect on how quickly your tattoo will heal. Your tattoo will be applied using sterile equipment and sanitary practices. Following your appointment, instructions will be handed to you by the artist for the care of your tattoo. It will be your responsibility to properly care for it thereafter.

Yes you can, but it is very unlikely. If you have followed the advice above and chosen your tattoo studio wisely, then the chances of catching anything are similar to a visit to the dentist. Everything will be either sterilised to medical standards or be disposable single use.

Again, a reputable tattooist will be certified in infection control and have no issues discussing their procedures with you. If they do not want to, or the place looks messy, don’t think twice, just walk away. It is not worth the risk.

Read our article on choosing a design for your new tattoo, click here.

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Barnacle Ink - Tattoo shop Logo. Tattoo shop in Nanaimo, British-columbia. 119 Nicol Street, Nanaimo

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