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

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

Many provinces allow individuals under the age of 18 to receive a tattoo with the permission of a parent or guardian. In some regions, tattooing under a certain age, with or without permission, is strictly prohibited.

It’s crucial to recognize that these regulations aim to minimize potential regrets in the future. Our bodies, minds, and preferences undergo rapid changes before reaching full adulthood. Younger individuals with recent tattoos may find that these tattoos distort over time, especially if they are too small or detailed. Additionally, evolving opinions, points of view, and preferences often lead to the desire to cover up tattoos.

While we occasionally agree to proceed with a project involving a minor, this decision rests solely with the artist. It depends on factors such as the nature, shape, details, placement, and meaning of the tattoo to be done on the minor. We only accept such projects if we believe the tattoo is appropriate and will stand the test of time, and we never tattoo individuals under 16 years of age.

If we decide to tattoo a minor, the signing parent is required to stay for the entire duration of the tattoo session, and photo IDs from both the signing parent and the minor are mandatory.

Our shop minimum is currently $120+tx for less than 10 minutes, $150+tx above 10 minutes and under half an hour. These shop minimum prices may fluctuate based on placement and project complexity as some areas are more challenging. Half hour to an hour is full hourly rate.

Our hourly rate is $200+tx.

For our ‘Up-For-Grabs’, we offer a special discounted percentage off the hourly rate or set a price per piece, depending on the chosen design and size. It’s all up to the respective artist, but always a good deal!

A deposit is required to secure your appointment, serving as both a commitment from you and assurance for the artist. This ensures compensation for the time spent on creating your drawing, in case of unexpected cancellations or changes (Cancellation fee). Without a deposit, your appointment is not confirmed, and no artwork is produced.

Deposit amounts vary based on the size, complexity, and nature of your project. The minimum deposit is $80.

Deposits are deducted from the final tattoo cost upon full completion of the project. Due to the reasons mentioned above, they are non-refundable. If you cancel last minute (less than 48h notice), show up more than 20 minutes late, or simply don’t show up, your deposit is considered spent and a new deposit will be required to book again. Once a sketch has been produced, the deposit is then again considered spent for that project. In cases where no design has been initiated, and rescheduling is requested for a later date, the deposit can be held 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 of Bactine. This does not fully numb the tattoo, but it helps alleviate some of the discomfort.
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.
However, it’s important to note that individual experiences may vary, and proper aftercare regardless of the season is crucial for a successful healing process.

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. You can also find our aftercare recommendations at the top of this FAQ list.

Yes you can, but it is very unlikely. If you have followed the advices 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.

Can't find your answer?

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

Help someone you appreciate get the tattoo they dream of !

Checkout our Holiday Special promo