Berlin Tattoos
studio and location

I work in a private studio space with two rooms on Lək̓ʷəŋən (Lekwungen) land, on Fell Street in the Oak Bay area. If you are driving, on-street parking is available nearby. I will provide you with the address of the studio by email after you are booked.

The studio spaces are shared with my three other studiomates. We tattoo on separate schedules and the rooms are single-station rooms, so there will be no space overlap with others when you are booked.

studio accessibility

the space: The studio is located on the main floor of an old, commercially zoned character building. There are residents in the upper and lower suites, and the other commercial office on our floor is shared with another professional. The shared waiting room is located up a flight of 8 stairs off the sidewalk with railings on either side. There is a motor-powered wheel chair lift to the right of the staircase if needed. There are no stairs inside the waiting room or studio space, and there is a railing to the left of the toilet in the toilet. The washroom is private for single use; it does not have hand supports. There is a back porch that is for artist and client use and accessible through the studio, with a small bump on the sliding glass door to navigate on your way out.

Note that I normally use a massage table on four legs for clients to lay down or sit on (it can rise up to an angle), but if that doesn’t feel comfortable for you I can usually provide you some alternate options, like sitting on a chair or sitting on the table with your back against the wall.

other considerations: I do not use or wear strong scents in the space, but we use green soap and cavicide disinfectant, which do have a strong smell. You are welcome to bring your own sensory-coping tools: use earplugs or listen to music etc. Your guide or service animal is welcome. If you require medical accompaniment for your appointment, please let me know so I can expect another person. 

pricing, generally

customs: I charge a drawing fee for customs at $60, in addition to the hourly tattooing rate.

touch ups: touch-ups on my work are free.

payment: on the day of your booking, please bring cash (preferred). E-transfer or PayPal is available as a backup option.

hourly rate: the ‘time’ starts when we actually start tattooing. Sometimes it takes time to get stencils right, and often can take a couple times to get it right, so don’t feel time pressure as that part of the process isn’t part of the time charged. 

pricing, specific

My rates (hourly and hourly community rate) are on a sliding scale of $50 - $200 hourly, with an hour minimum for tattoos.

It is a self-selecting system and you do not need to explain or let me know the rate you choose: I trust that people understand their own circumstances and reality and can participate in choosing a fair and realistic rate for themselves.

I understand that not knowing how much something might cost ahead of time can be a deterrent: if you know you have a max budget, please share it with me in your booking form. My practice is able to accommodate case-by-case requests. For example, I’m able to chat overall budget and time estimates for a piece ahead of time, or agree to payment over time.

  • hourly rate: sliding scale $160 - 200

  • hourly community rate: sliding scale at $50 - 150 for marginalized community members. Some prompts to think about to welcome you to pay in this area: QTBIPOC, precariously/under employed or housed, on welfare/disability. Black and/or Indigenous clients always welcome to this rate. These prompts have been adapted and shortened from a longer source via Constellation Tattoo Collective’s site here, which I am sharing with permission for reference. I want people to feel really good about picking community rate if fits, and I want you to know that people use it regularly. I also know that this can still be out of reach for some, so if that’s the case, just let me know if you have a maximum budget for a piece or want to propose a skill or goods trade instead.

materials

I use vegan ink (Kuro Sumi), in case that is something you need to know.

On request, I use zensa topical cream (5% lidocaine) for numbing, applied about 40 mins before we begin your tattoo, and can spray on bactine during the tattoo to upkeep the effect. Please let me know if you’d like this option just so we can plan the timing of application of the cream. You’re welcome to use your own as well, but please let me know that you plan on applying it so we can coordinate timing.

deposits

I don’t take deposits when working locally at my own studio. I only take deposits if I am guesting in another studio. However, my expectations (which deposits usually cover) are covered by my cancellations section below.

experience notes

I have taken Health Canada’s Blood Borne Pathogen certificate course. My studiomates and I apply standardized sanitation practices to maintain a high quality of cleanliness and biohazard management in the studio space.

I have a fair bit of experience tattooing on skin with stretch marks, and across clients in a broad age range. I have some experience tattooing over and alongside scarring, on area-specific nerve damage, and doing ‘blastover’ work, going through an older tattoo. I have more limited experience tattooing more melanated skin; I would like to tattoo more variety of skin tones and have been fortunate to have a feedback loop (getting to see pieces healed by photos/in person as well as fresh) on some of my pieces that were done for clients with dark skin, so I have confidence within my more limited experience that my work has healed well. I have a gentle application style and am aware of when to schedule second sessions so as not to overwork skin, in instances where peoples’ skin may react more quickly/sensitively in a session or may be more prone to scarring or reaction hives. I always prefer to go really gentle and see how a client likes the healed effect before building up. Please be in touch if you have more specific questions about my experience; I am careful and confident in doing work for anybody who is keen on my style. 

playing

with colour: I will consider single-colour ink instead of black on request, and have a number of colours to consider, but do not typically design work with colour, so you have to request this specifically. it is always fun when it is requested! 

with sizes: After your design is chosen or drafted, at your request, I can provide you with a “prep sheet” of sizes that I am able to tattoo in and around the size you’ve indicated so you can play to see what works ahead of your session. I no longer do this automatically - please ask if you’d like it!

cancellations

If I draw you a custom design (and even with any revisions required), you just decide not to get tattooed, or if you change the subject matter substantially on a custom piece, I charge a $50 cancellation fee. I also retain copyright and ability to offer the custom piece to others in the future. Locally, I don’t charge a cancellation fee for flash designs; just let me know if you are cancelling as soon as you know so I can know what my schedule looks like.

For rescheduling, if something comes up at any point, please let me know so I can try and fill the spot or be able to plan my own time around it. You don’t need to explain or give the reason, just let me know you’d like to reschedule and suggest when would work for you. I may need to bump a rescheduled booking to the next month depending on where my booking process is at.

boundaries

you must be over 18. I won’t tattoo pregnant people or people with heomophilia or other blood-thinning conditions.

I don’t tattoo feet or hands or the upper inner thin skin under the arm close to the armpit. I don’t tattoo text. 

I do not give permission for people to bring my designs to other tattoo artists, as inspiration or as a proposed design. However, sometimes I do custom work on request for people far away when the idea of drawing it excites me and is outside my own style or design practice. Don’t use my work in any way without first asking me.

I will not create flash designs which contain imagery or symbols not from my own cultural background. If you have an object or visual reference which does have specific cultural significance to you, and you feel that I am the artist to do this for you, I will consider this on a case by case basis. An example where this case-by-case consideration comes to mind are plants with cultural importance, objects, an item of clothing, or a specific fish. I want to name the possibility of me saying no to designs, as I sometimes am not the appropriate person to draw a design, even if it fully belongs to you/your culture.


© Meagan Berlin or images as credited