FAQs

Q?

So your services are no charge. How does Ink Release receive its funding?

A.

Ink Release is a donation-funded 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit corporation. The company operates based upon funding provided by grants and individual donations from the general public (which are tax-deductible), mostly from people and groups within Kitsap County. The company receives no funding from tax revenue of any kind, nor does it receive support from any governmental agency.

Q?

How does Ink Release use donated funds?

A.

It's quite simple. All donations are split 50/50 into two separate accounting "buckets". The first half goes to the general operating account, which covers daily operations, including the cost of the actual tattoo removal process at the local partner clinic where the work is done. The second half goes to our equipment savings account, which will pay for the eventual acquisition of our own equipment. When the funding goal of $450,000 is met, Ink Release will transition from a facilitator into a specialized "free-clinic", with all work being done in-house.

Ink Release has no paid employees or staff. All work is strictly volunteer and is performed by our crew without any expectation of compensation or personal benefit.

Q?

Who qualifies for these services?

A.

Although we are based in Kitsap County, we also serve clients from anywhere else in Washington State if they are willing to travel. There are four main qualifying categories that we use to evaluate and process our clients. These are: "Categorically Needy" (lower-income, currently receiving public assistance such as EBT, TANF, etc.), "Gang/Prison Tattoos", "Retired Veterans 65+", and "Work Reduction". Work Reduction people are volunteers who work in our office to virtually "pay for" their tattoo removal service if they don't qualify for any of the other categories. They complete a designated amount of hours doing work that is based on their individual skills.

Q?

How do I apply?

A.

If you are interested in applying for tattoo removal service, please visit our Contacts Page and fill out and submit the Application For Tattoo Removal. We will email you an application packet which will contain requests for information regarding personal contact, tattoo history, some light health questions, and a brief impact statement (no longer than a paragraph) where you explain how this tattoo has been negatively affecting your life lately, and why it needs to go. It will also request an attachment of a face photo (for your file ID), and two good, clear photos of your tattoo, one close-up, and one at a slight distance to confirm it's location on the body. Once your information has been submitted and your case file has been approved, you'll be added to the service queue.

Q?

I would imagine this is a pretty popular service. Is there a waiting list?

A.

Yes, there is. Because we intake our clients' applications on a First-Come-First-Serve basis, there is a waiting list, and it can sometimes grow quite lengthy. We schedule clients for removal service as funding allows, meaning Ink Release has to "pre-fund" each client before treatment can begin. Many aspects of the process cost us actual money, such as equipment maintenance, insurance, technician fees, licensing fees, and many others. After the obvious organizational needs are met, those mainly being keeping the doors open and the lights on, the top priority is funding the next client on the list. However, this means that those who are new additions to the list may have a fairly lengthy wait as their placement rises upward.

Q?

Is there a way to bypass the waiting list?

A.

There are two ways, actually. The first is to become a volunteer with us in our office and spend some time helping with our fund-raising efforts. It's a lot of fun, you occasionally get to meet celebrities, and there's even a work-from-home component. For more information about volunteering with us, see our Volunteer area.

The second way to bypass the waiting list is to start a personal GoFundMe campaign. These are really fun and super easy to set up and monitor. We'll help you set it up, or you can just start it yourself by going to the GoFundMe website, setting up a new campaign for yourself, and selecting Ink Release from their list of certified charities. We'll tell you your target amount based on the size of your tattoo. In general, it costs us about $500 for a small tattoo, $1000 for a standard size tattoo (about the size of a deck of cards), $1500 for a larger tattoo, and $2000 for a very large, such as a sleeve. You simply set the amount as your target, expose your campaign to the world through your social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, or email, and you're on your way. Here's an example of what a campaign page looks like. Whenever anyone donates to your campaign, they will receive a receipt which can be used as a tax deduction, and Ink Release will receive the donation with your name attached. You can monitor your progress, and when your campaign reaches its target amount, it is finished and your work is done. You will be moved off of the waiting list and put into active scheduling. These campaigns usually fund themselves pretty quickly once they are exposed to the world. Lots of people donating $5 or $10 or $20 can add up pretty fast. That's the beauty of the crowd-funding model.

Q?

How Does the Tattoo Removal Process Work?

A.

There are two great videos that explain how the process works. The first video explains how the laser shatters the ink droplets beneath the skin surface, which then allows the body to flush them away. The second video shows the laser in action and explains how different wavelengths are used for treating different ink colors.

Q?

Does tattoo removal hurt?

A.

While it's probably not anyone's favorite experience in the world, it's certainly tolerable, and is certainly less painful than having the tattoo put on! Each pulse of the laser produces a "snap", similar to a rubber band snapping your skin at medium pressure. As you would imagine, this is not a big problem for arms and legs, but as you move closer to the face, it's a bit more jarring. One good thing is that, unlike the surprising static snap of your hand on a doorknob, in this case there is no surprise. When you're expecting it, it's much more tolerable. For facial tattoos, your technician will go forward in several short sessions of 15-20 seconds each, pausing for a moment in between each session so you can re-brace yourself for the next one. A good technique to use during the pulsing is to purse your lips together and breathe in your nose, and then out your mouth, and remember that the entire treatment session only lasts a few minutes anyway. However, the best advice is to just suck-it-up and take it like a viking. You Can Do It !

Q?

What areas of the body does Ink Release work on?

A.

Our service covers the removal of VISIBLE tattoos that are creating an obstacle to employment or self-advancement just by their presence. These areas include the face and head, neck, hands, and other visible areas. Please see the Male Chart or the Female Chart for areas of coverage. Due to differences in men's vs. women's workplace fashions, the women's clothing reveals generally more visible skin than the men's, thereby leading to a wider range of serviceable area. And don't worry, if your tattoo trails into a non-covered zone, we'll still take care of it. We won't leave you with a cut-off dragon tail or partial flower vine.

Q?

You have a separate volunteer program. What’s that about?

A.

Separate from our "Work Reduction" group who are doing volunteer work to virtually "pay for" their tattoo removal service, our main Volunteer Program consists of students and other individuals who are working purely as volunteers to gain experience in an office environment, either to satisfy a class requirement, or to gain some current experience for their résumé, or as part of a Back-To-Work transition program. Our volunteers are the foundation of our community outreach efforts, and are crucial to the success of our mission. We strive at all times to provide a stimulating and engaging working environment that is both fun and rewarding to each volunteer, in the hope that they will each carry with them some enhanced skills, and also some good memories of the time they spent serving with us.