'A healing gift,' JB's Ink Therapy offers scar cover-ups to scalp micropigmentation tattoos (2024)

While getting inked might be a form of self-expression for some people, for others it's a way to heal.

At JB's Ink Therapy not only can you get a portrait of a loved one but you can also get a life-altering tattoo to cover a mastectomy or tummy tuck scar. The family of tattoo artists and spiritual healers are on a mission to share their talents with San Joaquin County.

"Tattooing is therapeutic," said Jeston Barnett, owner of JB's Ink Therapy. "As a tattoo artist, my job is to make you feel better. You want to be able to look at this piece of artwork and say, I feel better than I would have without it," he added.

Making people happy through art

Barnett, who goes by "JB," started tattooing when he was 36, more than 10 years ago. However, his love of art started in childhood.

The Oakland native started drawing in high school and winning contests that put his work in Emeryville City Hall, he said.

Before becoming a working artist, Barnett worked as a carpet cleaner in Maryland. After being laid off, Barnett started hand-drawing celebrities and even participated in art shows, he said.

Eventually his focused shifted to tattooing.

He opened his first tattoo shop in Oakland in 2014.

"It's just like learning how to do anything. You have to learn how to stretch skin and properly insert the needle and make sure things heal correctly," JB said. "I found a love for it as soon as the first person smiled at the work I did."

His Oakland shop was open for about two years, when he decided to relocate to Stockton. He bounced around the city for a few years but in 2019, he decided to move downtown.

Barnett wanted to be near his wife's business — Zen Therapy and Lounge.

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A healing space

The couple married in October 2021 and have a blended family of five children, Ashley Barnett said. She describes her husband as "vibrant, gifted, and emotional."

Since becoming neighbors, JB and Ashley have worked to promote their healing occupations.

JB has tattooed over mastectomy scars with colorful roses centered around the Breast Cancer Awareness pink ribbon. He's also an expert at scalp micro pigmentation. This style of tattooing creates the appearance of short hair and is requested by people experiencing hair loss.

"My goal was to be an affordable higher echelon artist for local people. So one wouldn't have to travel across seas to get great work," JB said. "I wanted to be the one who doesn't have to have fair skin to get great color. I want to be the one that you can come to for those who don't know it's possible to receive a certain style of art."

Nextdoor, Ashley offers her clients an array of services including halotherapy, BioCharger NG, and reiki healing.

Reiki is a type of alternative medicine that uses hand movements to guide positive energy through the body. The practice is used to reduce stress and promote health.

The 36-year-old, Sacramento native says her business is "a healing space."

"It is a huge, huge opportunity to really dig in and find the traumas that keep you from becoming your highest self reaching your peak performance and relaxation," Ashley said.

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It runs in the family

Artistic blood runs in the family, JB said.

His parents were artistic and his oldest daughter, Jasmine Barnett, 19, works in the shop. She started tattooing on her 18th birthday.

"I realized I didn't want to go to college yet," Jasmine said. "I had no idea what I wanted to do. I just knew I wanted it to do art."

Jasmine said she loves working with her family.

"I imagine me being a jack of all trades, but everything has the same sort of feel of my artistic style," Jasmine said. "But I don't want to limit myself to just one career."

Her tattoo prices start at a $100 minimum for anything 30 minutes or less, she said.

"I do want to let people know that I'm here too because there is a specific niche of people who are my age. Usually, girls who like the same kind of things that I do, like a certain style of tattoo," she said. "I don't think they know that there's artists who do that in Stockton."

JB's 14-year-old daughter is also learning how to be a tattoo artist and training under her father, Ashley said.

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Fulfilling work

JB said he prefers to do "high-detail realism" tattooing because it is the most fulfilling work he does.

"On average, my tattoos run about three to four hours," he said. "Most people don't come to me for a name or for a butterfly to become for me for complex."

His tattoo minimum prices start at $200. For scalp micropigmentation prices can range from $1,600 to $6,000, he said.

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He has had clients travel from Germany and New York to be tattooed by him.

"There are plenty of tattoo shops here in Stockton and there's a lot of really very talented artists here in Stockton. But I am a specialist, for sure," JB said. "I'm here, you don't have to travel you don't have to go....I know I can replicate any style of art and compete on a high level."

"I'm not claiming to be the best in the world. I'm just claiming to be pretty darn good and with the capacity to grow," JB added.

Record reporter Angelaydet Rocha covers community news in Stockton and San Joaquin County. She can be reached atarocha@recordnet.comor on Twitter @AngelaydetRocha. To support local news, subscribe to The Stockton Record athttps://www.recordnet.com/subscribenow.

This article originally appeared on The Record: JB's Ink Therapy Stockton

'A healing gift,' JB's Ink Therapy offers scar cover-ups to scalp micropigmentation tattoos (2024)
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