How Much Should You Pay for Your Tattoo?

Prices for tattoos might be a little perplexing at times. Every artist will charge differently: some will price by the hour, while others charge by the piece. So, how much will your tattoo set you back? Let’s take a closer look at all of the criteria that go into determining the pricing of a tattoo from your preferred artist.

The Tattoo Artist

When it comes to tattoo rates, the tattoo artist will be the most important aspect. Doesn’t that seem painfully obvious? Well, there’s more to it than the artist’s whims; it also depends on the artist’s skill and experience.

You will likely not have to pay as much if your tattoo artist is fresh out of their apprenticeship instead of, say, a grizzled vet with 15+ years of experience tattooing. Now, just because a tattoo artist has been tattooing for a long period does not indicate that he or she is better than a newer/less expensive tattoo artist.

According to Bill Johnson, most professional tattoo artists charge an hourly cost of $75 to 150 dollars, executive office director of the Alliance of Professional Tattooists.

Some more skilled artists may charge you a set fee based on an estimate of how long it will take to execute the tattoo you’ve requested.

The majority of tattoo artists will charge a set fee for a tattoo. They do this to avoid wasting money on a tattoo that takes only 20-30 minutes to complete. Tattoo artists must not only pay the shop where they work 40-60% of what they charge you for the tattoo, but they must also pay for their materials, which may rapidly mount up.

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Where Do You Want the Tattoo to Be Placed?

Somebody areas are simpler to tattoo, while others, such as the lower back, are more difficult. For more problematic regions, some tattoo artists will charge extra. This is something to consider while choosing a tattoo design.

The Location Affects Tattoo Prices

The placement of your tattoo also has a significant impact on the cost of your tattoo. It closely resembles how a tattoo artist’s overall income is affected by their geographic location.

If you get inked in a one-horse town in Wisconsin, your tattoo will cost more than if you get tattooed in a higher-end, urban city.

The Tattoo Shop

A tattoo shop’s reputation will influence how much a tattoo artist will charge you. For example, if you were to get a tattoo at High Voltage (Kat Von D’s Tattoo Studio), you’d spend far more than you would in a typical studio.

Tipping a Tattoo Artist

One of the rare vocations where gratuities are expected is that of a tattoo artist. This tip should be at least 15% of the tattoo’s cost, but if the tattoo artist performed a good job, it should be closer to 20% to 25% of the tattoo’s cost. When determining how much of a tattoo you can afford, this should be taken into consideration.

What You Pay For Is What You Get!

Suppose you are getting a cheap tattoo from an artist who doesn’t have professional training and is just tattooing on their couch. In that case, chances are you’re not going to get the quality of tattoo that you would from a professional tattoo artist in a studio.

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This isn’t always the case, and you shouldn’t anticipate a high-quality tattoo simply because you paid extra to have it done in a tattoo shop.

Always request a portfolio from a tattoo artist!

So How Much Will My Tattoo Cost?

The cost of a tattoo is determined by the talent and experience of the tattoo artist, the location of the tattoo shop, and the reputation of the business. Don’t forget to provide the tattoo artist’s tip as well!

It’s usually a good idea to take your desired design to a few different tattoo artists and establishments. However, please don’t choose a tattoo artist only based on the price they quote you.

Before making an informed decision on something that will be on your body for the rest of your life, do your homework and check over your tattoo artist’s portfolio.