If you’re at this point in your decision-making, you most likely have decided to get a tattoo on your body. You are curious about how much an artist would quote you for such a design you have in mind simply because you have to stay on-budget. But let it be known to you that tattoos are unsurprisingly expensive, even the smaller ones.
The principle on the pricing is quite simple; if you want a quality tattoo that you can be proud of wearing over the course of your lifetime, you must then avoid worrying about spending a good amount of fortune for that one-great-tattoo. After all, what you should be after is high quality that you can only get from an esteemed and experienced tattoo artist. Hence, expect to be quoted with a princely sum.
If you can’t afford it, do not get a tattoo. But if you really are serious about it, read on to learn more. This article will help you make a sound decision before getting your first tattoo (most likely).
If you want a quote, you must set your expectations first by knowing how much an average tattoo artist would charge you based on the quality of his works, referrals received, years of experience, and location (cost of living concerns).
Payscale estimated that the national average salary of tattoo artists in the US is $32,111 per annum. Amateur tattooist can get $19,527 while the most experienced ones receive $210,701 annually.
However while tattooing can be a lucrative job, some individuals who have over two decades of experience eventually move on to a different job after.
A tattooist’s rate is largely affected by the abovementioned factors, so you have to flexible in your budget. You have to these factors into consideration so you can understand where they are coming from and how did they arrive to such a price.
It is also important to keep in mind that the tattooist sets the rate here. They will likely charge you per hour instead of per design (i.e. color, detail and size). But this will actually depend on the artist so you have to clarify with him or her about the exact pricing terms and conditions. Get a free consultation regarding your quote concerns and clear out any issue before getting the deal done.
As mentioned earlier, tattoo artists will charge either using the by the hour fee or flat rate fee scheme. A significant number of artists would charge on an hourly basis, especially for gigs that require multiple sessions. In the US, the rate ranges from $50 to $250 per hour.
In terms of flat fee scheme, the pricing is determined by your chosen design that originally came from that studio. It’s a pre-designed art that you’ll be seeing on the walls of the studio so the artist has set a specific pricing for it. Of course, custom made designs also require a specific quotation.
The prices for both pre-designed and custom made tattoos will vary depending on its size, color, and design. Obviously, the larger the size of the tattoo is the more expensive it will be. It is simply because the artist will take longer hours to ink you completely. As for the design, you can decide on which parts of the flash tattoo that you may want to add some more details to or omit some parts. Therefore, these adjustments can affect the pricing, too.
Lastly, if your flash tattoo has simpler color and shade, it will cost you less than the same design with several colors. So, it is advisable to keep in mind that the number of colors will also dictate the price of your tattoo.
By definition, “shop minimums” is the price that covers the basic expenses of an entire tattoo gig regardless of the size, color and detail that you want. This basically includes the tattooing equipment, sterile work areas, certifications, studio rent and insurance, galleries, etc.
No wonder you’d be surprised to know that a tattoo artist may charge you $75 for a very small tattoo because of these other expenses. And do not think of this as the tattooist’s way of taking advantage of you. You wouldn’t want to risk your health for a cheaper and unsterilized tattoo studio, would you?
It is recommended to prepare your own tattoo or search for that design that captures your interest. A tattoo is permanent so make sure that you can make the best out of it once it’s there. Although you will always have the option to remove it but it will be costlier, and you simply don’t want to spend sums of cash over and over again.
Plus, you wouldn’t be able to explain to your tattooist clearly about the design that you want to have if you don’t know much about it. You would want to make sure that the artist gets it and that he should be able to deliver great results. Therefore, cooperation between the two of you is very important.
You can ask your artist about designs that he can recommend to you. And then, begin prepping up the quote and your budget.
After you’ve chosen your tattoo artist, make sure to show up during the scheduled personal consultation. This is an important step before finalizing a decision, especially to see if the price quoted to you is worth it. By visiting the studio, you’d be able to see the cleanliness and safety in the artist’s equipment, environment and other work areas.
Your appointment will also give you some extra time to decide whether to begin the inking with that artist or not. You can also ask him or her to show to you the tools that will be used for the inking and take that opportunity to check if they’re safe for use.
You must familiarize yourself with the details that involve the setting up of a work station. These details include the brand new latex gloves, tattoo ink, needles, among other equipment that make up the so-called autoclave. And if you found yourself happy about the presentation so far, then you should go for it.
You may get a bit paranoid about the health risks that come along with getting inked. The tip is to place the tattoo in an area that you can clean easily. It’s important to maintain your body’s best hygienic conditions to avoid any skin problems.
You should also know that unsterilized needles may give you diseases like AIDS, hepatitis C, leprosy and tetanus. So paying a visit to the artist’s studio before accepting any quotation is strongly recommended. Do not also forget about your allergies in tattoo ink or any other materials that may cause an allergic reaction.