I hear it all the time, “tattoos shouldn’t cost that much!” “this other artist charges only $xxx an hour” or the famous “I have a friend who can do it for cheaper”.
In this day and age, quality tattoos are becoming highly sought after. We live in the generation where tattooing has emerged from the underground taboo, and into the spotlight! So why are people happy to spend $200 to over $1000 on a pair of jeans, but choke at the idea of spending the same amount on a meaningful tattoo that will be with you for a lifetime? Simply put, its all part of a large misunderstanding. Interested? Keep reading!
When modern tattooing started in America, it was quite a bit different. It was very niche, and primitive by today’s standards. Technology was limited, tattoos were looked down upon, and it definitely was not a very profitable business compared to other careers of the age. Therefore tattoos were cheap, there were little to no regulations, and health risks were a huge concern. Oftentimes, you were rushed in and out of the shop with little consideration to your preferences of how the design would look. Customizations were more often than not turned away!
Fast forward to now, technology and widespread acceptance has brought the art of tattooing to an entirely new level. So where does the massive discrepancy in understanding the cost of tattooing come from? First and foremost, tattoo shops are now HIGHLY regulated medical businesses that must exceed countless health standards, pay fees, licensing etc. In addition to that, the equipment itself has become exponentially more expensive. I’m talking inflation going from $50, to exceeding $800 for a SINGLE tattoo machine. I personally have 6 machines that I use regularly, and these do need to be serviced and replaced from time to time.
I know what you’re thinking, so if as a tattoo artist we all have to follow the same regulations and buy similar equipment, why do some artists charge as low as $75 an hour and some charge upwards of $400 an hour? It’s all about what they offer, their specific process, and their ability to meet demand. Someone such as myself who only offers custom designs needs to put a lot more time and effort into each tattoo. Most days I will only have enough time to see one, maybe two clients, whereas someone doing ‘flash’ tattoos can see upwards of 5 clients a day. That means that on a given day, if I were to charge the same amount as that other artist, I would make only 1/5th of what they would make. That is a HUGE difference, to the point of not being even close to a live-able wage!
There is no right or wrong way to get tattooed, there is only what you want and what’s is important to you. Every artist is going to tattoo differently, and offer different emphasis on differing parts of the tattoo process. It is important to consider value first, and what they offer, when looking for an artist. Find someone you trust first, and save up for the tattoo if necessary. Remember, it’s permanent! There is no easy erase for tattoos, and removal costs more than even the most expensive tattoos! Do it right the first time!
So with all of that information, why do the majority of my clients come solely to me for all their tattoo work?
- I never compromise on your safety, and will always prioritize sanitation.
- All tattoos are custom made to your exacting specifications, and I will work with you for as long as it takes to make it absolutely perfect!
- I emphasize composition in my tattoos, working in synergy with your unique body to create a piece that flows naturally, instead of looking ‘forced’.
- I will always make sure you are informed throughout the process, so you can make educated decisions on all aspects involved in your tattoo. Open and honest!
- Comfort; tattooing can be a very vulnerable process for new and veteran tattoo collectors alike. I always aim to provide a safe, discreet, and comfortable environment, as well as to listen to, and accommodate each individuals needs.
- I encourage my clients to be as involved in the process as they please; from complete immersion to completely removed and anything in between!
- I am constantly learning, improving, and trying my best to provide a better experience for my clients. The work is never over. I love what I do, and I want you to love your tattoo!
I’m currently charging a rate of $100 an hour. Interested in booking an appointment, or inquiring about a quote? Check out my booking page here!