October 3, 2021

How Much to Tip Tattoo Artist

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You should most definitely tip your tattoo artist - but how much? Here's what you should know about tipping etiquette in the tattoo community.

Getting inked is a big commitment. That design will live on your body for the rest of your life. So, you'll want to compensate your tattoo artist for their intricate and time-consuming artwork.

While tipping isn't fully mandatory, it's a big part of any service-based industry, like nail salons, spas, or even getting your pizza delivered.

To avoid any social faux pas at a tattoo studio, use this guide for your next session.

Tattoo Tip Cheat Sheet
  • For a $1,000 tattoo, your tip would be $200 - $300
  • For a $500 tattoo, your tip would be $100 - $150
  • For a $300 tattoo, your tip would be $60 - $90
  • For a $100 tattoo, your tip would be $20 - $30
  • For a full sleeve, your tip would be $400 - $600
  • For a half sleeve, your tip would be $200 - $300

Do you tip tattoo artists 20%?

The standard hospitality rate in the tattoo community is a 20% tip. However, this number is just a baseline. Depending on the intricacy and time involved in your design, some tattoos require more or less work than others. You may tip 20% - 30% for certain tattoos.

Calculate How Much to Tip Tattoo Artist

Here are some factors to consider when calculating your tip:

  • How long the tattoo took to complete (i.e., multiple sessions)
  • If the tattoo is in an inconvenient location
  • How intricate or complicated the tattoo design is
  • How involved your artist was in designing your tattoo
  • How large the tattoo is

How much do you tip for a $1,000 tattoo?

You would tip around $200 - $300 for a $1,000 tattoo. So, the final price you'd expect to pay for the service is $1,200 - $1,300.

How much do you tip for a $500 tattoo?

You would tip around $100 - $150 for a $500 tattoo. So, the final price you'd expect to pay for the service is $600 - $650.

How much do you tip on a $300 tattoo?

You would tip around $60 - $90 for a $300 tattoo. So, the final price you'd expect to pay for the service is $360 - $390.

How much do you tip for a $100 tattoo?

You would tip around $20 - $30 for a $100 tattoo. So, the final price you'd expect to pay for the service is $120 - $130.

How much do you tip a tattoo artist for a half sleeve?

The average cost of a half-sleeve tattoo is $500 - $1,500. So for a $1,000 half-sleeve tattoo, you'd tip $200 - $300. The final price you'd expect to pay for the artwork is $1,200 - $1,300.

How much do you tip a tattoo artist for a full sleeve?

The average price for a full-sleeve tattoo is between $2,000 and $4,000. This complex tattoo service can take over two days for the artist to complete.

For a $2,000 full-sleeve tattoo, you'd tip $400 - $600. You will likely end up paying $2,400 - $2,600 as the final price for the service.

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How much do you tip a tattoo artist per hour?

You generally tip tattoo artists 20% - 30% for the price of the service you're paying for. So a $100 tattoo would include a $20 - $30 tip at the end of the session.

How much do you tip a tattoo artist per session?

You generally tip your tattoo artist 20% - 30% of the price of your design. If your design takes more than one session, you can tip at the end of the final session. The amount you tip depends on the intricacy and time spent on the tattoo artwork.

Bottom line

A tattoo artist will create an artwork that lives forever on your body. It's an important and deeply personal service. You want to wear a design that means a lot to you and you need someone who can execute it exactly as you want it.

For such monumental artwork, you should compensate the artist for their time. Be sure to tip at least 20% at a session - and more if it's an especially complex artwork.

Amber Kong is a content and creative at CreditDonkey, a personal finance comparison and reviews website. Write to Amber Kong at amber.kong@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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