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'Do You Want a Good Tattoo or a Cheap Tattoo?' How Artists Set Prices | Tattoo Artists React



It doesn’t matter where you are in this country, when you buy a can of soda you know it will be roughly $1. Twelve ounces of beverage = a buck, it’s a standard rate. That’s not how tattoos work. The price of a tattoo can vary wildly based on the artist’s style, level of skill, location on the body, the city you’re getting tattooed in and so many other factors. We spoke to our panel of artists about how they came to set their prices and the appropriate way for clients to approach them regarding cost.

At this rate, we’re pumping out seasons of Tattoo Artists React faster than those “Now This Is What I Call Music” psychopaths. This time around, we’ve brought back some of your favorite characters to share their ridiculous stories, per your requests. We also had the chance to sit down with some folks for the very first time. This season you’ll watch us tackle the big questions, tell some silly tales and react to this thing the kids seem to love called TikTok.

Thanks for watching!

#Inked #BadTattoos #TattooArtists

Anthony Christian
Boris Bianchi
Bradley Silver
Dan Czar
Deanna Maffeo
Jesse Levitt
Joey Perez
Kasey Gonzalez
Mike Devries
Nick the Tailor
Nico Perez
Nora Ink
Poch
Pony Lawson
Raphael Barros
Robby Latos
Sara Fabel
Sasha Masiuk
Snuffy
Thom Bulman
Victoria Todd
Woah Kat

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38 Comments

  1. I hate tattoos artist they are narcissistic and take advantage of people I got charged for a neck tattoo $600 and it was horrible and not even complete now I have to find someone to do a touch up, also I spent $300 for 2 names and it’s had nothing special and it wasn’t large very basic so in told $900 I feel stupid

  2. I find it funny how some people will pay a few hundred a month or even a couple thousand on one month rent, but be the same people who throw a fit over a few hundred dollars for a tattoo that will be on there for life. Tattoos are realistically not that expensive and if you want a good tattoo just save like its not that hard people 🤷🏽‍♂️🤣

  3. I am a Brazilian tattoo artist, and 95% of the artist here charge by the piece, not hours. And clients here don't tip the artist, it is what it is.

  4. My artist has a formulary. He asks for reference, a picture of the area to tattoo, an estimate of the size and you have an option to either input a budget or if you're willing to pay for the best possible tattoo. I think it helps both parts understand each other so much better.

  5. 4:23 Do tattoo artists really expect tips when they are charging $250+ per hour? I got a sleeve and tipped my artist after my last session, but are tattoo artists expecting tips after each session when charging that much?

  6. The one guy that said I don't even ask for the price. Not all of us make 350/hr and it takes time and effort on our end to save money and also plan. While I love Pooch, some of the comments I somewhat don't understand. I understand that equipment and things can be expensive but regarding taxes all of these expenses are tax write-offs because you are your own business. When he said you have all of my time, I can't check my phone, I don't see my family, etc. That is the general population as well, most of us work an 8+ hour job, and we are not really able to check our phone, we only have a 20-30min lunch break and some people only have a couple bathroom breaks which is insane.

    I really do appreciate the artist and the art they create, and I actually own some expensive tattoos, but I feel that some of the arguments weren't necessarily fair to the average person.

  7. I think a lot of these comments on price are not taking into acct the caliber of these artists. These are not the type of artists tattooing random walk ins day to day they are the type you should expect a high ass rate and not waste their time asking about prices if you don’t have or aren’t willing to spend more than you would from a lower caliber artist. It does come off assholish but common sense should apply

  8. I don't expect people to buy my paintings without asking the price. I understand they don't want to haggle. I'm just on a fixed income these days and have no credit cards, so I need to know how much I have to save, so I don't spend the time panicking I won't have enough to pay, let alone give a 20% tip, FFS.

  9. The thing that upsets me about the one guy that said "sometimes I didn't even get a quote I just got the tattoo and then paid for it" some of us don't have that luxury some of us need to know how long we need to set funds aside for and how much to set aside so we can get the tattoo of our dreams and unless you are in the tattoo industry or have gotten a lot of tattoos you don't have any frame of reference for how much it will cost. When I ask how much something is I've already gotten to the point where I know I want it, but I need to wait so I can save up for it rather than blow through emergency money for it.

  10. After a consultation the artist should provide a quote. People need to know to budget and to bring enough. However, i know by now my regular artist’s ballpark, so I don’t ask. If i go to someone new i would like to know before we start.

  11. Do you want masterpieces on yourself or just trying to fill a canvas?
    Treat your body like an investment.. it's a temple that deserves respect

  12. I understand the pride in their work, but I have to seriously budget my whole life around an expensive good tattoo, I don’t want to be in debt for a year lol

  13. 4:27 The entitlement, wow. Maybe instead of expecting someone to tip you, someone who probably had to save to come to you, tell them the amount of money you actually want upfront.

  14. What artists need to understand is a) not everyone understands how you price; b) not all artists price the same. Some artists will look at what you want and give you an estimate or even a price. That has mostly been my experience, and I'm glad, because I have gotten estimates that I turned down due to it being outside of my budget. It kept me from wasting both my time and the artist's time. c) Not everyone has the time and/or money to pay for an expensive tattoo, or come to a consultation just to realise that it was a waste of time.

  15. In Australia, all the artists have a set hourly rate. Makes it a lot easier for clients and artists in my opinion.
    Obviously must be a completely different process there.
    Apprentices usually charge less, like $100 AUD an hour, whereas a good artist is $200 an hour.
    They reiterate the detail needed, it's obviously going to take longer so it'll end up being more expensive and the artist doesn't make up a time frame.
    My half sleeve took 12 hours, so that cost me $2,400.
    Of course the artist does all these checks too though, you have to give them pictures and an explanation of what you want. $100 booking fee to cover them if you don't turn up. Look at the size of the area in person etc.
    And the client needs to realise big pieces aren't going to magically happen in one sitting. I preferred 4 hour sessions at a time so my skin wouldn't get overly irritated and gave it time to heal in between sessions. My artist had a 2 month waitlist, so I knew it would be worth the wait and the money.

  16. Also, a lot of people who get tattoos don't realize that tattooers also have to pay for a studio usually, and the tattoo gun, the needles, the tattoo ink, and sterilizing stuff, etc.

  17. I had a guy who try to scam me by saying he charge hourly but doesn’t even give me a range for a simple wording tattoo. He supposed to be doing this for years and yet can’t give me a range of how much?

    It’s ok to ask how much after you give them details of what you want.

  18. I’m only 18 and have 2 tats and spent $600 on both one for $200 and one for $400 and I do understand that the more money u spend the better the work

  19. If you didnt rape customer wallets you would be booked constantly in your own shop with no need to travel.
    Anyone who figures their price by reducing their customer base down to only the wealthy have little interest in art.
    You think a few hours of your time is worth months of my income?

  20. I think the idea of tipping a tattoo artist is egotistical bullshit.

    Even though i am from NZ and we dont do the tipping thing for anything, I am totally behind the idea of tipping wait staff because in my mind, i am paying for the food and drinks and if your wait staff is good then yeah by all means tip them to show your appreciation.

    but a tattoo cost what it cost and the only service the tattooist is giving you is doing the tattoo. its not like they are giving you any other service on the side that you might consider an extra and tip worthy.

    its not as if you would tip them for their high quality work or their consistency, thats what you are paying the higher price for.

    the only possible reason they might have to expect a tip is for them not being a dick to you while they do your tattoo, which is just common decency anyway and how you earn repeat customers.

    so what the hell do they think justifies a tip when they are probably over charging you anyway. not saying some are not worth their price, but maybe not that high a price. just like labeled clothing is just the same quality as cheaper clothing, it just has a name on it.

    they only claim their time and work is worth that much just because they apparently now have a name to sell along with their art work. i still think their work is worth paying for, i just hate the whole artist elitism bullshit in the whole art industry.

    there are plenty of tattoo artist around that have the experience and can produce just as good of art work and tattoo quality that are not trying to sell you a name along with it at a reasonable price, if you are willing to spend the time doing your research to find them.

  21. My artist charges by the hour and does discounts for bigger pieces. All the artists in the shop charge that same price (I think) It’s easy, I love it

  22. I have to ask the price if they want cash. I get direct deposit and I don't have a car. I need to plan for getting cash and know how much to get

  23. Lol shit's spoken like these dudes have never had to make a bill payment in their lives. I know that can't be true, so why tf is there so much elitism? If someone is choosing to spend money on your artwork, in between feeding their kids, keeping the lights on at home, or whatever else is going on you can suck it up, stow the "well I'm an artist so you're lucky to pay whatever I want" bullshit, and keep your cool when the rest of us peasants ask about how much something will be. Nobody's trying to rip you off. Just trying to figure out a budget. Jesus.

  24. Some of the best artist aren't the kost expensive so alot of this vid seems like bullshit. Usually the ppl that don't care about tattooing and just want to make alot of money set very unreasonable prices and they aren't even good artists. Also the guy who said u should always tip 20% deserves a punch in the face to get his ego checked