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How Much Do Tattoos Cost?

The Cost of Getting a Tattoo

Getting inked isn’t cheap, but just how much do tattoos cost? The price can vary quite a bit based on size, detail, artist skill level, and other factors. Here’s a breakdown of what goes into the cost of getting tattooed.

Size Matters

The larger and more detailed a tattoo design is, the higher the cost. Tiny finger tattoos can start at $50 or less, while a full sleeve can cost $2,000 or more. As a general guideline for sizing:

  • Small tattoos (hand, wrist, finger): $50-$250
  • Medium tattoos (forearm, ankle, shoulder): $200-$1,000
  • Large tattoos (full sleeve, back piece, chest): $800-$4,000+

Of course, this can vary based on the specific tattoo. Complex designs require more time and skill to ink. If you’re interested in knowing more about the cost of small tattoos, check out our article on how much a small tattoo costs.

It’s An Artist Thing

Just like other art, talent costs money. Renowned tattoo artists with years of experience and lots of demand can charge upwards of $200 per hour. Less experienced artists tend to cost $100 per hour or less.

Apprentice tattoo artists who are still building skills and portfolio will offer big discounts, like $50 per hour, but may not give the best results. Do your research to find a skilled artist whose work style you like. For more tips on how to prepare for a tattoo, check out our article on preparing for a tattoo.

The Where And How

Tattoo costs vary by location. Studios in major cities like LA, New York and Miami often set higher rates since rents are steep. However, don’t assume small-town tattoo studios are always cheaper either. Traveling tattoo artists working conventions or guest spots may offer special rates too.

Unusual tattoo styles requiring specialty equipment, like white ink or watercolor tattoos, will boost costs a bit higher as well compared to classic black line work.

Choose Wisely

While it’s tempting to focus on price while tattoo shopping, it’s important not to sacrifice quality workmanship to save money. Tattoos are for life, so make sure you’ve researched the studio, read reviews, checked portfolios, and are confident in the artist’s abilities. Quality tattoo work is worth paying a bit extra for.

Tipping Is Key

Once all is said, done and paid for, be sure to tip your tattoo artist! The standard tattoo tip amount is 20%, sometimes a bit more for bigger or complex pieces. Artists rely on tips since they don’t usually get benefits. For top notch work, show your appreciation through tipping.

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