How Much to Tip Tattoo Artists

In Tattoos by Roxanne Adams

Everyone who provides a great service deserves a tip, likewise so do tattoo artists. Tipping tattoo artists have become important in the industry and help build a great relationship. It shows the tattoo artist that you appreciate their art and service.

We have established a guide to tipping your tattoo artist based on the overall quality, size, and work of the tattoo. Read on to find out exactly how much you should be tipping.

What’s the going tipping rate?

Currently, the going tipping rate is anywhere between 15%-30%. This just depends on the overall price and work that has been put into the tattoo. To decide just how much you should tip here is a guideline that can help.

Straightforward – simple tattoos

Some people feel that because they have chosen a simple and easy tattoo they should not tip the artist. This is extremely wrong- you should always tip the artist because he/she has created something unique just for you.

So, if you’ve chosen a simple tattoo that doesn’t require much work here’s how you’ll want to tip. A good rate is anywhere between 20%-25% for smaller tattoos. Smaller tattoos might be cheaper and easier to do as opposed to larger complex tattoos. However, they still require effort and working on smaller areas might not be as easy as you think.

If you’ve just paid $250 for a tattoo then an excellent tip will be around $62-$65.

Detailed tattoos

Detailed tattoos can be challenging to get right. Your tattoo artist will have to try and do his/ her best to try and please you, which is why these tattoos require a higher tipping rate. There are also other factors that play a part, such as how time-consuming it might be.

Therefore, if you’ve chosen a highly complicated and complex tattoo that takes a lot of time then you might want to tip in the 30% region. Reason being, these tattoos not only require a lot of skill but can also require a lot more effort than a simple tattoo.

Another thing to take into consideration is the tattoo artists’ hourly rate. If they already have a high hourly rate then it might be hard to compensate and leave a generous tip. If for instance the tattoo artists hourly rate is $200 an hour and your tattoo takes 6 hours, then you’re already will be paying quite a bit. In these cases, it’s acceptable to give a 20%-25% tip.

  • Tattoo artists’ hourly rate: $200
  • Time taken for tattoo: 6 hours
  • Total excluding tip: $1200
  • Tip: $240- $300
  • Grand total: $1450- $1500

Always budget for tips

Many a time’s people get a shock when adding the tip with the overall price of tattoos. That’s why it’s always a great idea to add a tip to the entire budget of getting a tattoo.

Try going into the tattoo parlor beforehand to get a rough estimate of how much your tattoo will cost. This will allow you to budget accordingly without being surprised when it’s time to pay up. It will also give you some direction of the overall price with a tip, making it easier to budget.

If you’re strapped for cash but love your tattoo

You’ve just gotten your newest tattoo and you absolutely love it, however, you don’t have enough money to tip. This might be a sticky situation, never the less try and show up with a gift for your artist. They most likely will understand and actually appreciate the gesture.

When not to tip tattoo artists

If for any reason you are not happy with your tattoo or service received then you do not have to leave a tip. That being said, don’t nit-pick and try and find an issue, especially if it’s over something small that can be resolved.

When you’re unhappy with the service or tattoo it’s always a good idea to first speak to your tattoo artist. Share your concerns with them and they will try and help assist you as best they can. If they do not assist you well after speaking to them then you really do not have to leave a tip.

Another time you do not have to leave a tip is if you might have found that the parlor had serious hygiene issues. This not only can be dangerous to others but it can have an impact on your health and well-being. Always do some research about both, the tattoo parlor and the tattoo artist. This way you’ll ensure that you do not have any disappointments.