15, 20, Or 25% — How Much Do You Tip A Tattoo Artist?

How much to tip tattoo artist
Have you asked yourself how much you should tip a tattoo artist? We know the answer even if you do not like your tattoo.

As for every service, you can tip your tattoo artist. It shows your gratitude and, for sure, makes the artist happier. Of course, it is your decision, whether you want to tip the master or not. Many people do not know how much they should tip and what if this amount is bigger than they have expected. In this article, we will tell you why it is advisable to tip and answer all your questions.

Why should I tip a tattoo artist?

Tattooers pay a lot of their attention to every client and try to find a personal approach to everyone. Especially if you ask to make a custom design. In this case, artists spend a lot of time drawing the design, searching for references, matching colors, and sometimes redoing all these steps. They are ready to hear and perceive all your wishes.

The second reason is that tattooers do not receive all the money that customers pay them. Up to 70% of the money received goes to pay rent, shop bills, salary for managers and to buy supplies. Also, do not forget about taxes that are quite high.

Your tips will not only financially help your artist, but they will also show your gratitude. Some tattoo designs require multiple sessions, it will be great to say artists “thank you” by tipping them. Show them that you are impressed with their work.

Note
If you want a complicated tattoo, tip a bit your artist after each session so that you and the tattooer are more likely to become friends. Thus, the artist will be more willing to take up the tattoo and put more effort into it.

Find a tattoo artist

Use the search form below to find an artist by their name, location, or style of work.

Use the interactive USA map below to open a new page with all tattoo artists from a certain city or state. Hover on the state to see a hint, do the same with a marker to read the explanation on following steps.

How much should I tip?

Of course, there is no limit. You can pay as much as you want and think is appropriate. But it is unethical to tip tattooers a few dollars as their service usually costs hundreds of dollars. It is generally accepted to tip 15-20% of total price to your tattoo artist. It means that from a $250 tattoo, you will tip $37.5-50. But not all people can afford to tip the same tips from a $2000 tattoo because tips are here up to $400. In this case, you can tip around 10% or $200.

Some customers do not like to do the math and calculate percentages. They usually just tip $100 regardless of the amount.

There are tattoos that require more than one session. For example, if you want to get sleeves, you will need multiple sessions. A range of designs requires even several months or a year to be completed. As usual, it is your own decision to tip or not but in general tips after each session are appreciated. You can pay as usual 15-20% or a flat amount of money for each session. If you do not have such an opportunity, you can discuss it with the artist, they will understand.

 

How else can I show my appreciation?

There are some other ways to show your appreciation. Usually, they are used in addition to tipping but sometimes you can use them separately.

  • Tag your artist on social media, add a photo and express your feelings. May it be a word of the mouth but an honest review.
  • Leave a five-star review if you like it.
  • Some artists accept gifts instead of tips. It is a new trend, so it is better to ask your tattooer. You can also present something if your friend gives you a tattoo. But it is not appropriate to offer barter (some of your services to pay for a tattoo).

What if I do not like a tattoo?

First of all, say it to your artist during or immediately after the procedure so that your tattoo can be corrected. No one wants their customers to go out with a bad design that is why the tattooer will not negotiate to add something else to the design. It is your decision whether to tip or not but if the second design is better than the previous one, it is better to leave a tip.

You cannot tip with peace of mind in 2 cases:

  1. When you really do not like the design and the artist does not want to correct it.
  2. A tattooer was rude to you. It is like in a restaurant: we will not tip waiters if there is a problem with the service or rude to us.

In other cases, your artist does not expect tips but will be glad to get them.

Summary

Tips have never been obligated. Only you decide when and how much to tip. But as getting a tattoo is a service that requires a lot of effort on the part of the tattoo artist, they usually do not expect but will be glad to get tips. Usually, customers leave 15-20% of the tattoo price. However, if you cannot afford that amount, you can leave a 10% tip. Some customers do not like calculating and just tip $100 regardless of the amount. This is out of proportion with big tattoos, for which you pay more than $1000.

You can also tag your artist on social media, leave a comment or present a gift. In two cases you may not tip: when the artist does not want to correct the design which you do not like and when a tattooer was rude to you.

FAQ

💵 How much do you tip tattoo artists?

It is generally accepted to tip 15-20% to your tattoo artist. It means that from a $250 tattoo, you will tip $37.5-50.

🎁 Can I present a gift to a tattoo artist?

Yes, you can present a gift for a tattoo artist instead of tips. But it is better to clarify this information with your tattooer.

💲 How much do you tip for a $500 tattoo?

It depends on the percentage that you are ready to pay. The average percent of tips to a tattoo artist is 15-20%. So, for a $500 tattoo, you can tip $75-100.

💸 Do you tip your tattoo artist after each session?

Yes, it is better to tip your tattoo artist after each session. You can pay as usual 15-20% or a flat amount of money for each session. If you do not have such an opportunity, you can discuss it with the artist, they will understand.

😈 Is it rude not to tip your tattoo artist?

No, it is your choice. Tips have never been obligated and artists usually do not expect but will be glad to get tips. You can show your gratitude to the tattooer by tipping.

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Mark Arago

Founder of Ink-Match,
CEO of the Foundation for the Rights of People with Body Modifications

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