Good tattoos ain’t cheap, and cheap tattoos ain’t good!
This is a well-known saying in the tattoo industry because it’s true. If you go to a custom design studio, be prepared to spend money. The artists will likely require a minimum deposit before even starting a design. As far as pricing, it can vary. There are a lot of variables that go into the price of a custom tattoo. The artist will price your design based on the size of the piece or may charge hourly per sitting for larger pieces. The hourly rate may also vary depending on the experience and skill of the artist. These custom artists draw every tattoo design, and this design process takes time.
If you go to a street shop, you’ll usually pay less for a tattoo since they’re not spending a lot of time on design work. You choose a pre-made, pre-priced, mass-produced piece of flash, and they do it. You’re done. As for quality, it can vary; so again, do your research. There are plenty of great tattooers out there who only want to do flash and do it well. On the flip side, there are hacks (we call them scratchers) out there who have no business tattooing and don’t care about your health or safety, but will gladly take your money and give you a cheap tattoo and a bonus blood-borne pathogen!
For those of you out there thinking about getting a tattoo, here are some things to keep in mind:
DON’T HAGGLE. Once an artist has set a price, your options are to either take it or leave it. Haggling is disrespectful and won’t do you any good. It will just insult the artist. It’s not wise to piss off the person who’s about to put needles to your skin. When considering how much you want to spend on a tattoo, you should also consider how much you value yourself. Your tattoo will become part of you, literally. It makes a statement to others about who you are. What will your tattoo say about you? Are you an art collector or a bargain shopper? You decide.