What Should You Tipping Your Tattoo Artist?

what should you tipping your tattoo artist

When you get a tattoo, just like any other place where you get a specific service, there are expectations for how you should behave and how much you should tip. For instance, if you are drunk, you won’t get a tattoo. When you get a tattoo, you must credit the tattoo artist for their complex and laborious work.

You “don’t have to tip the tattoo artist who just did a permanent work of art on your body,” but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.

But one should observe the rules of tattoo etiquette, particularly if one wants to develop a bond with your tattoo artist for future projects. It is essential to follow this rule if you want your tattoo to turn out well. Otherwise, you’re just being disrespectful.

Despite this, the regulations for tipping can be somewhat convoluted and typically entail considerations such as how long it took for your tattoo to be finished, where it was put, and how intricate the design was.

Therefore, in the following paragraphs, we will educate you on everything there is to know about tipping, including how much you should tip your tattoo artists and what to do if you aren’t satisfied with the result.

Two Things Regarding Tipping Etiquette That You Must Be Aware Of

Tipping Etiquette
Image Credit: Hero Tattoo

1. Why do customers give gratuities to tattoo artists?

Suppose you want a tattoo done by a professional artist. In that case, you need to be prepared to spend significant money on the procedure. The average cost of a tattoo is several hundred dollars.

The question then becomes: why, on top of all that money, do people feel the need to tip tattoo artists? One of the essential guidelines for tattoo etiquette is to always cover your tattoo when you go outside.

  1. Creating a custom tattoo design requires time, effort, and creativity.
  2. The process of coming up with a design, carrying out all the drafting, laying out the plan, and selecting the color scheme can take many hours.
  3. The tattoo artist is responsible for purchasing the necessary equipment.
  4. They may need to work on your tattoo for a single session or multiple sessions, depending on the size and intricacy of the design they are creating for you.
  5. They are to blame for something that will remain imprinted on your physique for the rest of your life.
  6. Tipping is a way to show someone you appreciate their hard work and skill.
  7. The exchange of gratuities strengthens the relationship between the client and the tattoo artist.

Tipping is customary in all service-oriented professions, including tattooing, and it is intended to show appreciation for the provided service. Tipping makes tattoo artists more dedicated to their work and customers, which is essential given the customized nature of their service.

Even though they are expected to provide satisfactory results regardless of whether or not they get tipped, a demonstration of gratitude is always appreciated. When you leave a tip for a taxi driver or a server, you shouldn’t be questioned about mentioning the tattoo artists.

It is essential to be aware that tattoo artists are not compensated hourly. They get a cut of the money you pay for the finished tattoo as their compensation. This indicates that tips are a significant portion of a tattoo artist’s overall compensation.

Tipping the tattoo artists also helps them buy the tools they need to keep working as professionals in the tattoo industry.

2. How Much Should You Leave as a Gratuity?

The amount of gratuity is determined by several variables, including the following:

  • Whether the design was original or previously used,
  • Regardless of how large or small the tattoo is,
  • Whether the tattoo was completed in a single sitting or over the course of multiple sessions,
  • Regardless of whether the tattoo was complex, complicated or not,
  • Regardless of whether the location of the tattoo is straightforward or intricate on the body,
  • Whether colors and other embellishments, etc., were required for the tattoo

It is customary to leave a gratuity of between 20 and 30 percent on top of the total cost of the tattoo. These are the numbers that are typically presented within the tattoo community as the most frequent amount of a tip. But 20% or 30% is just a number; you should always tip, taking all of the above things into account.

It would be impolite not to tip your tattoo artist or to tip less than 20% while working on a large tattoo in a complicated location on your body that takes numerous long sessions. For example, the tattoo will require several long sessions in this scenario. You must adjust the tipping amounts based on the level of difficulty of the tattoo as well as the artist’s effort in designing and completing the tattoo.

Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals of tipping, let’s have a look at some standard percentages to add on top of the total price of the tattoo:

  • If the cost of the tattoo was $100, you have the option of tipping 20% ($20) or 30% ($30).
  • If the cost of the tattoo is $600, you can list either 20% ($120) or 30% ($180) of that amount.
  • You can list 20% ($200) or 30% ($300) of the total price if the tattoo costs $1,000.
  • If the tattoo cost is $1,500, you can list either 20% (300 dollars) or 30% (450 dollars).
  • If the tattoo cost is $2,000, you can list either 20% (400 dollars) or 30% (600 dollars).
  • If the tattoo cost is $2500, you can list either 20% (500 dollars) or 30% (750 dollars).

You should be able to see where we are headed with these numbers by now; obviously, the tip should increase in proportion to the price of the tattoo. Although it might seem like a lot of money, the recommended gratuity amount is just that much.

Therefore, while determining how much money you will need for a new tattoo, be sure to add an amount for tipping the artist. This will ensure that you are not taken aback later on when you have a tattoo.

Let’s say you’re curious about the minimum and maximum amounts of money considered appropriate for tipping. If this is the case, we recommend that you never go lower than 15% of the total price of the tattoo.

Tattoo Tipping: More FAQs

Tattoo Cost FAQs
Hero Tattoo

1. When Should You Leave a Tip?

It is not appropriate to tip the tattoo artists before the tattoo is completely completed. After all the work for the tattoo is done and you know how much it will cost in total, you should decide how much to tip the artist.

You should never pay for your tattoos with anything other than cash, because tipping is much simpler that way. Additionally, most tattoo parlors do not accept credit card tips, so you will need to carry some money with you.

2. Do You Tip If The Tattoo Is Bad?

If you decide you want the tattoo, the advice given earlier is still relevant. But what do you do if the artist does poorly and the end product does not meet your expectations?

Since the tattoo artist made a mistake in the first place, the only thing you can do for sure is to ask them to rectify and fix the tattoo at no additional cost. You also have the option of not tipping the artist at all.

However, here’s the deal: there are situations when the tattoo artist is not to blame if you end up not liking the finished product of the tattoo. You should still leave a gratuity for the artist, even if you are unhappy with the work as a whole, just in case they

  • Create a design that is uniquely yours.
  • Establish several tattooing appointments.
  • Commit to color, shading, or detailing.
  • It will take you step by step through the entire process of getting a tattoo.
  • help you deal with the discomfort and provide a strategy for dealing with it.
  • Give detailed responses to all of your inquiries.
  • show that they use clean, sterilized tools in their work.
  • Put on gloves before beginning the process.
  • You should be advised on the appropriate aftercare procedure.
  • Make an offer to correct the tattoo at no additional cost.
  • Give the customer an enjoyable experience all around.


3. Do You Tip Even If You’re Trying to Save Money?

If you do not have enough money to tip the artist who did your tattoo, it is typically advised that you do not get one. If you want to act like a fool and get a tattoo but don’t tip the artist when you’re done, then you’re just being impolite. If this is the case, you should do everything in your power to steer clear of that tattoo shop in the future if you ever decide to get another tattoo.


Note that:  Some tattoo artists encourage their customers to tip them according to the current “season.” This means that the customers receive multiple tattoos and, after the process, have accumulated enough money to tip the artist for all the tattoos they have done. This may come in handy if you don’t have the money for the tip right away and you plan on getting other tattoos shortly. But before you choose this option, you should check with your tattoo artists to see if they allow tipping in this way.

4. Do I Have To Always Put Money In The Tip Jar?

However, the reality is that the vast majority of tattoo artists will only take monetary tips. On the other hand, if you cannot afford a bonus of 20%, you can speak with the tattoo artist and explain your position. If you feel that doing so would be too humiliating for you, you may inquire as to whether or not they accept tips in the form of gifts, for instance.

But you shouldn’t try to get out of tipping by using this excuse! Tip the artist if you can, but if you do not have the funds available, you should either try to save up or postpone getting a tattoo until you have the necessary funds.

5. How Else Can I Show Appreciation For The Tattoo Artist?

There are various ways in which one might express gratitude for a job well done. For instance, if you enjoy your tattoo artist’s work, you should snap a picture of it (perhaps of the tattoo artist or the store) and share it on the various social media platforms you use.

You will be able to provide tremendous publicity for the artists and their shops and bring in new customers if you do this. Suppose you have recently gotten a tattoo and are pleased with it. In that case, you should show it off by sharing images of it on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and any others you use.

This will appeal to a broader audience, increasing the tattoo shop’s visibility in online search results. A fantastic amount of exposure from even just one post is possible.

Note: This means thanking the tattoo artist and giving them a tip. It does not mean that you can’t list the tattoo artist.

6. What Other Guidelines Are There to Follow Regarding Tattoo Etiquette?

  • Have a clear idea of what you want, and schedule a meeting with us!
  • Bring in images and references of what you would like the tattoo to look like if you can.
  • Do not ask the artist for professional advice if you have no plans to follow it.
  • If the artist rejects your suggestion or gives you an honest opinion on something, try not to take it personally.
  • Do not try to haggle down the price of the tattoo!
  • Please do not compare the prices of your existing tattoos to those of new ones to demonstrate to the artists that they are pricey.
  • Remember to start your tipping at 20% of the total!
  • Arrive squeaky clean and freshly cleaned for the tattoo appointment.
  • If you aren’t feeling well, skip the tattoo session; the last thing you want to do is spread a virus like COVID-19 or the common cold in the tattoo shop!
  • Tell your tattoo artist if you have a health problem or if you are going to have a baby.
  • Inform your artist if you are under the influence of any drugs or if you are taking any medications!
  • Do not come to a tattoo session intoxicated!
  • Your tattoo appointment is not the place for your children.
  • You should not bring friends to the tattooing session to keep you company, especially when the COVID-19 pandemic occurs.

A Few Parting Thoughts

Tipping is the best method to show appreciation for good work, regardless of the service business. Even if it is not mandatory and is always required, tipping is the best way to show appreciation.

However, because tattoo artists depend primarily on tips for a portion of their revenue, tipping is even more respected in the tattoo industry. It is considered to be an essential component of tattoo etiquette.

Before beginning the tattooing process, you should inform your tattoo artist if there is a possibility that you will not be able to tip or that you will not be able to tilt as much as was anticipated.

We suggest that rather than avoiding or delaying tipping, you put the money you would have spent on not tipping toward getting a tattoo. If you are in a position to leave a tip, a good starting point is 20% of the total, and you can increase it from there.

In some locations, it is appropriate to begin the tipping process at 15%. We strongly recommend that you tip appropriately and maintain a minimum tipping amount of 20%. It is the right thing to do.

It will build the connection between you and the tattoo artist, which will result in the tattoo artist showering you with more affection the next time you go to get one.

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Hi, I'm Kahraman SARIBAL and welcome to herotattoo.net Some individuals find tattoos fascinating, while others can't live without them. Learn more about tattoos and their symbolism/meanings on my blog (Hero Tattoo). I'm a big fan of tattoos, and I want to provide the best advice and information possible in the most interesting way possible.

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