Tattoo Tipping: Figuring Out How Much to Tip on Your Ink

Getting a tattoo is an investment in yourself. So, when it comes time to tip your tattoo artist, you don't want to mess around. But how much should you tip? Should you base your gratuity on the size and complexity of the design or just go with a flat rate? Relax my friend! We got you covered! Here are some guidelines that will help ease any indecision regarding tipping.

Tattoo Tipping: Figuring Out How Much to Tip on Your Ink

Let’s talk ink!

When getting ink done reminds one of the first principle - cleanliness is next to godliness. Tattoos can’t be taken lightly because they’re not only permanent but also have serious health risks associated with them such as infections, rashes, redness etc..This being said, while walking out from that parlor doorstep imagining about showing off that masterpiece at parties; remember, tattoo artists also deserve recognition for their hard work...and probably survived through all those smelly feet!

Factors that determine how much should I tip?

Determining how much to tip a tattoo artist depends upon several factors ranging from expertise level (first-timer) every other skillful art he possesses under his belt (all rounder), style suitable for an individual (whichever may suits best!) up until even during Covid-19 period!). In general, what determines how much should I really pay relies largely on whether you had basic designs or complicated ones, whether it was customized or created by following mainstream patterns.

Size Matters

Tattoo parlors use square inch or square centimeter measurement guides along with hourly rates ranging between $100-$300 although there tends to be variation depending upon location and standing of studio/parlor. According Half-half formula known as Speed/Hourly (hours × shop minimum + price × speed) which means an hourly rate plus material cost divided by two seems fairly acceptable to many. Hence, the size of the tattoo is among some important factors that seriously needs attention as it would give you a rough estimate of how long the work takes.

Intricacy level

The more intricate your desired design, the longer and effort-full time will be required on behalf of artists to ensure their work is flawless as getting inked surely comes with a price tag for which mostly an hourly rate applies ranging around $150-$250; therefore adding additional tip along with base package provides more than expected result by exceeding personal expectations.

Appropriate tipping percentages guide

While rates vary according to region or state setups but fair percentage signifying gratitude usually ranges from 15%-30%. The industry standard falls at about twenty-five percent when considering mid-range parlors which provide good service ranging between$100-200 per hour. We can‘t put emphasis enough upon custom tattoos comprising complex patterns that demands extra hard labor while improvising design ideas thus touching up faints colors etc’. Therefore two words clearly stand out from rest “TIP BIG”!

Tattoo Size (in square inches) Minimum Tip
Less than10 $20
10 - 20 $40
21 - 50 $100
51 – above $250

Beyond Material Cost

Yet another important aspect worth considering before proceeding into further details what lies beyond material cost in order to ensure artist’s welfare and safety benefits alike particularly during ongoing pandemic crisis. This includes frequently sanitizing objects like needles, wiping down chairs/counters all essential hygiene related protocols despite added occupation risks posed towards professionals life must not overpower human conscience towards generous tips.

Do Never Bargain

Amidst last puffs after final touches one serious mistake committed involves bargaining terms with Artists for material costs or base pay. This not only comes along as unprofessional behavior but also spoils the mood of artist who spent hours with you completing that masterpiece.

Cash vs. Digital Payments

Tattoo artists have witnessed tremendous changes when it comes to tipping preferences while walking out after experiencing such a great service can be mixed up between cash/ digital payments i.e PayPal, Venmo etc. While as a fact some Artists prefer receiving digital gratuities others might still stick to good old-fashioned cold cash thus reminding ourselves about keeping updated with technological advancements according before tipping exquisitely.


In conclusion, tattoos are more than just an ink design on your body, they're a symbol of self-expression and personal identity that should be taken seriously both in terms of hygiene as well as respect for your tattoo artist’s hard work; therefore leaving minimum tip amount increases their moral boost resulting in healthier juicing environment worthwhile satisfaction and trust building . It's essential to show gratitude by following appropriate percentages reflecting upon size/complexity allowing safe haven from unforeseen mishaps if any during next visit at parlor/studio combined with advanced payment through various channels like UPI/Paypal/Venmo will surely help you enjoy experience hassle-free.

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