This Is How Much You Should Really Tip Your Tattoo Artist (2024)

In the service industry, tipping is standard practice. Whether it's a waiter facilitating your dining experience, a nail artist polishing your toes, or a colorist painting the perfect balayage, an additional tip is a customary show of appreciation and gratitude. When it comes to tattoo etiquette, there are a number of guidelines that can sometimes make tipping seem confusing or unnecessary. And while tipping isn’t fully mandatory, it is necessary—especially if you want to build solid bonds with talented artists.

Wondering exactly how much to tip your tattoo artist? While specific numbers are up for debate and fairly dependent on your tattoo design and experience, we reached out to the ink artists themselves for their insight.

Why You Should Tip Your Tattoo Artist

“Tattooing is a service, and just like any other service industry, clients should consider tipping their tattoo artists,” says Tyson Weed, owner and tattoo artist at Sentient Tattoo Collective. “Many people don't know how much time and effort goes into creating a tattoo."

That’s especially true if you’re getting a custom design, says Weed. He notes that, between consultations with clients and the actual appointment, a lot of work goes into the artist process. Artists will spend several hours drawing, designing, choosing colors if applicable, looking for reference photos, laying out the design, and sometimes doing it all again. Plus, most artists are responsible for a lot of finances behind the scenes, like buying their own supplies or paying rent to their shop, which can add up fast.

While tips are always appreciated and encouraged by tattoo artists, Michaelle Fiore of Sacred Tattoo says that they’re not something that artists expect. It’s more of a way to let your artists know you love your tattoo and value their hard work. “A tip is a courtesy that shows the tattoo artist that you appreciate the time, effort, and expertise they put into your tattoo,” says Fiore

How Much to Tip Your Tattoo Artist

If you decide to tip, the next step is to calculate exactly how much to add to the final tattoo price. The general consensus in the tattoo community is that 20 percent is the typical amount to tip—just like at a restaurant or a hair salon. However, consider this number a baseline, as some tattoos require more or less work than others. Just like there is no one tattoo experience or price, there’s no one-size-fits-all tipping option.

“The more you spend on the tattoo, the more you should tip, as they are putting more work into the piece,” says Fiore.

Weed, however, notes that there is one thing that every tattoo experience needs to have to warrant a tip: It needs to be great. Your artist is putting time into the behind-the-scenes of your tattoo, but it’s also their responsibility to ensure you’re comfortable and having a good time while it’s happening.

“A great experience doesn't just mean that you love your new tattoo,” says Weed. “Your artist should listen to you, make you feel comfortable, explain tattoo aftercare, and ensure a sterile environment.”

What If You Don't Like Your Tattoo?

Finding yourself in a bad tattoo experience is never fun, but Weed suggests talking to your artist to give them a chance to correct it; no one wants to leave the studio upset. If you can’t talk through it or it just doesn’t get better, then you can skip the tip. However, a bad tattoo experience is pretty much the only reason to not tip your artist, so really make sure you and your artist have communicated as much as possible before forgoing the extra finances.

“If your artist is taking the time to create a completely custom design for you, is putting in multiple sessions to execute the design successfully, has excellent bedside manner, is walking you through what makes for a good tattoo with your vision in consideration, and is openly answering any questions regarding safety or cleanliness, those are all things that would warrant a tip,” says Fiore. “If they are tattooing a pre-drawn design and you’ve had a pleasant experience, that warrants a tip as well.”

Is It Acceptable Not to Tip a Tattoo Artist?

Not tipping is an option, but realize that it will probably leave a sour taste in your artist’s mouth. At the very least, it won’t help you build a solid bond with them.

Being on a budget but wanting to give your artist something may be a situation you find yourself in, and Fiore suggests considering gifting something to your artist in that situation. This is a bit out of the norm, though, so check with your artist pre-appointment to see if a gift would be an acceptable tip. However, because many artists only accept monetary tips, it’s not suggested to even consider getting a tattoo if you can’t afford the tip.

“If you were going out to dinner at a sit-down restaurant, would you not tip your server because you were on a budget?” asks Weed. “Probably not.”

How to Show Appreciation to Your Tattoo Artist (in Addition to Tipping)

On top of any monetary tips, tattoo artists also appreciate the tip of a social media shoutout and a good, five-star review, says Weed. If you enjoyed your experience, let the world know! That’s how people not only figure out if an artist is good or not, but it also boosts their names on search engines. In turn, this gives them a lot more exposure.

The Final Takeaway

Tipping may not be mandatory, but it’s a way to show that you appreciate all of the hard work and effort—physical and monetary—that your artist put into your new tattoo. Remember: A tip isn’t about you, it’s about the artist. If your artist made your tattoo experience good, great, or amazing, a tip is a sincere way to show your gratitude. Plus, it helps their business out in the long-run. “When you show your artist you’re grateful for their work, it helps them create and share more artwork with the world—which, at the end of the day, is what it’s all really about!” says Fiore. The best rule of thumb you can follow is to tip at least 20 percent of the total cost of your service, and tip even more for custom, intricate designs. It's the human thing to do.

This Is How Long It Really Takes to Get a Tattoo—According to Tattoo Artists

This Is How Much You Should Really Tip Your Tattoo Artist (2024)


This Is How Much You Should Really Tip Your Tattoo Artist? ›

“A suggested percentage of 20% to 25% for personal services is an accepted standard, especially in these post-COVID times.” Cornolo puts the range between 15% to 20%, but says that it really varies. “Some tip less, and some are very generous." For instance, you might wonder how much to tip for a $500 tattoo.

How much should I tip for a $200 tattoo? ›

Tattoo tipping rates

But as a rule of thumb, a 15-20% tip is usually a good place to start. So, if you spent a total of $200 on a tattoo, tipping anywhere from $30 to $40 shows your artist that you appreciate their handiwork.

How much should I tip for a $350 tattoo? ›

Many people tip about 20% of the overall price to show some extra love to their tattoo artist, especially if they invested a considerable amount of time and effort into your tattoo work.

How much to tip on a $1000 tattoo? ›

So, if you were going to get a $1000 tattoo, you'd probably want to tip at least $200; if you were getting a $500 tattoo, you'd probably tip $100, and so on.

How much to tip for a $750 tattoo? ›

The general consensus in the tattoo community is that 20 percent is the typical amount to tip—just like at a restaurant or a hair salon.

Are you supposed to tip your tattoo artist? ›

The answer is yes, it is customary to tip tattoo artists. In fact, it is considered polite and appreciative to do so.

How much should I tip for a 2 hour tattoo? ›

15- 20% based on difficulty and time spent. shop to enjoy. love when you tip, I love when you don't tip.

Is $100 a good tip for a $600 tattoo? ›

For instance, you might wonder how much to tip for a $500 tattoo. In this case, tipping anywhere from $75 to $125 would be appropriate. If you're getting smaller art done or maybe a touch-up for $100, tipping anywhere from $15 to $25 fits the bill.

Is $50 a good tip for a $150 tattoo? ›

If you don't think you'll have enough money to tip the full 20% on top of the tattoo's price, you should tip as close to that as you can. Skipping the tip is considered very rude in most shops. If you really don't have enough and you don't tip for the tattoo, it's recommended you don't return to that tattoo shop.

Is $300 an hour a lot for a tattoo? ›

Many tattoo artists charge an hourly rate, ranging from $50 to $300 per hour or more, depending on their skill level and reputation. Hourly rates may be more common for custom designs or larger, more detailed pieces.

Do you tip on a very expensive tattoo? ›

According to Pablo Gomez, a Brooklyn-based tattoo artist at Atelier Eva, tipping anywhere from 15 percent to 25 percent of the total cost is considered a good tip — regardless of the type of tattoo you get.

How much to tip on an 800 dollar tattoo? ›

Many people agree that it is customary to tip tattoo artists 15-20% of the total cost of the tattoo.

Is 150 an hour good for a tattoo? ›

In 2022, Tattoo Artists are Charging ~$150/hr

In the past year, most tattoo artists have increased their prices to $150-$210/hr, depending on location. This is to cover the increasing prices of everything around us (groceries, rent, etc.).

Is $1000 too much for a tattoo? ›

A full sleeve tattoo can cost anywhere from $1000 to $6000, depending on the hourly rate of the artist and how much time the art takes to complete.

What to bring to a long tattoo session? ›

The Checklist: What to Bring to a Tattoo Appointment
  • The Short List.
  • It's important to eat before a tattoo and to stay fuelled through long sessions. ...
  • Bring a drink or water bottle that you can drink without disturbing your artist. ...
  • Deodorant / Antiperspirant.
  • Flannel or Spare Sweater.
Feb 17, 2024

Is a $50 tip good for a $300 tattoo? ›

The short answer is yes and about 20%.

(Put the calculator away. Click here to jump to the Tattoo Tip Cheat Sheet.) Generally, 15-25% should be the amount you tip.

Why do tattoo artists prefer cash? ›

It's way too easy for customers to regret the purchase and dispute charges with the bank, leaving the shop having to pay the money back & no ability to recover the product. Also, when you're in an industry with a high rate of chargebacks, you tend to pay much higher transaction fees, further cutting into their profits.

Should I tip for a free tattoo touch up? ›

Plus, many artists offer free touch-ups after the tattoo is completed. (Just make sure to tip your artist, even for a complementary touch-up session!)

Do tattoo artists draw your tattoo? ›

Most tattoo artists will create their own tattoo flashes and designs. They will love being requested to draw and add their own artistic interpretation to an idea, or an existing reference. Being a versatile artist is a plus, especially for tattoo artists looking to grow and make a difference in the industry.

How long does it take for a tattoo to heal? ›

Tattoos typically take two to four weeks to heal on the surface, but it can take three to six months to fully heal. The tattoo healing process typically involves a week of redness and oozing, followed by two to three weeks of itchiness and peeling.

How much is a half-sleeve tattoo? ›

BicepSmall-Large$150 - $450
TricepSmall-Large$300 - $600
ShoulderSmall-Large$350 - $900
Half-SleeveLarge$800 - $3,500+
26 more rows
Jan 29, 2022

Do you tip for flash tattoos? ›

Depending on the complexity of your tattoo, you should consider tipping more. You can tip lower on the scale if it's a quick and easy design from a flash sheet. If it's a complex, original design that took time to create and even more time to tattoo, consider tipping for that extra effort.

How much should I tip my hairdresser? ›

How much should you tip your hairdresser? We asked three etiquette experts, two salon professionals and a certified financial planner. Most of these experts suggest leaving 15% to 20%, depending on the service and your satisfaction. Going with 20% is nice for the stylist and you because that math is pretty simple.

How much should you tip on $$200? ›

Figuring out the tip

If your total bill is $200 and you want to tip 15%, work out the tip by multiplying the total bill by 0.15. You can then add this amount to your bill when it comes to pay. Simple. Or alternatively, you can multiply the bill excluding service by 1.15 (assuming you want to leave that same 15% tip).

Is $200 good for a tattoo? ›

On average you can expect to charge $50-100 for a small tattoo, up to $200 for a medium tattoo and over $250 for a large tattoo.

Is 15% tip for a tattoo enough? ›

The Right Tip is a Range

According to Pablo Gomez, a Brooklyn-based tattoo artist at Atelier Eva, tipping anywhere from 15 percent to 25 percent of the total cost is considered a good tip — regardless of the type of tattoo you get.

What to tip on a $300 tattoo? ›

Tattoo Tip Cheat Sheet: How Much to Tip a Tattoo Artist
Tattoo Cost15% Tip: “o*kay”30% Tip: “Amazing!”
15 more rows
Jun 27, 2022

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