Why are tattoos expensive?
Reason #1: Cost of equipment, supplies, and rent.
Running a tattoo studio is very expensive. Almost all the supplies an artist uses are one time use...meaning all those paper towels, plastic wrap rolls, needles, trash bags, plastic cups, and more, are being reordered in large numbers and often.
Reason #2: Hidden costs such as tattoo license, insurance and waste removal.
Studios need to be registered and own a certain level of health insurance in order to operate.
Reason #3: You’re also paying for design time, not just sitting time.
A big part of the reason why your tattoo is so expensive is because the artist will be spending a lot of time working on not only tattooing your piece, but also designing your piece. You’re not getting charged just for the time it takes you to be tattooed, you’re also paying for all the behind the scenes work that goes into creating your perfect piece!
Reason #4: Size, placement, and details.
The bigger the piece, the bigger the price. But placement also comes into play. Think about it: a nice flat spot, like the front of your thigh or your sternum, is way easier to tattoo than, say, your ribs or your neck. Areas that are more difficult to tattoo come with a higher cost, partly because it will usually just take longer than an easy spot. There may also be changes to price if you want different colors of ink instead of just black. More inks equals more supply costs and more time the artist needs to invest in creating your tattoo!
There are also cost differences when it comes to the amount of detailed work in a tattoo, so, the level of time, detail, and technical difficulty all comes into play when your artist prices your tattoo.
Reason #5: Years of Dedication and Expertise
Many tattoo artists will be an apprentice for a great deal of time before they become full fledged tattoo artists. Most artists have been tattooing for years, even a decade, but if you're astounded by their artwork, they're definitely worth the price.
Building a strong reputation and the high quality skills to back up a big price tag is something that takes time for an artist, but it's worth investing in as a client.
If you’re asking, “is it worth it?”, this probably means you don’t understand the skill it takes to be a great tattoo artist or you don’t appreciate it as completely as you probably should!
All the time that artists invested in their education is being paid back to you through incredible art that wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for their years of dedication to the craft.
So, why is your tattoo so expensive?
Hopefully our top 5 points helped to illustrate a few things.
It’s not as easy as simply picking up a cheap machine on Amazon!
Paying good money for a tattoo you're happy with, will make sure that you don’t spend years regretting a bad decision, and paying more money out of pocket to fix it.
Cover up tattoos are almost always more expensive, but sometimes laser removal is also necessary. So keep that in mind when throwing down coin for a cheap tattoo: good tattoos cost good money.