How to Estimate the Cost of Your Tattoo
If you're thinking about getting a tattoo you're probably wondering what you'll need to spend. A lot goes into tattoo cost, including design, location and time. This article gives an overview to help you estimate the cost of your new tattoo.
The first thing to be aware of is this: certain cities and states tend to have higher tattoo prices than others. Keep this in mind when discussing cost with friends or relatives; you may end up paying more on average in your area than they did out of town. Cities like Las Vegas and Los Angeles offer a wide variety of artists to choose from.
The placement and location of the tattoo can also be a factor. Tattoos on the hands, neck and legs will generally cost more than those on the arms. If you're selecting an area of the body that's difficult to tattoo you can expect to pay a bit more, although this will depend on the artist.
Color selection plays a role a well. Are you getting a tattoo in black ink only or do you want some color? Each color you add to the design will often add to the price. If you're thinking about a large, multi-colored tattoo be prepared to pay over $150.
Of course, the size of the tattoo will directly affect the price. Most tattoos start at $50 to $75, no matter how small. This is because the cost of supplies must also go into the price. A tattoo that covers the entire forearm can start around $125 to $300, depending on other factors. In general, be prepared to pay at least $75 for even a small 2" x 2" tattoo.
The complexity of the design also directly affects the price. Keep this in mind if you're interested in a realistic portrait or image. Bringing in a photo or drawing that you want the artist to copy will lower the price, while asking for an original design will increase the cost you pay. Most artists factor in the time they spend to draw the tattoo.
While these are just general guidelines, they can help you when budgeting for a tattoo. The best thing to do is consult the tattoo parlor or artist beforehand to get an estimate. Bring in any artwork you have and an idea of where the tattoo will be. Many artists charge an hourly fee, typically from $75 an hour to $150 an hour. The most experienced artists with real skill can charge even higher. Once you have your estimate add an extra 20% on case it takes longer than expected and be prepared to tip your tattoo artist. While a tip isn't necessary, it's customary.
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