How much do tattoos cost? You may as well ask "how long is a piece of string?"
There are many factors that determine the time it will take and how to price permanent body art. This is why most shops will not give estimates over the phone or online for a tattoo idea. The best way to get an estimate is to stop by and talk it over with an artist in person.
Here is a comprehensive guide to give you an idea of HOW tattoo artists come up with their prices.
Know what size you want your tattoos!
Use inches when talking about the size you want, because we have no idea what you mean when you say you want it "medium sized."
If you don't know how many inches you want, hold a ruler or measuring tape up to your body.
The more complex the tattoo, the more it will cost. Lots of detail means you will want to go bigger. Some people get confused by this and ask "can't you just make it smaller?" Too much detail in a small tattoo will rarely stand the test of time and in a few years it may just end up looking like a grey blob where that microscopic mandala used to be.
3. Color Or Black and Grey?
Color tattoos will almost always be more expensive. Color tattoos can take up to 2 or 3 times longer to complete than black and grey. And opaque grey tattoos (usually used in black and grey cover ups) can be around the same amount of work as a full color piece! Don't worry though, you can always work in sessions to avoid paying all at once.
Some styles are more expensive than others. Realism and new school styles take much more time than more traditional styles and can end up costing more money. Bold simple tattoos generally take less time to complete and will be cheaper. However, if you really want that sick realistic lion, you might want to save up a little more.
Believe it or not, some areas of the body are much harder to tattoo!
It is not uncommon for one of these difficult areas (ribs, stomach, neck etc. to take longer than if you got the same design on a different part of the body, and therefore will cost more.
Many people spend up to $1000 for a new phone they will replace in a year, but get intimidated by the price of a permanent tattoo. What's up with that?
We know you can get it cheaper down the street. We hear it all the time!
We also know the people who seek cheap prices usually come back to us for a cover up. Keep in mind, covering that "cheap tattoo" can cost two or three times more than it would have if you just got it done right the first time. A cheap tattoo ain't good and a good tattoo ain't cheap.
You get what you pay for!
These are the factors that go in to determining a price for your tattoo!
So now you see why we couldn't price your "medium sized" tattoo over the phone.
Here are some steps to take for a successful consultation:
1. Know what you want and what style you want it in
2. Come to the shop and speak to an artist
3. Bring photo references
4. Know what size you want in inches (2x2, 3x5 etc)
5. Decide on placement
6. Decide on color scheme
7. Get an estimate!
Remember even with all this information the tattoo may take more or less time than the artist estimates. That's why it's called an ESTIMATE!
However, you will now have a very close ballpark price and can plan accordingly.
The next step is to get inked! Check out our other article "How to get tattooed" for more information on what steps to take next!
We hope to see you soon,
The Outrageous Tattoo Team