Tipping a tattoo artist should be factored into the overall cost of your tattoo. Although giving your artist a tip is not required, it is a service, and much like any other service, tipping is encouraged, appreciated and important to the tattoo industry. How much should you tip your tattoo artist? There are differing opinions about what constitutes a good tip and a bad one. Tipping rules can be a bit complicated and usually involve factors like how long did it take for your tattoo to be complete, where it was placed, etc.
Many people don’t realize the costs associated with being a tattoo artist. Even though tattoo costs may seem high, tattoo artists rarely take home all of what you pay them. Tattoo artists in shops are paying 40-50% of every tattoo to the shop for commission and their overhead. They are also buying tubes, needles, and other supplies at their own expense. Tips, on the other hand, go directly to the artist and they keep 100% of the tip money that you give them.
Deciding how much to tip a tattoo artist is really up to you and not all artists agree on this point. A tip is a tip and tattoo artists appreciate anything. You can always follow the Golden Rule of tipping 20% of whatever your tattoo price was if you’re not sure. Tipping a tattoo artist is recommended after the tattoo is complete. This can be as soon as your artist wraps up your tattoo and before you pay, or after you pay at the shop counter.
For larger tattoos such as sleeves or backpieces that require multiple sessions, you may be wondering whether you should tip a tattoo artist after each session or after the tattoo is fully complete. The general consensus is that while not a requirement by any means, tipping after each tattoo session is appreciated since large-scale tattoos can take months or even years to complete. Cash is definitely the preferred method of tipping a tattoo artist, but some clients choose to bring their tattoo artists small gifts in place of or in addition to a tattoo tip. If you are planning to bring your tattoo artist a gift, you should still provide a cash tip in addition to the gift if you’re able.
You can show the appreciation for a good work in many different ways as well! For example, if you like the work your tattoo artist did, then take a picture of it (possibly the shop as well) and share it on your social media and tag the artist and the shop. This way you can provide excellent exposure for the artists and their shop, and attract new clients. So, if you love your new tattoo, then let everybody know and post the pictures on Instagram, Facebook, and other social media. This will not only attract new people but also boost the tattoo shop’s name on the search engines. The exposure they can receive from only one post can be incredible.