In life, we’re used to giving friendly tips for different services as a way of appreciation. It could be at local restaurants or hotels, at the hairstylist, and after an Uber ride, among many other services. The tattoo industry is no different. Tipping is considered a tattoo etiquette, among other things like hygiene and calmness.
The most common question newcomers have is, “how much should I tip a tattoo artist?” Well, there’s no limit on what tip is considered big or small. After all, it is just a token of appreciation and should come from your heart, depending on your pocket.
Why Should I Tip a Tattoo Artist?
It is evident that any service-based industry embraces tipping as a way of appreciating the service provider’s top-notch service. It is a way of saying “thank you” in a more humble way.
The art of tattooing involves a complex process that isn’t easy for everyone, from client consultation to drawing stencils, choosing colors, and laying out the design. They are sometimes forced to do everything all again. Tipping them shows that you appreciate their hard work and encourages them to continue doing their work passionately. While tipping is not a must, it also helps you develop a good relationship between you and your tat artist.
It is also important to note that tattoo artists don’t pocket all the money you pay for the service. Most of it goes to buying supplies like needles and inks, taxes, and paying rent for the premises they use. While they are not entitled to tips, it is essential to compensate for their efforts and show that you value them.
How Much Should you Tip the Artist?
The right amount to tip a tattoo artist has always been a controversial issue. No amount is considered suitable. Most artists, however, prefer 15% to 20% of the total bill for the service. So if your tattoo costs $300, the tip should be somewhere between $45 and $60. For much more expensive tattoos, this percentage may be a relatively large amount.
Experts suggest that the more complex the art is, the more you should tip. You can also opt to set a flat tip amount for the tattoo, however big or small it is. Most clients prefer to gift them about $100 for any tattoo service, regardless of the design or size.
Apart from tips in monetary form, you can also gift the artist goods or services. They will also appreciate a five-star review or shout-out on social platforms. If the art melts your heart, why not announce it to the world. It will boost their esteem, and they will also get more clients their way.
It is, however, important to note that artists do not expect extra pay for a service. So if you choose not to tip, no one will bother asking about it. We only do it out of courtesy.
When Should you Tip?
More often than not, we give tips upon completion of the service to show that we are in love with the work. This works the same with tattooing. If you’re doing a larger tattoo, you may be asking yourself if it is right to gift them after every session. The correct answer could be yes or no. It is all upon you. Since large tattoos like back pieces and sleeves can take several sessions that may be spread out in months, artists will appreciate tips after every session. You can also choose to tip after the whole project; however, you should do it generously.
Remember that it is not mandatory that you Tip after receiving a tattoo drawing. Tipping should be proportional to the service you receive. If you’re not satisfied with the artist’s service and courtesy or unhappy with any element, you’re at liberty not to tip. Only tip when you’re happy with the art, and you feel the artist has done his very best to draw your permanent body art.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I do if I’m on a budget and can’t afford to tip the artist?
In any service, tipping is optional. If you feel you can’t afford to tip the tat artist, do not break an arm or a leg trying to please them. They are very understanding and won’t cause trouble if you don’t do that. You can still offer to tip them after every session for larger tattoos, as it eases the burden of having to cough up everything at once.
Can I pay for a tattoo with a gift or service if I don’t have cash?
The most probable answer to this question is no. Most tattoo artists prefer cash payment considering the amount of effort required to complete a single project. It takes them a lot of time to choose tattoo designs, draw stencils, do research, and make alterations to their ideas. They also need to buy equipment and pay for bills and taxes. It would be unfair paying them with a service as opposed to the agreed amount. If it’s tipping, you can agree with the artist to give them a service or gift that isn’t cash.
Do I still need to tip if I don’t like the tattoo artist’s work?
Nothing is daunting like a poor tattoo experience, especially with the pain that comes with it. If the artist is unkind, rude, or not as hygienic as you expect, it can leave you with a bad impression, and you won’t see the need for tipping. You can talk to the artist and see whether they will correct before you forgo the tip. If it doesn’t get any better, skip the tipping and call it a day, hopefully, the tat turns out fine.
While tipping is not a must, it’s a great way to show appreciation for all the effort and hard work put into your beautiful body art. Why wouldn’t you show gratitude if you loved the experience and you’re happy with the new tattoo? It also gives the artist the confidence to work on another tat passionately. The amount you choose to tip them depends on what you can afford. If you can’t give a 15% or 20%, you can still set a pre-determined amount to tip beforehand as they will always appreciate it.