The average cost for a tattoo is $50 to $250 for a small or simple image like a heart or cross, or $150 to $450 for a medium-sized tattoo like a portrait or tribal design. For a complex design or large tattoo, like a half or full sleeve or full back, prices start and $500 and can reach $4,000.
Tiny tattoos under 2 inches typically cost $30 to $100 or the tattoo parlor's minimum fee.
Tattoo artists charge $120 to $150 per hour, depending on their experience and reputation and the design complexity.
Tip a tattoo artist 20% if you're happy with their work or up to 25% for intricate custom designs or if the artist exceeded your expectations.
Many tattoo places also do piercings for ears, noses, tongues, belly buttons, and more. However, not all shops offer this service. Contact local tattoo parlors to confirm whether piercing is offered.
After finding a tattoo artist who specializes in the style you want, book an initial consultation to discuss your design placement, size, colors, and features. Most consultations are free and last 30 to 60 minutes. After confirming the design, the artist will schedule your appointment.
During your appointment, you'll be seated in a tattoo chair, usually in an open area. If you prefer a private area, be sure to request it in advance.
The artist will prep your skin, then apply a stencil or draw the design on your skin so you can review it and make any final changes. Then, the artist will tattoo the design with needles inserted into the skin. Though the process will hurt, most artists agree the first minute is the worst.
A tattoo takes up to 6 months to fully heal, though your skin will go through several stages of healing during that time.
Follow these tips to select the right tattoo artist for you:
Ask the tattoo artist these questions before deciding who to hire:
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