How Much To Tip Tattoo Artist? 5 Things You Should Know

Tipping is a kind of etiquette that expresses our appreciation for a satisfying service. So yes, tattoo etiquette does mean the same.

The tattoo has long been existing and overcomes thousands of stylistic shifts as well as harsh hurdles. Now that tattooing is recognized as an art form, tattoo artists become real art makers. 

So what is a proper amount to tip a tattoo creator? Then scroll down our article on “How much to tip tattoo artists” to find your answer.

Why Should We Tip Tattoo Artists?

First, we all know that tipping is appreciated and commonplace in service-based industries. Jobs like waitstaff, hairstylists, nail artists, bartenders, just a few to name, are deemed worth tipping by most of society.

Make a tattoo

Therefore, tattoo artists should not be an exception, especially when their work is somehow much more intensive than the others. To create a piece of work, tattooers must spend nearly 100% of their attention, creativity, and effort. So they surely deserve this treat. 

Another reason to tip your tattoo artist is that not all of our payments go to their pocket. Most tattooers only get somewhere between 30% and 70% of their earnings. If you wonder where the rest would go, then it goes back into their shop. Think of some huge expanses like booth rent, supplies, utilities or staff rental fee, etc.; they require quite a large amount of money. Not to mention supplies like ink or tattoo needles, which go straight to our body, skin, and blood, the investment costs a fortune.

What is more, taxes should be taken into consideration. Working as an independent contractor, it would be tough for them, especially beginners, to overcome tax season sometimes. So your tips might help soften the blow. 

How Much To Tip Tattoo Artists?

Now that you have acquired how important your tip could be, it is time to look at how much you should tip them. There is no rule or limitation about how much to tip your tattoo artists, and they will not necessarily expect to get tipped. Of course, they would appreciate any number.

However, you should still understand some general tipping etiquette to avoid embarrassment, awkwardness and show appreciation in the right way.

How much to tip tattoo artists?

In most cases, at least 15% tip of your payment is widely agreed. For example, if your tattoo costs $300, then a tip of around $45 is acceptable. It can be a little more or less depending on your satisfaction. 

Besides the tattoo itself, the tattooers’ attitude is also a matter. When the artists are friendly and treat you with respect, there is no hesitation for a higher tip. However, if you are not pleased with their rudeness or degrade, you can consider the amount of your tipping.

Sometimes, when your tattoo is up to $1500 or $2000, then 15% means around $225 and $300. That is such a huge price that not many people are willing to give. So, in this case, you can tip your tattoo artist 10% of your total bill. 

Or, in case you find those operations too complicated, you can also offer a certain amount of money. Then the standard number is usually $100. Most clients tend to tip this amount of money regardless of how long or how complex the process could be.

If your expenditure is not that much, then it is ok to tip an affordable amount of money. Tell them how much you love your new tattoo, and they still appreciate that.


Can Gifts Be A Replacement?

This is quite a strange thing to ask, but many might wonder. Luckily, this is getting very popular in the tattoo world. Instead of receiving an amount of money, many tattoo artists are willing to accept their clients’ gifts as a replacement. This expresses tattooers’ appreciation to their clients as well as a smart way to advertise their work.

Moreover, as being an artist, some show a passion for unique items to display at their workplace or their home. This sometimes creates a strong bond between a tattooer and a client who shares art addiction.

When To Tip Tattoo Artists?

The ideal time to tip your tattoo artist is after he completes his tattooing. Since tipping is a reflection of how satisfying you are with your artist and your new tattoo, then only tipping after he finishes the tattoo makes sense. 

But if you know the artist and the process is quite long; you can tip him after each session.

Moreover, if you can, tip in cash. This will ensure your artist receives the entire tip as it helps avoid taxes or service fees.

What If I Can Not Afford For A Tip?

While tipping is appreciated and commonplace in service industries, it is still not compulsory. 

If you can not afford the tip, then heartfelt thanks and adoring attitude is the biggest tip. Sometimes, to these artists, a sincere compliment is worth more than any cold cash.

Or in case you find the tattoo or the artist does not deserve your pay, you will not have to tip them. 

No one would get mad or make a scene if you do not tip them. Just remember that every tip is optional, and there are ways to show your appreciation.


Overall, tattooing can mean so much to some people, it might show a personal or meaningful mark. Sometimes, it expresses individuality or covers the owner’s imperfections. Therefore, tattooing can be regarded as a legitimate art, and tattoo artists are real art creators who make your vision come true.

So tipping a 10%, 15%, $100, or even a gift does not matter. We believe that though tipping is appreciated in tattooing industries, it is still optional and should be favorable to you. Getting a tip is the last of many artists’ concerns, and the best tip is to cherish their work.

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