Why are Tattoos So Expensive?

Have you thought of getting a tattoo but always wondered ‘Why the hell are they punching a huge hole in your pocket?’


One question all tattoo artists come across is “Why am I being charged so much for a small tattoo on my wrist?”

“Tattoo artists set their prices according to their skills, quality of work, and experience”.

Well before understanding the pricing, you need to know the entire process of getting a tattoo from a professional tattoo studio.

First, a manager will book a slot for you with the tattoo artist to discuss tattoo ideas suitable to your skin and persona. Then the artist will spend anywhere between half an hour and sometimes a few hours to give you options for your tattoo.

After you finalize your tattoo, the artist will take about 30 minutes to prepare and get everything ready for your tattoo.

Depending on the size and details of your tattoo the artist will take a few hours to finish your tattoo.

Not to forget touch-ups they do a few days after the tattoo is done.

The staff at a tattoo studio includes cleaners, managers, sales team, marketing team and everyone in the back end.


We’re here to explain to you all the fundamentals of tattoo pricing so keep scrolling!

Pricing of a tattoo depends mainly on these 5 things:


1) Equipment used

Professional tattoo artists use professional tools to get you the best results. You obviously don’t want something permanently inked on you made from inferior quality needles and inks and risk getting infected! From sterilizers to clean cotton, needles, gloves, etc all these costs add up to get included in your tattoo price. Most of these materials used for your tattoo are disposable and costly.


2) Tattoo Design

The tattoo design can be compared to a canvas painting by an artist. If people bid in millions for art on canvas, why discriminate and pay less for art on your body? Creativity is an asset. The immense practice required to develop that creative mind is insane, to say the least. Artists put in countless hours and spend sleepless nights to come up with some unique designs that you won’t see anywhere else. Other than that, the software that the artists use to create designs also has costly subscriptions!


We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again,

“Tattooing is an art and a tattoo is an art of self-expression”.

3) Experience of the tattoo artist

Getting inked from a veteran is always going to cost more than getting inked from a comparatively less experienced artist.


Those years of tattooing experience SERIOUSLY build up and with each tattoo, the artist gains more understanding of types of skins to work on, pain sensitivity and skin tone-balance among many other necessary skills. It's not necessary that a new artist will always perform worse than a veteran. So there can be ambiguity in prices charged by relatively new artists depending on their expertise in their sub-specialty.


4) Size of the Tattoo

Smaller sized or minimalistic tattoos require lesser equipment, lesser efforts and lesser time.


Logic suggests it’s gotta be cheaper than your large-sized tattoos.


We have had clients getting their full-backs and arms inked from us.


And these tattoos take more than 10 hours to get done! It’s not just art, it is strenuous art!


It should come as no surprise to you that these big tattoos cost dearly, and they deserve to be.



5) Depth and details of the tattoo

Some tattoos are simple and not so artsy. Examples of these kinds are minimalistic tattoos like symbols, mantras, words, etc.



Some large tattoos also don’t require intricate detailing.



On the flipside hyper-realistic tattoos, tattoos involving geometric stippling, tribal tattoos, etc take crazy amounts of attention and detailing for which the artists charge a well-deserved premium.



Let’s not forget that the price of your tattoo will also vary depending on the place you’re getting it from. The artists pay for the rent and maintenance (the overheads) of expensive tattoo studios from their own pockets in metro cities.


We hope we’ve cleared all your and misunderstandings regarding tattoo pricing!