How Much to Tip a Tattoo Artist?

How Much to Tip a Tattoo Artist?

Tipping your tattoo artist is a great way to show your appreciation for their work. But it can be hard to figure out how much you should tip and when. This article will provide answers to common questions about tipping a tattoo artist, such as when and how much to tip, what types of tips are appropriate, and special considerations for larger tattoos.

Should You Tip a Tattoo Artist?

Yes! Tattoo artists usually rely on tips to make ends meet, so it’s important to tip them for their work. While the exact amount you should tip is subjective and up to your discretion, generally speaking, a good rule of thumb is to tip 15-20% of the price of the tattoo. [3]

Why You Should Tip?

The world of tattooing is a unique one, and the general consensus among tattooers is that tipping your artist is an important part of showing appreciation for their hard work. It’s also a way to create lasting relationships with the artists you love.

Though there isn’t an explicit set amount when it comes to tipping your tattoo artist, it’s still important to value their work and show your appreciation with a tip.

Should You Tip a Tattoo Artist?

Here are some reasons why you should consider tipping:

  • Encouragement for the artist to continue doing meaningful work;
  • Show your appreciation for the time, effort, and skill that went into making your tattoo;
  • Reinforce a positive relationship between you and the artist;
  • Ensure a quality experience during future visits;
  • A way to thank them for taking the time and skill needed to craft a beautiful piece of art [1];

How Much to Tip Tattoo Artists?

The answer isn’t always straightforward and it depends on many factors such as where you live, who did the work, and how complex or intricate the tattoo was.

Generally speaking, most people tip between 15-20% of the total cost of their tattoos. This is in line with other services such as getting a haircut or dining at a restaurant. [1] 

Don’t Skip the Tip

When you’re getting a tattoo, it is important to remember that your artist deserves to be appreciated for their work. Tipping is an essential part of the process and helps show that you value their skill and time.

It can be difficult to know how much to tip your tattoo artist. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to tipping, but there are some general guidelines. A good rule of thumb is to tip an amount that’s equivalent to 20 percent of the total cost of your tattoo. [1]

If Your Tattoo Takes Multiple Sessions, Should You Tip at Each Appointment?

Yes, you should tip at each appointment. Even if the tattoo artist is giving you a discounted rate for multiple sessions, it’s important to remember that they are still investing their time and skill in your project.

A good rule of thumb is to tip 15-20% of the original cost of the entire piece, which can be broken down into smaller increments for each session. If you feel that the artist has gone above and beyond your expectations, you may want to increase the tip accordingly. [2] 

Should You Tip in Cash?

It’s always a good idea to tip your tattoo artist in cash. This allows you to give the full amount you desired without any third-party fees or complications that may arise when tipping with a credit card. When paying with cash, make sure to bring exact change if possible, as most artists are not able to provide change. [2]

If Your Tattoo Takes Multiple Sessions, Should You Tip at Each Appointment?

A Differing Perspective on Tattoo Tipping

While some might suggest that tipping a tattoo artist is unnecessary, there are those who believe it’s important to reward good work and show respect for the artist. While tips vary from person to person and from situation to situation, there are some general guidelines you can follow to ensure your appreciation is conveyed in a meaningful way.

For starters, many people believe that a 10-20% tip on the cost of the tattoo is an appropriate way to show your respect. You can consider tipping more or less based on how you feel about the artist’s work, but this is a safe starting point. [4]

When Should You Tip a Tattoo Artist?

When it comes to tipping a tattoo artist, the standard is after the session is complete and you’re happy with your results. A good rule of thumb is to tip in line with what you’d pay for a comparable service, such as getting your hair cut or going out for dinner. [4]

Should You Tip After Every Tattoo Session? 

Yes, you should always tip your tattoo artist after each session. This is a sign of appreciation for their skill and hard work. Tattoo artists often have to put in many hours of work on a single piece and it’s important to show them that you appreciate their efforts. Tipping can be done at the end of each session or after the entire tattoo is finished.

It’s also a good idea to show your appreciation in other ways, such as bringing them food or drinks throughout the day, offering words of encouragement, and complimenting their work. All these things will go a long way toward making sure your tattoo artist feels appreciated. [4]

Tattoo Tipping Abroad

When you’re traveling abroad, tipping practices and etiquette can vary greatly. In some countries, it’s common to tip a tattoo artist after receiving a new piece of ink; in others, it may be considered insulting. To ensure that your money is well-received, do research ahead of time to understand the cultural norms for tipping in the area you plan to visit.

If tipping is customary, remember that it may not be the same amount you would give in your own country. In some Asian countries, for instance, a smaller tip is considered polite and generous. Doing research on local customs can help you show your appreciation without committing an offensive faux pas. [6]

How To Tip When You’re On A Budget?

When you’re on a budget, it can be difficult to figure out how to tip your tattoo artist. After all, you don’t want to seem cheap or ungrateful for their work. Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can let your tattoo artist know that you appreciate them without breaking the bank. [6]

How To Tip When You’re On A Budget?

Think Of Your Artist’s Contribution To Your Body Art

Your tattoo artist has done more than just ink your skin; they have made a permanent contribution to your body art. That is why it’s important to recognize their hard work and creative effort with a gratuity. It’s also important to remember that the amount you tip should reflect how well you think your artist did. [6]

Overcharging And Repeat Clients

When you’re getting a tattoo, it’s important to factor in the cost of tipping your artist. A standard tip for a tattoo is 15-20% of the total price, although this can vary depending on how much work went into the piece and how satisfied you are with it. It’s also important to note that some artists may charge more for repeat clients and overcharging can occur if the total fee is not discussed clearly before the tattoo begins. [6]

Gifts as Tattoo Tips

In addition to a monetary tip, you can also show your appreciation to your tattoo artist with gifts. Depending on the type of gift, it may be more meaningful than money and will be sure to make them smile. Some ideas include:

  • Gift certificates for coffee or lunch at local restaurants;
  • A handmade card thanking them for their work;
  • Art supplies such as new pen nibs or a fresh set of paints;
  • A nice bottle of wine;
  • An item that is meaningful to both you and your tattoo artists, such as a book they recommended or a souvenir from your travels [4];

What If You Don’t Like Your Tattoo?

Unhappy with your ink? Before you leave the tattoo parlor, it’s important to discuss any issues you may have with your artist. Most artists are willing to work with you and make revisions if necessary. This could potentially include an additional sitting and/or an extra fee.

If the issue is resolved to both parties satisfaction, the same gratuity rules apply as with a satisfactory tattoo. While it isn’t mandatory to add a tip for any additional services you receive, it is still customary to do so—as long as you’ve been happy with the final product. [5]

Other Ways to Show Appreciation

Tipping is one way to show appreciation for the artist’s work, but it isn’t the only way. There are several other ways that you can show your gratitude to a tattoo artist without writing a check.

One great way to show your appreciation is by sharing your finished tattoo with friends and family on social media. This type of free advertising is invaluable for tattoo artists and helps them build their reputation.

You can also spread the word about your artist with positive reviews on social media or even through word of mouth. A few positive comments can go a long way toward helping an artist gain more business.

Finally, you can offer to refer friends and family to your artist. This is an especially great gesture since it provides a direct and immediate return for the artist. [6]


Is it rude not to tip your tattoo artist?

No, it is not considered rude to not tip your tattoo artist. However, tipping is a great way to show your appreciation for their work and express gratitude for the time they’ve spent with you. Your tattoo artist has likely invested many hours into perfecting their craft and they deserve the recognition that goes beyond just payment.

Do you tip your tattoo artist after each session?

Generally, it’s polite to tip your tattoo artist after each session and at the end of the entire process. Each session is an independent service, so tipping after everyone shows appreciation for their artistry and craftsmanship. At the end of the entire process, you should also consider tipping as a show of gratitude for the final outcome and the time they have spent with you.

How much should I tip my tattoo artist?

The amount of money that you tip your tattoo artist is up to you and can depend on the size, complexity, and quality of the work they have done. Generally speaking, it is polite to tip 20-25% of the total cost for a full session or 10-15% for each individual session. Of course, if you believe the work is exceptional and you are extremely satisfied with the results, then feel free to tip more generously.

How much should I tip my tattoo artist?

Can I tip them with gifts?

Yes, gifts can also be a great way to show your appreciation for your tattoo artist. Depending on their preferences, you could look into getting them something like a personalized sketchbook or art supplies related to the work they do. They might also appreciate receiving prints of some of the artwork that you have purchased from them!  Ultimately, it depends on what you think would make them happy and is an appropriate gesture.

Can I pay for my tattoo with gifts or services?

No, it is not acceptable to pay for your tattoo with gifts or services. Tattoo artists are professionals who rely on their work as a form of income, and paying them in any other way than money is disrespectful and unprofessional. It also undermines their hard work and skill – they deserve to be paid fairly for the time and effort they have put into your tattoo.

What if I can’t afford to tip them?

It’s understandable that not everyone can afford to tip their tattoo artist. If this is the case for you, then it’s perfectly acceptable to provide them with a simple gesture of appreciation such as sending a card or writing a kind review about them online. This will help spread the word and let people know how amazing your tattoo artist is!

Useful Video: How much should you be tipping a tattoo artist?


It’s important to remember that all tattoo artists appreciate tips, but the exact amount you tip should be based on your personal preference. Keep in mind that tipping is a great way to show your appreciation and respect for the artist. As long as you feel the money is appropriate, it’s best not to worry too much about what other people think about the amount you tip. Above all else, remember to enjoy your new ink!

If you have any questions or need more information on how much to tip a tattoo artist, feel free to reach out and ask. The best source of advice is still the tattoo artist themselves – they know what’s best for their own business and the kind of service they provide.

Good luck, and happy inking!