I N V E S T M E N T
$175.00 / hr - most larger pieces, including sleeve work, will be charged by the hour.
W H Y T H E C O S T ?
As a custom tattoo artist, I invest my time every day to capturing and perfecting life’s precious moments. I seek to help you capture, and commemorate moments, people and feelings you will never get back. These subjects are priceless.
This is your skin we are dealing with, you only get one shot to get it right. Otherwise, you will have to deal with costly and painful removal that may not work to your liking, or a coverup tattoo that will be darker and cost even more.
Every once in awhile I hear the comment, “All you do is trace some lines?” or “I will just go buy a tattoo kit online and tattoo myself.” When you hire a professional tattoo artist you are not only paying for their time, but also their expertise and talent to guarantee that these priceless moments will be captured for eternity…the first time, without worry.
I could buy a pair of scissors at the store and cut my own hair, or pay my friend $10 to do it…but it will never look as good as if I were to go to a qualified professional hair stylist. Why is tattooing different? Below is a breakdown of what you get when you hire a professional tattoo artist:
T I M E:
Many people think the only time a tattoo artist invests is the time during the session. The truth is the session is just a small portion of the time involved with a custom tattoo artist. Here’s a sample breakdown based on my average time per session:
30-60 min – Consulting with client prior to session via email/phone/text/in person
1 hour – researching concepts / designs
30 min – sketching the first mark-up design
30 min – re-consulting with client to make changes / additions
1 hour – designing the final copy(ies) of the tattoo
15 min - prepping the tattoo stencil
30 min - prepping the studio for your session
2-10 hours – Actual tattoo session
30 min - clean up, wrap up, pictures
E X P E N S E S
Running a small business is very expensive. 40% of everything that is made goes to taxes. There are booth rent fees, marketing fees, equipment fees. Tattooing is a job like any other, and the tattoo artist relies on bringing home a paycheck and contribute to household expenses just as anyone else would. Depending on demographics, their salary will vary with what is required to meet their household financial demands. When you see a tattoo artist that is offering sessions for little to no costs, it is almost guaranteed that they are not legal, tax-paying businesses or offering high quality work. Thus said, these tattoo artists are 'hobbyist' tattoo artists, not 'professional' ... but by calling themselves professional it confuses clients and makes it hard for full time professional tattoo artists to sustain themselves in this career.
C O N S I S T E N C Y (talent):
When you hire a professional tattoo artist based on their style you can be confident that the images tattooed will be of great quality, and exactly what you were hoping for…the first time. An amateur tattoo artist may have a nice portfolio, but what you don’t know is those images were compiled from one or two accidentally good tattoos over hundreds of tries…and if they do your tattoo you have a chance of being one of the bad tattoos that didn't make the cut as opposed to a professional tattoo artist where you will get your desired outcome the first, and only, time.
E X P E R I E N C E (talent):
A professional tattoo artist will know exactly what they want to do to make the design and execution great, and will not need to experiment like an amateur. They will know how to use their equipment to get the desired result and not need to guess…and definitely do not rely on the machines and pre-made stencils to tell them what to do. Professional tattoo artists know the importance of their job and therefore devote thousands of dollars and hundreds if not thousands of hours in time to perfect their skill and continue learning new things in the field.
C R E A T I V I T Y (talent):
A professional tattoo artist has the creativity and ‘eye’ to provide a well-composed tattoo with the right size, detail, color and location to create your magical piece.
S A F E T Y
Have you considered the risks that are involved? Although the inks used in tattoos and the pigments in these inks are subject to FDA regulations, the FDA has not attempted to regulate their use and does not control the actual practice of tattooing. Local laws and jurisdictions handle these regulations.Maryland State law does not require you to be licensed in order to tattoo. The artist should use a brand new sterile needle with each tattoo he or she performs. Everything should be personally laid out just for your tattoo, for example: single use disposable ink caps, latex gloves, single use disposable tubes etc.
C L I E N T E X P E R I E N C E
Another part of the value of a professional tattoo artist that should not be overlooked is the experience you get during a session. I take pride in my clients’ experience and want to ensure that it is positive. I like to pride myself in a comfortable, relaxing studio with music where you can relax! After the session professional tattoo artists are also very accessible to their clients helping them in the aftercare process and answering any questions…not just sending them off with Vaseline and saran wrap like some amateurs do.
In conclusion, the age-old saying “you get what you pay for” is true. There is so much more to creating an artistic tattoo than just tracing some lines. Custom tattooing is definitely not for everyone…it is a luxury…but if you decide to go the route of a custom tattoo artist I hope you can now see the value of hiring a true professional who values their work for what it’s worth rather than hiring a tattoo artist based on cost alone. Like any consumer purchase, you should be informed to make the best decision and do what is safe and best for you. Now, let's just hope that this permanent artwork on your skin will satisfy you for the rest of your life.