How Much Does a Tattoo Cost?

How Much Does a Tattoo Cost?

How much does a tattoo cost?  That’s arguably one of the most important questions people have when they are thinking about a tattoo.  Something important to remember though is that when it comes to your tattoo, cost should not be your primary concern.  It should be which artist you choose for your tattoo.  There’s a saying in the tattoo industry.  That is, “A cheap tattoo isn’t good, and a good tattoo isn’t cheap”.  I can’t tell you how many tattoos we’ve fixed because people went with the cheapest quote they got, and even worse, because they got a $30.00 tattoo at a tattoo party. Tattoo party tattoos are not easy to fix, and they are not cheap to fix. Most people pay quite a bit more to get it covered or fixed, than they would have had to pay if the tattoo was done right the first time.

Generally, most tattoo shops have a base cost of $100.00 an hour.  This hourly rate can go all the way up to $200.00 an hour, depending on the artist, and the economy of the area where you’re getting a tattoo. There is no regulated maximum or minimum, it’s all relative to the artist. In Silver Spring, Maryland, the cost is about $100.00 to $150.00 an hour.

Tattoo cost changes depending on how much time the tattoo will take.  Factors that can affect this are the complexity of the tattoo, the size of the tattoo, placement, and the experience level of the artist. 

When shopping for your tattoo, it’s perfectly okay to go around to different shops and browse the portfolios before committing to a specific artist.  Ask for pricing at a few different shops.

When looking through portfolios… there’s a couple things that I think are the most important.

  1. Does the artist do the type of art that you are interested in getting?
  2. Does the work in the portfolio consistently make you smile?

The funny thing is… most professional tattoo artists have the technical skill to do most anything.  Their portfolios are simply catered to garner more of the type of work they prefer to do.  When in doubt, pick the artist that makes you smile the most.  If the portfolio made you smile more than once, and the tattoos look nice and clean, chances are they’ll be able to bring your idea to life.

At our shop, we take pride in providing the best price possible for the project.  The shop minimum is $60.00.  For that price, you can get a tattoo that takes up to 40 minutes or so.  The hourly rate is $100.00 an hour, but we usually price big projects by the piece or project. We can even break payments up into sessions for you to make the tattoo cost more affordable.

We understand that tattoos are a luxury item, and that not everyone has huge sums of cash laying around.  If you have a budget, we can work with you, just let us know, and we’ll plan out the work and payments around something that will work best for you.

I’m happy to give you a quote on your next tattoo.  If you have a custom project, you’re welcome to come by for a consultation.  I’ll pull out my ruler, and a sketchbook and we can start drawing out fleshing out ideas.

If you would prefer to reach out to the shop directly, please use the contact form at

Please read the FAQ for more information about planning your next tattoo.

If you have your design ready, please send it to me at

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