A lot of people wonder how much to tip the tattoo artist who just spent a few hours hunched over creating the piece of artwork that now adorns their body permanently. Since getting a tattoo is, in general, not an everyday occasion like going to a restaurant, the customary standards for tattoo tipping are not always obvious to everyone.
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Consider how long the artist worked on your tattoo. Think about how much work you think your tattoo artist has put into your tattoo, and tip accordingly. For smaller tattoo jobs, many people tip 15 per cent. For larger tattoo jobs, perhaps 20 per cent is more reasonable. For example, if you paid £130 for a smaller tattoo, you should possibly tip 15 per cent, which would then result in £149 total. If your entire tattoo cost £260, then perhaps consider tipping 20 per cent, which would then bring up a total of £312.
Some people labour under a misconception that you don't need to tip tattoo artists. However, talk to any tattoo artist and you will find out that you are sorely mistaken! Just like any other service job, giving someone a tattoo takes a lot of time and isn't easy to do. Just as you would tip a bellhop, waiter, hairstylist or valet attendant, you should tip a tattoo artist--especially if you plan on getting another tattoo from that person.
It is important to remember the real purpose of a tip. A tip is supposed to be given if you appreciate the work you received and think the person did a good job. So if you don't feel satisfied with your tattoo, think your tattoo artist rushed the job or didn't put a lot of effort into it, it is still your prerogative to not leave a tip. And since there are no set standards to tipping for tattoos, you can tip as much or as little as you want.
If you can't afford to tip your tattoo artist (after all, getting the tattoo done in the first place is already pretty expensive), then a gesture of appreciation goes a long way. If you are pleased with the result of your tattoo artist's work, tell them how much you appreciate it. Give them a big smile and say thank you. And tell them that if you ever plan on getting a tattoo again that you would like them to be the one to do it. Courtesy and graciousness goes a long way.
Other ways to "tip" a tattoo artist include giving them a gift. Tips don't necessarily always have to be in cash or monetary form. A small gift goes a long way, whether it's a mug or a T-shirt. Sometimes the more interesting the item, the better. This also might help you to form a friendship and bond with your tattoo artist that will definitely help should you choose to get another tattoo done by them.
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