How much should I expect to pay for a tattoo?

Yes I know that it varies by size, placement etc… but if I were to want an approximately 2x1.5", 3-color tattoo of a sunflower? What about a fairly simple, black ink only picture of the same relative dimensions and location?

I don’t know where this recent desire to acquire a tattoo came from, and odds are I won’t actually get one, but then again, I might…

I can only give what mine cost in my area. The one on my back is three color, approximately 4x4 and was $100(It’s a bird with a flag). I got that one in January, so it was cheaper. The Artist told me that it’s better to get them in the winter months (more time to heal away from the sun) and cheaper (the artists are usually less busy and you can haggle).

The one on my chest is about 5 by 6, one color only with shading and was about $175 (but that was during spring months)

I didn’t know that the time of year you got the tattoo made a difference in price.

I was thinking about getting a tattoo tonight. I called around and by the time I got off work it was going to be too late. Maybe tomorrow.

You must also take into consideration the time it will take. If a design is small but intricate, it will cost you more.

Also, an artist who is very much in demand will charge a premium price, but don’t go looking for bargains if you can help it. You get what you pay for. A very well-known tattoo artist here on the west coast who specializes in Celtic designs quoted me about $500 for a knot about 2 x 3, maybe a little bigger. But she is totally worth it.

Might I suggest that you be absolutely, completely certain you want it, and want it for the rest of your life before you go out and get one? That you won’t mind it even when your skin is all wrinkly and saggy? That people who see you intimately won’t hate it? That it won’t clash horribly with whatever style of dressing you have?

I got a very simple, discreet one after fantasising about it for years!

Good luck!

Tattoos are not something to skimp on. A good artist usually charges around $100/hour. A lot of shops do consultations, where you should be able to get an estimate.

How much does it hurt?

I didn’t think it hurt all that bad. More kind of a stinging than anything else. Everyone told me the worst part is when they fill in the design, but I found it to be the same.

I’ll second (third…whatever) what everyone else has said about the artist. Check around with people that have them already. Get some reccomendations. The guy that did my second one gets all of my reccomendations from people I talk to. His designs were great, and he’d been doing it since he was 10 (his dad was an artist as well).
You DON’T want a bad tattoo!

Are you getting a Pat Fish tattoo? How incredibly cool! I’d pay twice that for some of her work.

As for my tats, mine are all black and grey. I have one piece on my arm that’s about 4.5" x 3". I was quoted $95, but ended up paying $125 because I was so pleased with it.

I’ve also got two pieces, one on either ankle, about 2x2" each. Together I paid $175 for them.

Also, keep in mind that when I first got these done the shop was fairly new in my area, but the tattoo artist has some mad talent. I’m sure it would cost me a great bit more to get the same work done now, but it would be worth it.

Make sure you check out the portfolio of your artist thoroughly before committing yourself. It’s worth the price for a great piece of art.

I would like to quote something I read on the Hepatitis C website:

“Location: Australia
Comments: hi, my name’s kym and i’m 17 years old. i’ve just recently had a blood test for STDs, HIV and hepatitis. everything came back negative except for hep C in my liver. now the doctor told me (over the phone when i called for results) that it is passed through blood, for eg. drug usage etc. but i have never used drugs before and the only thing that i can think of is my tattoo or body piercings. i’m totally freaked out, i can’t believe this is happening to me. i’d like to know if anyone is reading this can you pls email telling me the ‘process’ of what happens after being diagnosed. if i was to give it to someone else, how would that happen? i’d really appreciate a reply from someone who has hep C or knows someone who has it. i’m so scared…”

Everyone in the tattoo business knows about sterilizing needles nowadays. What you have to watch for is whether the tattoo artist uses a single common jar of ink (central reservoir) for all tattoos. Many good artists aren’t entirely clear on the rules of sterile technique. If your artist tattoos someone before you who has hep C, the needle picks up the virus as it passes across the skin, and if the needle is dipped back into a common jar, the virions go floating into the ink. The same is true of AIDS, but the AIDS virus is much harder to catch than the hepatitis viruses. Hepatitis is much more virulent on a per-virion basis.

The fact that you can catch hepatitis from the central ink reservoir, and may not have symptoms or a detectable blood test for months or years, but still be infectious, is why nobody who has a tattoo can give blood, ever again.

I don’t have tattoos. My best friend, who is also a doctor, has four.
Hepatitis C is too high a price.

I was thinking that exact same thing, you beat me to it. When I finally get around to getting mine done, Pat Fish is who I want to go to. It is going to be pretty expensive. But worth it.