Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Price You Pay

Have you ever wondered why tattoos are so pricey? Well I think the most important thing to remember the next time you get a quote on a tattoo is that it’s PERMANENT.  Tattoo shop prices range anywhere from $100-$200 an hour. Ever think to yourself, “Man that’s expensive!”? Think of it this way, you spend a hundred dollars on a pair of shoes and they last you a couple of months. You go to get a tattoo done and you get quoted for three hundred dollars, and of course you’ll try to talk to guy down but the thing you have to remember is that this will be on you forever. Sure you can go to the guy who will do it for a fraction of the price but will you get the same quality of work? That doesn’t mean that all tattooers that you’ll find outside of shops will do bad work, but more than likely you’ll run into what is known in the tattoo industry as a “scratcher”. A scratcher is a person that tattoos without any kind of training from a “master” tattooer, only interested in making money and tattoos from out of a shop. 

 Many tattoos done by Kat Von D are portraits.

Many tattooers also have a minimum that you have to pay to get tattooed by them. Clifton Carter from Living Ghost Tattoo in Arizona charges a minimum of five hundred dollars. Grime from Skull and Sword Tattoo in San Francisco charges two hundred an hour. And if you want to talk about the tattoo artists from reality shows like “LA Ink” and “New York Ink”, the artists have anywhere from a five hundred to eight hundred minimum. When you look at the work that some of these artists produce, it’s as clear as day and night why they command such a price for their tattoos. On the other hand when you look on craigslist to find a “tattoo artist” it’s also easy to tell why they’re only charging a fraction of what the more talented artists charge. 

A phoenix piece done by Clifton Carter of Living Ghost Tattoo.

When you get a quote on a tattoo and you’re unhappy with the price, the rudest thing you can say to the artist is “Why is it this price? I can get it cheaper from the other guy.” It’s a waste of their time and also a waste of yours’ so don’t bother. Most of the times when this happens and you go to the guy who charges less, you end up with a tattoo you’ll regret. If this happens and you want to get the tattoo removed or covered up, this will end up costing you more money and more pain than if you would have paid to get it done right the first time around. So the next time you’re looking to get a tattoo, do your research, save your money, and get it done right the first time around! Next blog I’ll be taking a closer look at tattoos and their acceptance in Japan, a place where tattoos have a long history but are also somewhat of a taboo despite the rise of popularity.

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