The world of tattooing is as intricate as the designs that adorn our skin. For the uninitiated, the pricing of tattoos can be as confusing as choosing the right design. In India, a nation rich in art and history, tattooing is not just about aesthetics; it's a reflection of personal journeys, heritage, and individual stories.
But how do tattoo artists and tattoo studios price their craft? Let's delve into it.
Pricing by Size
Most commonly, you'll find artists who charge based on the size of the tattoo, typically on a 'per square inch' basis. This method is straightforward: you multiply the price per square inch by the total size of the tattoo you're getting. You know the cost upfront. It's easy to estimate and there are no surprises.
Example: If an artist charges ₹1000 per square inch and you're getting a 2X2 inch tattoo, that would be 4 Sq Inch, so you'd be paying ₹4000
Pricing by Time
Some artists charge by the hour, it is based on how long the tattoo will take to complete. This method takes into account the complexity and intricacy of the design.
You pay for the effort and time the artist puts in. This is ideal for complex and detailed designs. However, longer sessions can be pricier, and there might be uncertainties about the exact duration. So it is important to discuss with the artist to fix the exact time he/she may require to complete the tattoo and lock the price before starting the tattoo.
Example: An artist charges ₹4000 per hour. If your intricate mandala design takes 3 hours, it would cost ₹12000.
Pricing by Session
For extensive works, artists might charge a lump-sum amount for an entire session, which could span the whole day or the maximum hours they work in a day. It can be more economical for large tattoos or complex pieces. However you might end up paying more if your tattoo doesn't take the whole session.
Example: An artist quotes ₹30,000 for a session. You decide to get a large tattoo that will take 2 days (two sessions). It will cost you ₹60,000
Factors Affecting Pricing
Artists Skill & Tenure
A tattoo is a piece of art that stays with you. Hence, the expertise of the artist is paramount. Renowned artists or those with extensive experience might charge a premium. Remember, you're not just paying for a design; you're investing in their years of expertise, knowledge, and artistry.
Some budding studios might have separate pricing for black & grey tattoos versus colored ones. A word of caution: choose studios carefully. Lower prices might indicate lesser experience.
Price Range Table
(Note: These are approximate values and can vary based on the region, demand, and individual artists.)
Skill Level of the Artist
Rate by Size
(per sq. inch)
Rate by Time
Rate by Session
₹500 - ₹1,500
₹18,000 - ₹30,000
₹1,500 - ₹2,500
₹9,000 - ₹15,000
₹30,000 - ₹75,000
Which Pricing Model Suits Your Design?
Fixed Size Pricing: Best for small, simple designs. Think symbols, initials, and small animals.
Time-Based Pricing: Ideal for medium-sized tattoos or those with a fair amount of detail. Portraits, intricate patterns, and themed designs fit well here.
Session Pricing: Choose this for extensive artwork. Full sleeves, back pieces, or any design that'll take hours.
In conclusion, while understanding the pricing structure is essential, remember that tattoos are permanent. Choose an artist whose style resonates with you, rather than making a decision purely based on cost. Your safety and satisfaction are paramount. Always ensure you view an artist’s previous works, read reviews, and make informed choices. Remember, in the world of tattoos, sometimes you get what you pay for. Invest wisely in this journey of self-expression.