Tattoo Cost #1: Your Artist
Although tattoo cost is obviously important to consider, we strongly suggest choosing an artist whose style and vibe you love—even if they are more per hour than you’d initially thought. A tattoo is something you’ll wear for a lifetime, so it is vital to choose an artist whose style matches your vision. With tattoos especially, get what you pay for, especially when it comes to skill level.
We are proud to say that all of our artists are top notch, so it’s easy to match with someone whose style and skill level align with your ideas. You can browse portfolios on our website or visit our Instagram @papercranestudio to get familiar with our individual artists’ specialties and styles.
Tattoo Cost #2: Size
Our session minimum is $100, even for the smallest tattoos. You might think that sounds like a lot to get a single symbol tattooed on your wrist—but please remember that “simple” pieces are actually some of the most difficult to tattoo, as there is little to no room for error. The minimum tattoo cost covers our materials as well as the time we spend designing your piece, prepping for your session, and cleaning up afterwards.
Tattoo Cost #3: Level of Detail
Whatever the level of detail you’re interested in, a quality tattoo is absolutely worth the cost. Why? Because it’s a permanent piece of wearable art—and when done right, it will reflect the truest version of yourself and provide you with joy for many years to come.
Tattoo Cost #4: Location
One of the less talked about tattoo cost factors is location: Where do you want your new tattoo to go?
If you’ve attended one of our Friday the 13th events, you’ll know we usually only tattoo arms and legs during flash events. These areas tend to be the easiest to tattoo, so we can move fairly quickly—which keeps the cost down during a regular appointment.
Other areas present unique considerations. For example, neck tattoos are more painful than arm tattoos, which means more tensing or movement from a client. This in turn slows our process down. Even if you sit like a rock, neck skin is more delicate and requires extreme care (and therefore more time) during the tattoo application. The same is true of wrist skin as well as other areas. For other spots, convexity or concavity can mean a different approach is required than for a flat plane.
Wherever you want your tattoo to go, we can work with you to ensure you get a piece you love.
Tattoo Cost #5: Your Budget
Sometimes, depending on the size and complexity, we may suggest saving up if your budget isn’t realistic. We do not offer bargain tattoos or haggle over our rates: Tattoos are both a luxury and a legitimate art, and we’re committed to quality over quantity. But we get it if you’re on a budget, and we’re willing to work with you—even if it means putting a pin in your piece for the time being.