KRod

Tipping Question

Recommended Posts

I tip anybody that I plan to use on a regular basis no matter who it is. That's the way I was taught growing up and believe me, it helps when you're in a pinch and need a favor. Plus, I was in the service industry for 10 years so I know how much I appreciated it and how hard I worked for my pennies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm an Australian in Australia. My artists charge $180 an hour. I make $35 an hour. I don't tip.

Get the fuck out of here with that attitude. Maybe tipping isn't expected in Australia, and that's fine if you don't tip there. But don't chalk it up to you making $35/hour and the artist making $180/hour because that's such a naive and bullshit way of viewing how tattoo artists are compensated.

Most artists either have to rent out a spot in a shop or pay a percentage of their earnings to the shop, usually around 30% based on what I've heard. So that $180 is now about $120. I've also heard from artists that just to set up a tattoo costs between $20-40 (which is why shop minimums exist). So now it's down to about $90. Now take into account they only charge for the time they are actually tattooing you, not the time they are setting up, drawing, putting on the stencil, listening to what you want, etc. So a "one hour" tattoo, really probably takes a minimum of 1.5-2 hours. Now that's down to about $45 an hour. Now take into account that most artists don't work 9-5, instead, they might get a couple of tattoos a day, with lots of down time in between. After all of that, that $180/hour doesn't look so glamorous does it? Now take into account that the cost of living in Australia is much higher than in the US, and the fact that your artist only charges $180/hour when many artists in the states charge the same or higher.

I don't mean to say that this means you should tip, but I think it's disingenuous to act like all tattooers are super rich just because they charge $180+ per hour.

- - - Updated - - -

I'm an Australian in Australia. My artists charge $180 an hour. I make $35 an hour. I don't tip.

Get the fuck out of here with that attitude. Maybe tipping isn't expected in Australia, and that's fine if you don't tip there. But don't chalk it up to you making $35/hour and the artist making $180/hour because that's such a naive and bullshit way of viewing how tattoo artists are compensated.

Most artists either have to rent out a spot in a shop or pay a percentage of their earnings to the shop, usually around 30% based on what I've heard. So that $180 is now about $120. I've also heard from artists that just to set up a tattoo costs between $20-40 (which is why shop minimums exist). So now it's down to about $90. Now take into account they only charge for the time they are actually tattooing you, not the time they are setting up, drawing, putting on the stencil, listening to what you want, etc. So a "one hour" tattoo, really probably takes a minimum of 1.5-2 hours. Now that's down to about $45 an hour. Now take into account that most artists don't work 9-5, instead, they might get a couple of tattoos a day, with lots of down time in between. After all of that, that $180/hour doesn't look so glamorous does it? Now take into account that the cost of living in Australia is much higher than in the US, and the fact that your artist only charges $180/hour when many artists in the states charge the same or higher.

I don't mean to say that this means you should tip, but I think it's disingenuous to act like all tattooers are super rich just because they charge $180+ per hour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We tip. Where we go the artists charge 120/hour but when they walk you up front to pay the guy up front always asks what they want to do. Sometimes it's 100/hr. We can't tip much but we do 40. I adore my artist and if I could tip him what I pay for the tattoo I would. We are bringing treats next time we go as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I always tip my artist, even if he's doing free touch-ups. The man is extraordinarily talented, and I think he deserves a tip every.single.time.

ya,I always tip as well,no matter what the artist is charging per hour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I generously tip my artist because his work will be with me for a while. The first session I tipped over 50% the cost of the work. On my next visit, I tipped just under 50% but included a couple small gifts on the front end.

I dont mind when my artist needs a smoke break or to have a quick break for lunch. He doesn't mind when I say I need to stretch. At my age I am only good for about 4 or 5 hours and then I am exhausted.

Quality is always worth the price and the wait. Showing a little gratitude and respect will have most artist doing some really extraordinary work.

 

The waitress that served me a nice meal is nowhere near the same level as the guy whose ink I wear with pride for the next 20 years. 

 

Just one old guy's perspective...

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/17/2016 at 4:41 PM, heathenist said:

 

- - - Updated - - -

Get the F*** out of here with that attitude. Maybe tipping isn't expected in Australia, and that's fine if you don't tip there. But don't chalk it up to you making $35/hour and the artist making $180/hour because that's such a naive and bullshit way of viewing how tattoo artists are compensated.

Most artists either have to rent out a spot in a shop or pay a percentage of their earnings to the shop, usually around 30% based on what I've heard. So that $180 is now about $120. I've also heard from artists that just to set up a tattoo costs between $20-40 (which is why shop minimums exist). So now it's down to about $90. Now take into account they only charge for the time they are actually tattooing you, not the time they are setting up, drawing, putting on the stencil, listening to what you want, etc. So a "one hour" tattoo, really probably takes a minimum of 1.5-2 hours. Now that's down to about $45 an hour. Now take into account that most artists don't work 9-5, instead, they might get a couple of tattoos a day, with lots of down time in between. After all of that, that $180/hour doesn't look so glamorous does it? Now take into account that the cost of living in Australia is much higher than in the US, and the fact that your artist only charges $180/hour when many artists in the states charge the same or higher.

I don't mean to say that this means you should tip, but I think it's disingenuous to act like all tattooers are super rich just because they charge $180+ per hour.

This is old, but since the thread has been revived, (and not much else going on), I thought it worth to mention the very weird logic in this post.  

Someone said that since the artist charged $180/hour, and he or she as the customer only made $35/hour, no tipping would be involved...which as an Australian living in Australia is probably par for the course.  

And then, that post happened (above).  "Let's add on all these extra charges to make it look like the artist makes pennies".  Um, no.

If an artist is charged a shop fee of 30%, that's fine.  If it costs $40 to set up, that's also fine.  But it doesn't cost $40 PER HOUR to set up does it?  "Listening to what you want"...yes, yes, that takes a whole lot of money.  

As someone who's done a plethora of different jobs, plus dabbles in the artistic field, *I get it*, but let's not start pulling charges out of the sky to justify an artist's pricing.  I know I can pay $5K for art that would cost $1K somewhere else, and it's not because *he listened more*. Eh?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That said, it is kind of a weird US culture that we live in; tip 15-20% for doing the regular job...not going above and beyond, not doing anything miraculous, and there are still empty homes and homeless that we'll look down upon with scorn and say, "well you should have worked harder!"

I digress.

My artist does nothing out of the ordinary except tattoo, and yet gets all my dough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see some customers struggling to pay the shop minimum for a small tattoo. I'd be surprised if they gave anything extra.

I have a new girl friend, she likes tattoos and was there for my back piece last week. She always brings something. Iced coffees, donuts, chocolates to give out to everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sit well. I tip well. I don’t bring drama. You know what that gets me? Back in! I’ve had artists come in hours before the shop opens, stay late and fit me into their otherwise insanely booked schedules. I’m basically commissioning a piece of art from them for every tattoo. I am more than happy to tip!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely I tip with these factors in mind: 

1. Timeliness to emails: I've worked with artists who take 2+ weeks to get back to me. I've worked with artists who get back to me within 2 days. I am more inclined to tip more to the artist who is extremely responsive.

2. Personal relations: I've worked with artists who had the nerve to argue with what I wanted. I've also worked with artists who collaborate and give sound advice if they think something won't work or if they have a better idea in mind. I am more inclined to tip more to the artist who treats the experience like a partnership and a collaboration.

3. Satisfaction with the design: I've had artists who hit the nail on the head 100% with what I wanted. I've had artists go on their own crazy program and give me something I was not happy with. I'm more inclined to tip more to the artist who gives me exactly what I want.

I always tip, but I will tip generously to the artist who fits the above criteria. And in turn, I've found they will bend over backwards to give me more flexibility for future appointments and longer tattoo sessions. I scratch their back, they scratch my back, its a win win for both of us involved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/17/2017 at 6:41 PM, IX XV LXXXVIII said:

Absolutely I tip with these factors in mind: 

1. Timeliness to emails: I've worked with artists who take 2+ weeks to get back to me. I've worked with artists who get back to me within 2 days. I am more inclined to tip more to the artist who is extremely responsive.

2. Personal relations: I've worked with artists who had the nerve to argue with what I wanted. I've also worked with artists who collaborate and give sound advice if they think something won't work or if they have a better idea in mind. I am more inclined to tip more to the artist who treats the experience like a partnership and a collaboration.

3. Satisfaction with the design: I've had artists who hit the nail on the head 100% with what I wanted. I've had artists go on their own crazy program and give me something I was not happy with. I'm more inclined to tip more to the artist who gives me exactly what I want.

I always tip, but I will tip generously to the artist who fits the above criteria. And in turn, I've found they will bend over backwards to give me more flexibility for future appointments and longer tattoo sessions. I scratch their back, they scratch my back, its a win win for both of us involved.

It's such a grey area when it comes to this.  I'm inclined to tip because...I'm a tipper.  But that doesn't mean I don't notice the actions of artists. After spending so many hours with an artist and he "kind of" hits the nail in the head, but meh maybe, he'll still get a tip and then thank me and have a nice day. I'm not expecting a red carpet, but in the art industry, people just aren't thankful.  I sought you out, I came on time, I sat well, I kept my mouth shut, I filled out your silly "what kinda tatto do you want" paper (that you didn't even care to read), and you still get a percentage on top of your outrageous charge. Someone's winning I suppose. 😏

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Per this: "I'm not expecting a red carpet, but in the art industry, people just aren't thankful"...I have never had this experience. I've once had once experience where I didn't 'click' with the artist but I got an amazing tattoo and it was still good in the end. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I like about my artist. He is very down to earth and real. On my first visit I explained what I wanted. He politely told me there was no way and why. Based on his recommendation I adjusted course and booked an appointment. First tattoo exceeded expectations. Booked a second visit and we came up with a plan for a cover piece. Dude took a lot of photos and time drawing exactly what he thought would work in the theme I wanted covering a 20 year old tattoo. After three sessions we really hit it off and enjoy working together.

My artist prefers large pieces, detailed planning, and commits to excellence. He is very careful about accepting cover work. 

What does this have to do with tipping? A couple nice tips let my artist know I appreciated his work. These days the appointment list is getting longer. Its nice to be able to plan ahead and know exactly what to expect. When I booked my next session for next Saturday, my artist declined a deposit because he knows I will show up a few minutes early and be relaxed. So I handed him a few Cuban cigars instead. 

Building relationships with the staff of a nice shop and your favorite artist are always good things. Excellent work, fun visits after the work is done to see how it is healing and referrals keep the best businesses going. I want my local shop to do well. If most of us are honest... Dont you want a raise where you work? Then put some good will out there and watch what happens.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny story:  As I'm generously tipping my artist after my last session, he casually mentions he'll be in my city during a specific week, but "he's already booked up".  While he's still counting, "You're welcome to book your next session back in my city though".  

Most artists are assholes.  However if I constantly reacted based on how I was treated, the world would just be filled with tons of assholes.  He enjoyed his extra and I have a cheeky tale to tell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tip. Some people expect it (usually artists in the US) and some don't (around Asia and Europe). I remember my tattoo artist in Denmark (he's British) being so surprised by the tip and the little gift I brought for him that he asked if he could give me a hug. I thought it was adorable. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tipped (again) my artist from Denmark last week just like I'd tip any other artist. Hell, he worked on me all day and I have something so incredibly beautiful. Why wouldn't I?   It was also during the same session that one of the other shop artists left the shop and came back with sweet treats from a killer bakery for me. Oh, and then I was able to get in with someone on the spur of the moment for the next day... I love my artists and their crews. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a frequent flyer in the shop I go to. She treats me well and once in a while charges me too little, so I tell her so and give her a great tip. Last night I was having a cover up done on an old piece of work, we made some of it up as we went along. Line out an element, clean it up, sit back and look at it, proceed. That is priceless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a tattooist; if I feel like I did a good job and my client tips me, it's an awesome feeling and I gladly accept the tip. If I did a tattoo that I felt I could have done better on I refuse the tip.. Why should I be paid extra when I didn't knock it out of the park? 

As a collector; I always tip.. wether its after each session or after its all said and done. Typically, as I'm getting tattooed I talk to my artist and find out what s/he is passionate about other than tattooing.. Wether it's firearms, music, cars etc. I don't tip until my multiple session piece is done then I drop a rad gift on them. 

In my opinion, I would rather hand my tattoo artist a new guitar, a new rifle, or a new set of tires.. rather than handing then $50 tip every time.

Edited by Baby J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to throw a little something else in.  I don't know how tattoo artists and their shop handle the reporting of tips as income, but when I got my tattoo, I handed the artist cash for a tip before leaving their room.  I was paying with a card and knew I could add the tip on there, but figured there's no need to have it on the books.

Anybody asks, I didn't give nobody nuttin'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.