If you’re itching to get inked, or maybe some more ink, then you’re probably trying to figure out whether or not you can afford to. Especially on a student budget! But to answer that, a whole lot of considerations must be made. Whilst the ‘average price’ is £130, there is no one answer to any questions about tattoo prices in the UK.
So what does it depend on?
Location, location, location.
Now, this can be split into two sections. Location as in where in the country you’re going to get your tattoo, but also where on your body you want the tattoo to be!
If you’re looking for something on a part of the body where the ink will struggle to saturate the skin, it will take longer, and so may well be more expensive. These tend to be places with stretchy skin, like the ribs. Some artists may also charge more for difficult areas, like behind the ear or in your lip. However, a lot of these price differences to depend on the artist and the parlour’s own rules. For example, if the artist doesn’t charge per hour, then you don’t need to worry about it being in a place that’ll take longer.
The city your artist is in also contributes to price differences, as it does with most things! In London, tattoos are likely to be a little pricier as the cost of living is higher and so the artist relies on their prices accordingly. In places up north, it’s likely to be cheaper. Some places, like Brighton, have a very big tattoo culture, and so the prices range from as little as £30 to as high as £90 for the same tattoo! So be sure to check around when you’re looking.
Obviously, choosing your tattoo artist is important. Not only is their art going to be etched into your skin forever, but you’ll have to spend potentially hours sat in their company. Plus, some artists are well known, and so charge a little more because of it. People like European Son in Brighton, for example, travel across the country (and internationally). Through doing so, he’s got a large following, and just like big music artists, he can afford to charge more.
If you are looking for a huge piece to cover your entire back, it is obviously going to cost more than the little infinity sign your friend got on her wrist. That’s why when you go and contact an artist, size is the first thing they’ll ask. You’ve got to have an idea whether you want a palm-sized tattoo, or smaller (although not all artists do small, as you run the risk of ink falling out as it heals), or whether you want a sleeve, etc.
To colour, or not to colour?
Again, this is fairly obvious, but colour both takes longer and uses more needles and ink. Consequently, they cost more. They also involve more work sometimes, as the ink has to saturate the skin very well otherwise the colour will fade to patchy as the skin heals. Some people reckon that colour will hurt more, but that’s just because of the extra time that it takes. But if you’re worried about the price, it may be worth getting a line art piece and then adding colour in another sitting.