How Much do I Charge?

Hunter proudly showing his collection.

How much should I save for my Large Tattoo?

The cost of a tattoo sleeve can vary widely depending on several factors, suchTattoo sleeve of a Japanese Coi Fish as the size, design, and location of the tattoo. The experience and reputation of the tattoo artist is also a factor. Some artists are in such high demand that they can charge $600 an hour and are booked for months at a time.

On average, a full tattoo sleeve can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000 or more. It is not uncommon for a full sleeve to cost $5,000 or more, depending on the complexity and time of the design.  For instance, I can do a Japanese sleeve faster that I can do a Realistic Grey-wash sleeve.  It is important to plan a budget for yourself so you can attack a sleeve at a good pace.  If $400 a month is reasonable amount for you, getting tattooed once a month is a nice speed. Of course you can speed up the pace with longer sittings or more sessions per month.

All Shops are Different

It is important to note that some tattoo shops will have a minimum price for a full sleeve, and sometimes it will be higher than others.  When getting a sleeve designed and executed by me, we will thoroughly go over the subject matter. We will discuss your expectations of your design during a consultation. After we have a better idea how much tattooing is needed, then a ballpark price and the length of time to finish will be available to us.

Japanese body suit black and greyI should mention that you can get your large work done is smaller sections.  If your goal is to get a full sleeve, but you are not ready at this stage of your life to complete such an awesome task, we can break the process up.  We can start on the “half sleeve” and design it so all future tattooing will flow seamlessly.  This is common when you know you want more but are not 100% sure on the content for the lower arm.  I like this approach for clients who are new to large work because as they get heavily tattooed, it allows them to develop stronger ideas that did not reveal themselves before they started.

Get a Consult

It's always a good idea to shop around and compare prices and attitudes from different tattoo artists and shops, and to look at the portfolios of the artists to get an idea of their style and experience. Make sure that you are comfortable with the artist's work and their approach to the design you want.  Scheduling a consult is the first step to building a relationship with an unfamiliar Tattoo Artist.

It's also important to remember that a tattoo is a significant investment, bothMermaid tattoo sleeve in full color. financially and emotionally, and it's important to make sure you are comfortable with the cost before getting inked. I love clients that are willing to be dedicated to such a commitment as getting heavily tattooed.  It is the ultimate experience in being tattooed. Small tattoos are fun but large tattoos make a huge statement on “who you are” and what you are able to withstand in this life time.

-Matt Hodel

Have you heard my podcast? 

Bastards of Art: Too polished for folk art, too punk for fine art.

Bastards of Art is a podcast to reach out to lowbrow artist. We are helping artist to come together with a message of positivity and ambition. It can feel very lonely spending hours in the studio. We are here to help erase self doubt and cultivate the artist inside you.

Leave a Comment