I want to be a Tattoo Artist!!

Why I don’t want my kids to tattoo.

Tattooing is not for everyone. I get asked about letting my kids get tattooed or what if my kids want to tattoo for a living. The answer is No. As long as my kids are kids, they are not getting tattooed. The state says 18, so I’m going to go with that. I have the same answer for tattooing as a career choice.

I would rather my kids work at Starbucks.

I’m going to break it down.

A street shop artist will average $440 a day in a moderate to busy shop. They are required to work 5 days a week usually 10 hour shifts. Most likely they will work 46 weeks a years. Sounds good so far. They will gross 101,200 a year! You should know that this is bullshit.

Lets tax the hell out of that gross. First the shop gets 50%. Follow the math. (101,200/2=50,600) We aren’t close to done.

Let’s tax that number buy the State, Feds and City. Roughly for every 100 dollars you bring home, 20 dollars should go to taxes. (50,600x.20=10,120 in taxes) (50,600-10,120=40,480) Here is where tax deductions is important.

Now the rule of thumb is to put 1/3 of what you make back into your business. That would be an average of $1391.00 a month. The bulk of this is Travel, Advertisement, and Supplies mostly. Fun Fact: A tattoo convention will cost $2000 before you do your first tattoo.

We now have write offs. Let’s redo our taxes. (50,600-16,600”deductions”=34,000) this is our taxable income. (34,000x.20=6,800) This brings our math to (34,000-6,800=27,200) Note: Get an accountant. Pay them too.

There is a front person that get tipped a minimum of 20 dollars a day. The artist works 230 days a year. (20×230=4600”tipout”) Lets take that out. (27,200-4,600=22,600)

Here is out Net income of $22,600 take home. Now if you want to feel sick, you need health insurance, but lets not complicate it anymore.

Wanna here something that will put this in perspective? Lets figure out the hourly. 230 days a year at 10 hours a day. (230×10=2300”hours”) Lets divide up our net. (22,600/2300=9.82) After taxes and before buying health insurance, a tattoo artist in a moderately busy street shop will make $9.82 an hour.

You can fudge these numbers how ever you want.  The big picture is that it is difficult to make a more comfortable living once you have maxed out your gross.  Maybe you don’t spend as much on write offs but the best you will do is 22k to 30k a year if you are being honest with yourself and the goverment.  Remember, all of this is with NO BENEFITS.

So Like I said, I would rather my kids work at Starbucks. Less hours and better benefits.



Matt Hodel


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