In many cases, and taking into consideration that many brand names are produced in the same factories as Wal-Mart and Target are, you can find better bang for your buck. Not with tattoos.
Cheap is as cheap does, meaning that you will always get the caliber of tattoo according to the rate of the artist, in some cases I would use the term artist very loosely. I cannot say enough that no one, and I do mean no one, should get tattooed in the basement of someone house at the kitchen table. Nothing good will come of this kind of scenario! And the fact that your friend’s uncle only charges $40 for a half sleeve should do nothing but raise red flags.
I am also going to advise that anyone doing a tattoo would have the knowledge to have sterilization equipment, yes major diseases can come from unsterilized machines and used needles, we all know this. A true tattoo artist also will not do a few lines or smoke a bit with you before he takes to the needle, with ungloved hands and a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. Take a look at some of our examples or, for goodness sake, Google this stuff!!
You are truly going to need to pay a seasoned, good artist $150 per hour or more. They will also have a minimum of somewhere between $60 and $75 for smaller pieces. You will have to go to their nice, clean, sterile studio and you will have to pre-book and perhaps wait for sometimes up to months to see them (unless they take walk ins), great if you luck out on weeks. You will also have to be of legal age, sober and for some artists have a sound concept or design, yes some artists will refuse to do certain things.
So then, try to avoid a rash decision to get a tattoo, don't do it on a dare or at a house party where someone just happens to be doing any design for $20 in the living room, while swigging back the JD. Never act as a guinea pig for someone who offers a free tattoo, or do a freebie freelance tattoo (a design chosen by he tattooer), you never know what you are going to get. Absolutely never go to a beginning tattoer for script, font or portrait; pay the big bucks if you want something to show off. Never be a person’s first live tattoo, having only practiced on the synthetic skin that came in the kit. Also, never a tattoo from someone who is using a broken pen as their ink source or needs to share needles and tells you that dipping it in alcohol will kill any disease or bacteria (yes people actually do this).
My absolute best advice is never ever to have the thought in your head that you can get just as good a tattoo from someone charging $20 per hour as from an artist charging $150 per hour, because they are worth every penny and more! In the case of getting inked, you get what you pay for!
Writer: Morbid Molly