Tattoo Studio Etiquette

I found this and thought I'd share it with everyone. I'm sure a lot of the heavier collectors know a few of this already but I think I'm going to make a nice sign out of these an d put it up at the shop.


I feel stupid, but I just recently found out about the tipping thing. I never tipped my guy before and he never said anything. He's kind of a friend of mine though. The last time he tattooed me I apologized for not knowing that you were supposed to tip and hooked him up with a nice tip. He was cool about it and said he doesn't really care if people don't tip. He owns his own shop though, so I don't know if that makes a difference.

It's always great when someone tips me. I own my own shop and sometimes people aren't always able to tip, and that's ok. It's tip enough for me that they leave with a smile on their face and more than likely come back for more work and referr their friends to me.

When I first started collecting tattoo work, I had no idea about the tipping thing either. I always tip very well now especially if the artist takes a lot of his time to design something for me.

Oh, and don't forget this...

You must have some good stories Mario - what was your worst customer that you've had?

There have been a few..

I do remember having this one 'thug' kid come into the shop and he wanted "Thug Life" on his stomach...he was 18 years old, never had a tattoo in his life, and weighed about 100 lbs. He was so trying to be a badass in front of his girlfriend, but I could tell deep down that he was scared to death.

Anyway, I get him ready and lay him down on the table and tell him I'm about to start. Well, he decides to do the old "Hold the breath and tense up every muscle in his body" routine...I start a line on him and he starts to make this weird wimpering sound, kinda like a puppy, only not as cute.

This goes on for about half an hour and he is shaking and moving around and whining and complaining...This usually doesn't bother me too much as I can block it out most times, but he actually ended up making himself sick..he also passes out, falls off the table onto the floor and proceeds to urinate on himself.


I've also had people complain about the price WHILE I'm doing the tattoo on them!! Now that is probably closer to the "worst" customer award than the other one. But the few times that that has happened the next thing out of their mouth is, "Man, why does that hurt like that all of a sudden!" hehe, don't piss off the guy with the needle..

lol @ Thuglife - this wasn't Littleguy's friend was it?

lol, don't think so..

But I've only done "Thug Life" tattoos on young, white, mammas boys who would probably crap their pants if they ever met a real 'thug'.


that is an insult to all of us with thug life tattood on their chests, and you know it, mario!

cocks his head up all hard like

Tipping helps if you have to go back for touch a up.

invalid - I said the ones with thug life on their stomach, not the ones with it on their chest =)

ah. word.

taps chest

im gonna get "the violence has arrived" on my stomach

great sign for sure. People tip a waitress a buck for bringing you a beer , a tip for permanant art work on your body only makes sense

" DO try to have some kind of idea what you’re looking for before
you come to the studio- impulse buying isn’t, usually, a very good
way to find a tattoo that you’ll be able to live with for the rest of
your life. "

In the 90's I would sometimes hang out at my tattoo artist 'cause
one of my friends worked there. It was a Saturday, early
afternoon, when this kid walks in (old enough to have a tattoo),
starts looking at some of the designs on the wall. My friend comes
out of the back room sees the customer and walks up to him "Can
I help you?". - "Yeah, I want that tattoo!" says the kid pointing at
one of the designs. At that point he had been in the shop for less
than 30 seconds.

Good thing they have a waiting period of about 2-4 months. You
also have to make a down-payment, if you cancel your
appointment you get the money back and they use the time to
tattoo someone who really wants it.