9545 Reseda Blvd. unit 2, Northridge, CA (818) 700-2818

I'm a slow tattooer :(

Hey i have a problem. Ive been tattooing for about 3 years now, just over a year of that has been part time. So my problem is that i am a slow tattooer. What takes and average artist will take me double the amount of time to do a piece the same size. I have no idea why, and every shop ive been to, i feel really pressured especially when the boss is the one mentioning how slow i am. And when i do try to tattoo fast it doesnt turn out the way i want it to. But when i do go at my own pace i am very satisfied with the piece. So my question is, is this normal? Am i way too slow? And also how do i charge for a tattoo if everyone else can pull it off in 1/2 the amount of time?


RE:I'm a slow tattooer :(


Hey man,

You will never be as slow as Bob Tyrrell. no one closes more conventions than that guy. I too am a slow artist. I have no real intention of speeding up. I don't feel comfortable when I do and it will affect my quality of work.. there are artist out there like Paul booth who can fill your entire leg in 8 ours, and others like bob who will take 10 hours on a portrait. both artist are killer and do amazing work, but no one dictates their speed. bob would like to be faster, but that's how he works. So in relevance to how much do you charge. without me telling you their hourly rates, I will tell you that Paul is much much higher per hour than bob, but he is able to justify it with the speed at which he can do things. Other artist are so fast that they just charge a day rate instead of by hour, because their day rate is still worth every penny based on the amount of killer work you get... so as for me. I charge a slightly higher than the average hourly rate, however, I only charge "peddle time" not chair time. usually if you are in my chair for 6 hours. my peddle time will most likely say 3-4 hours. so you only pay that amount. this way I can go at my own pace, and the balance of what I charge it relative to the typical higher end pricing in my city and it balances out.. should I ever become faster at what I do, my prices will change accordingly.... also, I only Tattoo one person a day. so for the most part, I am not stressing about going over my estimated time to finish and having someone in the waiting room waiting for me to finish up...

Hope that helps.

Stephen Stacey
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RE:I'm a slow tattooer :(

Thank you so much. Your answers to my questions make me feel so much better, its great to know that there are fellow artists like me out there. I will take your advice and start charging per peddle time.
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