A lot of time and work goes into preparing a station for a tattoo whether it’s a small or a large area that is being utilized. Between the set-up, preparing a stencil, and breaking up the station between appointments, that is at least an hour that the artist lost and didn’t tattoo. Preparing the stencil is at least 30 minutes and can go up to several hours, designing and drawing the tattoo is a whole other subject matter which takes time. A sleeve for example can take 30 hours or more to design and draw. A tattoo that would take say an hour has a total of 2.5 hours invested by the artist but is only getting paid for one hour. One then has to factor in overhead and cost of supplies.
This is why many artists and studios have a minimum. Some studios will not tell you the total cost of your tattoo upfront and will just guestimate on how much time to book you for. We like to be productive and transparent when it comes to quoting a piece and we do take all those things into consideration. We have a goal of how many hours a day an artist should be tattooing in order to be profitable. We are a successful studio because of the way that it is run, the structure and organization that we have draws clients to our studio because they know that all of their needs will be met. If multiple sessions are required, we book ALL of them to ensure that no client gets missed or forgotten and it gives them a piece of mind knowing that all the quoted time is already on the schedule.