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The 15 Highest Paid Tattoo Artist in the World

Posted by Derm Dude Team on

FACT: Good tattoos can be expensive. Another fact? The very top in-demand tattoo artists can be extremely expensive! Of course, we’re not going to completely brush aside the fact that sometimes a lower cost tattoo can be a good one. But when it comes to the most elite tattoo artists who have waiting lists that are often years long for an ink session, get ready to get your wallets out and those credit card limits tested.

Hourly rates for these celebrity tattoo artists below can range between $500 to $2,500 per hour. Yup, you read that right, these artists come at a steep price. Some also offer day rates, starting at $7,500 per day and going (way) up from there depending on the piece or client. In many cases the rates look more like $10,000-15,000 per day (if not higher). Keep in mind, many of these artists tattoo celebrities including Drake, Justin Bieber and Lebron James just to name a few. Here’s a look at 15 of the world’s highest-paid tattoo artists, plus some of the A-list skin they have inked.

Top 15 Most Expensive Tattoo Artist

1. Ed Hardy

Ed Hardy Tattoo Cost

Although one of the most successful and world-famous tattoo artists in the world, 77-year-old Ed Hardy retired from tattooing. His rate applies for anyone who can convince Hardy to work on their skin. He’s also the name responsible for the hugely successful ‘Ed Hardy’ branded product line of the early 2000’s, which featured original art works by Hardy and other artists. He studied at the San Francisco Art Institute, where he was awarded his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Hardy also owns a tattoo shop in San Francisco, California, called Tattoo City.

2. Scott Campbell

Scott Campbell Tattoo Cost

With a rate equal to the down payment of many cars, Scott Campbell is known for both his highly detailed art style and the steep price you’ll have to pay for it. In addition to the price, be prepared to wait a couple years for your appointment because Campbell is also best known for being booked years in advance. With a temporarily closed location in Los Angeles, Scott Campbell also owns Saved Tattoo located in New York. He’s inked the famous skin of Robert Downey Jr., the late Heath Ledger, Marc Jacobs, Orlando Bloom, and more.

3. Ami James

Ami James Tattoo Cost

If you’ve ever seen Miami Ink or NY Ink, then you’re familiar with Ami James. Prior to hosting these tattoo-based reality TV shows, James was best recognized for his talent and passion as an artist. Receiving his first tattoo at the young age of 15, and inspired by his father’s inkwork, James was determined to become a tattoo artist. He briefly served in Israel’s military as a sniper before returning to the U.S. to begin his apprenticeship with Lou Kendall. So, not only is Ami James successful in the entertainment industry, but he’s also a well-established and successful tattoo artist.

4. Joaquin Ganga

Ganga Tattoo Cost

Specializing in minimalist and hyper realistic tattoos, Joaquin Ganga is a highly successful tattoo artist best known for his work with celebrities. He’s the ink master responsible for tattooing Drake, Post Malone, Odell Beckham Jr., Canelo Álvarez, and many (many) more. Ganga can be found at his shop, Ganga Tattoo Studio in Santa Monica, CA. However, if you find yourself in Spain, Ganga also has another studio (of the same name) located in Murcia.

5. Anil Gupta

Anil Gupta Tattoo Cost

Gupta started tattooing in the 80s under the mentorship of a tattoo artist in Mumbai. He now has nearly three decades of experience as an artist and, considering the level of detail and realism involved in his pieces, Anil Gupta’s rate should come to no surprise. Paired with his immense talent with realistic portraits and tribal-inspired pieces, his rate is more than reasonable. Gupta can be found operating his tattoo shop, Inkline Studio, in New York.

6. Bang Bang

Bang Bang Tattoo Cost

Bang Bang, or Keith McCurdy, is best known for his high-profile clientele that includes big names such as Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, Rihanna, super model Gigi Hadid, and Kylie Jenner. Of course, his success can’t be fully credited to the platform of these public figures. Bang Bang is consistently sought out due to his versatile talent and ability to specialize in various art styles. Although he’s been known to travel, Bang Bang can be usually be found at one of his two self-titled tattoo shops in New York.

7. Paul Booth

Paul Booth Tattoo Cost

Cult favorite Paul Booth is best known for his talent incorporating texture to the details in his works, using a multi-layered style of tattooing and lots of creative experimentation. He is also known for his high level of detail in horror-focused and darker subject matter-related pieces. Booth has worked on tattoos for band members of Slayer and Slipknot, and many more.

8. Jonathan Valena (Jon Boy)

Jonathan Valena is best known for his tiny micro-style tattoos on high-profile celebs that are often larger than life. Nicknamed Jon Boy, he can be traced back as the artist responsible for Justin Bieber’s face tattoos. Shockingly enough, Jon Boy was originally a youth minister with Hillsong Christian Church before turning to his career in tattooing. Now that’s quite the career change, but it has paid off. Some of JonBoy’s other high-profile clients include Kendall Jenner, Hailey Bieber, Zayn Malik and our very own Chief Dude Officer, Drew Plotkin.

9. Brandon Bond

Not only is Brandon Bond a highly successful tattoo artist, but he’s also quite the entrepreneur—He built a company for his tattoo-care related products.(Shameless plug: Check out some of ours over at Derm Dude!). Bond has been described as ‘quick’, with clients raving about how fast he works while producing high-quality pieces. If you have the money to spare but maybe not a full day, Bond would be a great fit! He can be found at either of his two shops: All or Nothing Tattoo in and Anti Art Elite in Atlanta, Georgia.

10. Kat Von D

Kat Von D Tattoo Cost

Another successful multi-industry ink artist is Kat Von D. Best for tattooing her way to fame on Miami Ink followed by spin-off show LA Ink, her empire also included her globally successful makeup brand, self-titled Kat Von D. Despite the success of her beauty company, Von D announced her decision to step away from the company in January of 2020. The brand has now relaunched as KVD Beauty, while Von D now primarily focuses on her career as a tattoo artist. She’s worked with Hayley Williams of Paramore, Lil Wayne, Eminem, and Rihanna, among many others.

11. Daniel Winter

Daniel Winter Tattoo Cost

Specializing in delicate fine-line and minimalistic pieces, Daniel Winter (AKA Winter Stone) is an artist very much well-known and loved in Hollywood. Some of his star-studded clients are Lady Gaga, Joe Jonas, Sophie Turner, Demi Lovato, and Emma Roberts. Winter’s career as an artist grew with every tattoo he received, learning new techniques and styles primarily through observation. He’s also strict with his tattoo style, admitting that he is constantly turning down client requests for portraits or anything offensive.

12. Nikko Hurtado

Nikko Hurtado Tattoo Cost

He inks the ROCK. What else do you need to know? Best known for his work with portraiture pieces, Nikko Hurtado’s work is nothing short of mind-blowing. He’s skilled in creating high-quality, color intense pieces. Hurtado travels the world for his craft but his home base in Los Angeles, CA­ at Black Anchor Collective.

13. Mr. K (Sanghyuk Ko)

Mr. K Tattoo Cost

Mr. K brings his skills as a graphic designer into play with his career in tattooing, specializing in micro tattoos and single-needle pieces. He works out of Bang Bang studio in NYC, which can be recognized as the shop of one of the tattoo artists higher up on the list, Bang Bang. Mr. K is the man behind Back to the Future star Michael J. Fox’s first tattoo and other pieces for Liam Hemsworth, Rita Ora, and the Beckham’s. His style is a mesmerizing variation of new and vintage concepts.

14. Dr. Woo

Dr. Woo Tattoo Cost

Although he specializes in fine-line pieces, Dr. Woo’s work is nothing short of intricate and expertly detailed. His hyper-realism style has jampacked his bookings, with clients booked up to two years in advance. Honing his craft under Mark Mahoney at the Shamrock Shake Social Club in Hollywood, Dr. Woo developed his style mostly through trial and error. His unique style of fine-line pieces caught the eyes of many Hollywood stars, including: Emilia Clarke, Sophie Turner, Frank Ocean, Miley Cyrus, and Sarah Hyland. Dr. Woo set up his own private shop in Hollywood, HIDEAWAY. The official location is kept a secret, and you’ll need a confirmed appointment before you get that address.

15. Mark Mahoney

Mark Mahoney Tattoo Cost

As the most respected tattoo artist in the industry, and with four decades worth of experience, Mark Mahoney holds an impressive clientele list. The popularization of the single needle/fine-line style is thanks to Mahoney. His waiting list is six months long, unless you’re a celebrity who can afford to request a house call for Mahoney. He’s inked Lana Del Rey, Jared Leto, and Angelina Jolie, but his most loyal client has been actor Johnny Depp. A couple thousand bucks and six months later, clients can find Mark Mahoney at his shop in West Hollywood, Shamrock Social Club.

So, there you have it! All you need to do now is sell your house, win the lottery or rob a bank, and IF you can get on the books of any of these mega-celebrity tattoo artists above, you’ll be set!

*Keep in mind that all tattoo rates listed here are best estimates based on various articles published. Actual artist rates have not been independently confirmed or verified, always reach out to artists directly for accurate rate information! *

Reference Links:

https://www.scoopwhoop.com/inothernews/anil-gupta-worlds-most-expensive-tattoo-artist/

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lifestyle/style/meet-hollywoods-go-tattoo-artist-winter-stone-1192198/

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lifestyle/lifestyle-news/mark-mahoney-high-priest-hollywood-tattoo-artists-1003532/

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1 comment

  • Jenn on

    Haven’t heard of some of these people but some are really great. Used your tattoo balm by the way and my tattoos healed really fast. Will be using again in the future thanks.

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