Why touch-ups aren’t touch-ups and why they aren’t free.
It’s all too common for artist’s to be asked if their artwork is guaranteed for life. If their client will receive endless touch ups as long as they keep coming back. While any experienced tattoo artist cares about the way their art will look for years to come, they take that into account while designing and even during the tattooing process. It is one of the many reasons that artist’s will make recommendations for your tattoo long before beginning the process. Such as suggesting a more defined outline, or going with black and grey because it holds up longer than color. These are just simple examples of how an artist will show that they care. Another example is planning on doing a follow up appointment after the tattoo is healed. This allows the artist to go over every aspect of their work and ensure that the tattoo is the best that it can be.
The human skin is the largest organ of the human body, many forget that your skin is just as alive as you are. It heals, it sweats, it moves, it stretches, and bends. One of the biggest factors to healing is client lifestyle. What they eat, drink, and their overall health. All of these things can be a factor during the healing process and how a tattoo might turn out. An artist only has so much control over that tattoo. Once they are finished, they wrap it up and send you home with care instructions. They don’t know if you are going to follow said directions or listen to your friend who “has a lot of tattoos so he must be an expert”!
Depending on the design, artists can spend countless hours and even days designing and preparing your tattoo. They put in this dedication because they are designing a one of a kind, handmade piece of art that you get to take with you wherever you go. Anyone who collects handmade items knows that they aren’t perfect. If they were, they would be manufactured by a machine and massively reproduced. Having a unique custom piece made just for you is the reason why you searched for your artist.
With all of that in mind, a quick “touch-up” doesn’t exist. It costs on average $60.00 just to set up properly for a tattoo, plus the tattoo artist’s time. While we know that no one likes to work for free, tattoo artists are no exception.