How long does it take to make a tattoo?

Your clients want to know how long it will take, and you must give a clear answer.


It is very possible that one of the most frequently asked questions by your clients is : how long will it take to make the design?

This question may arise due to an organizational issue, to know the exact duration of the pain, or just out of curiosity… But it’s probably pain related. 😆

The point is that, to be a tattoo artist, you must give answers to all concerns so that you make your clients feel confident and happy to use your services again.

Caring is key!

Below is all the information that we consider necessary for you to share with your clients.

Factors that determine the duration of a tattoo

From now on, we can clarify that there is no minimum or maximum time for a tattoo, since its duration will depend on several factors both technical and physical.

1. Size and complexity of the design

These are the most essential characteristics to determine the duration of the session. And why do we put them together? Basically, because they depend on each other. Obviously, if you make a large tattoo it will take longer than with a small one, but it would also be prudent to think that a large and simple tattoo (with few lines/fills/shading) is not the same as a small and complex one. So, when giving an estimated time, take into account both variables at the same time.

2. Style

The style is deeply related to the complexity of the design. Each style consists of different levels of detail and difficulty.

For example, Dotwork and Realism stand out for their hard work, so it will take longer to achieve the final result. Minimalism or micro-tattoos are characterized by their simplicity, which will make the session shorter.

3. Area

You have probably noticed that there are areas of the body that are easier to tattoo than others: arms, thighs and calves. While ribs, abdomen, chest near the armpit, behind the ear and the knees, are specially difficult, either due to the elasticity of the skin, the imposing presence of bones or the reduced space.

You’ll have to be more careful when tattooing, and, therefore, it’ll take up more time. It needs to be excellent!

4. Pain

We have already developed this topic in depth and you must know that some parts of the body hurt more when they are tattooed. This is due to several factors, mainly the nerve endings in the area, the amount of fatty tissue and pain tolerance.

In the most painful areas, your client may ask you every now and then for a break, which will extend the duration of the session.

5. Pace

Each professional has his own pace of work, in fact, you must already have yours well-defined. This factor is based on the experience, breaks, or perhaps a matter of comfort and organization. The thing is that this will directly affect the completion time. So just, take it into account and don’t rush. Each artist imposes his own pace according to what gives him the best result, and that is the important thing!

Conclusion: Each tattoo is a different world.

It is very crucial to take into account all the factors mentioned when calculating an estimated time for your clients. Of course, it will never be exact! But you can actually get pretty close.

Getting tattooed usually generates many questions. Therefore, as a good professional, you must be as informed as possible to keep your clients calm and create a pleasant environment.