Here is my unofficial guide based on research, talking to artists and other collectors and too many years experience as a waitress. And I know it’s not about how much he makes, but if all I can afford is the $800 tattoo and $100 tip, then so be it.
UK tipping practices are different than in the USA – it appears that tipping for a tattoo in the UK is uncommon and not expected. Tipping is always optional in a tattoo shop (although appreciated) – being a great client and referring lots of work is also a great way to show appreciation. The tattoo artist owns her own shop and is the only person that does tattoos in her shop but she is also the best in town and I waited 9 months to a year for 3 appointments. You basically rent the artist for 10 hours and you can get as many tats as you want in the 10 hours.

The tip is up to you of course but if it were me I would throw that artist at least $50 or more! I’m getting my first tattoo in a few days and I had a question (I know you mentioned it in the article).
Wife and I are loyal customers to our artist, so even though we may only get to go once or twice per year between the two of us, as long as he stays local and keeps up his standard of work, he’ll always have us as customers. I gotta know were the kick ass coat rack came from… would love to get the artist this for Christmas.
It was way less than 15% BUT it was what I could afford and both artists were very thankful and gracious. As for the tattoo not taking 2 hours- there is a lot of set up and clean up that happens around any tattoo session that you technically don’t get billed for.

Getting tattooed can be an intense experience and if the client is very happy with the work they may feel like they want to leave a tip. Since these tattoos are a gift from the artist to you I think a personal way of saying thank you might be more appropriate than cash. Not mandatory but always appreciated – and of course refusing the tip is always the right of the artist and is a nice gesture on your part as well.

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