How do deposits and drawing fees work?


In order to make an appointment with any of our artists we must first collect a deposit. The deposit is applied to the cost of the tattoo on the day that it is completed unless there is a less than 72 hour cancellation or a no-show. This is separate from the nonrefundable drawing fee that pays your artist for their drawing time and does not go toward the price of the tattoo. The deposit is collected on the day of the consultation with cash or credit card or via a phone call if a consultation appointment is deemed unnecessary. If it is collected over the phone we simply ask for your credit card information and take care of the deposit. The artist will book the appointment through email or phone. Our receptionists are happy to schedule your consultation with most of our artists.

Since we are a busy studio our artists are booked solid for a week to six months it’s very rare that someone doesn’t show up for an appointment or has to cancel at the last minute. When it does happen we have to take the deposit* to cover our time and this is why:


  • If there is a need to reschedule we like to schedule someone else in that opening. If we only have a day or two to book it it’s usually not possible as most of our clients are busy professionals and parents. Having at least three days to go through our waiting lists or contact clients gives us a little more time for planning.
  • If the appointment opening isn’t booked due to lack of time or someone not showing up it leaves us with hours of time that should have been working time. Since we only get paid when we are tattooing we lose out on any chance of income during that time. This can be a missed opportunity of anywhere from $100 of lost income to upwards of $600 (depending on our hourly rate and the percentage that we receive as pay out from the studio). As you can see, the deposit usually doesn’t cover all of the income we would have made that day but it helps a little.  appointments
  • If the appointment is simply canceled and not rescheduled we need to get paid for the time we spent consulting in person or through email. If the tattoo is never done then we have spent that time without any compensation.
  • Some of our artists drive up to an hour to work at Damask because we love this studio. Since we are not paid by the hour we are only here when we have appointments. If we drive in and then find that our appointment has canceled when we arrive we are not only out the income that we would have made that day but also the round trip drive that we make to get here.
  • If the artist draws a design for you and you decide to change the subject matter of the tattoo then we’ll need to collect another drawing fee.  Additionally, if there is more than 3 changes or adjustments made to the drawing they will need a new drawing fee so that they are fairly compensated for their drawing time.  This makes it fair for everyone.  The artist is paid for their time and you get exactly what you want tattooed.  Your artist will inform you of the additional charges according the the situation.  
  • What if you don’t like the drawing? This is very, very rare as most people choose their artist based on the style that they are already good at. If it does happen, we can make changes up to three times before a new drawing fee is needed. If there is never an agreed on drawing then the artist needs to be compensated for the time they spent drawing and the time they spent consulting so the deposit will go toward that time. We are happy to help you find another artist in our studio or even at another studio. We’re willing to do anything we can to help you get the tattoo you are dreaming of. Ultimately, it’s a commissioned piece of art and the artist needs to be paid for the time they spent working.  If you decide to work with another artist we will need to collect another deposit and drawing fee for that artist. 

We would all love to be able to create our art for free but we are all full time tattoo artists and depend on this income to support ourselves and our families. We want to offer you an awesome tattoo and also a great experience getting it. Frustration over missed appointments can tarnish a great experience for all of us. 

*There is one important note. We keep a very clean studio and need to be attentive to germs and infection risk. If you are sick or contagious in any way please call us to cancel your appointment and we will discuss the deposit at that time. You can read all about getting tattooed when you’re sick on our blog post about it here.