How do deposits and drawing fees work?


In order to make an appointment with any of our artists, we must first collect a non-refundable 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 reschedule, a cancelation (at any time), a no-show, or if you are more than 15 minutes late to your appointment. In those cases, the deposit will be forfeit to pay for the artist’s time. Since deposits are non-refundable they are not refunded at any point regardless of when an appointment is canceled. We’ll need a new deposit to reschedule your appointment. PLEASE ACCOUNT FOR SEATTLE TRAFFIC AND PARKING WHEN PLANNING YOUR DRIVE TIME. Traffic is ALWAYS bad in Seattle and parking is always challenging. We don’t have a parking lot but there are several parking garages in the area and two-hour, paid parking on the street.

Since we are a busy studio our artists are booked solid for a day to six months it’s very rare that someone doesn’t show up for an appointment, has to cancel at the last minute, or is more than 15 minutes late. When it does happen we have to take the non-refundable 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’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 a payout 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. 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 was 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 are 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 to 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. 

You may lose your non-refundable deposit if; 

  • You don’t show up for your appointment
  • If you cancel your appointment (at any time)
  • You don’t give us at least 72 hours notice to reschedule an appointment
  • You are more than 15 minutes late for your appointment (PLEASE call even if you are going to be one minute late to let us know you are on your way.)
  • You show up but you have decided to get a different tattoo than what was previously discussed. This will forfeit your tattoo deposit and your drawing fee. (You can always change your mind! We will never make you get a tattoo but this will cause the scheduled appointment to be a consultation so that means the artist is no longer getting paid for their time. They need to get paid for their time so you’ll need to leave another deposit and drawing fee.)
  • You show up intoxicated. Even one drink or a little high is not acceptable. We need your full and sober consent.  
  • You show up with a minor child. We can’t have unattended children in the studio and you’ll be busy and unable to move while you’re getting the tattoo. A tattoo studio is not a child friendly environment. 

We will need another drawing fee if;

  • You change your mind and want another design after the artist has already done a drawing
  • You ask for more than 3 changes to the drawing. (We want it to be perfect for you! You can make as many changes as needed but if the artist is spending more time than anticipated on the drawing they will need an additional drawing fee or they will let you know if they think anther artist will be a better fit. We want you to get the best tattoo possible even if we’re not the ones to do it.)
  • You ask for significant changes that were not discussed at the consultation appointment. 


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.