How Much Does A Half Sleeve Tattoo Cost?

Tattoos are no less than a commitment. A half sleeve tattoo is considered as the middle ground between a full sleeve arm tattoo and your back tattoo. Despite that, a half sleeve tattoo is not lesser of a commitment than a full sleeve tattoo. It is as much intricate, time-consuming and worthy. 

The average pricing for arm half sleeve tattoos starts at $500 and can go up to $1500. The pricing usually depends on the design intricacy, the skill of the tattoo artist. Some tattoo artists may charge up to $2000 just for a half sleeve tattoo. 

The process of finding the right half sleeve tattoo for you can be quite confusing. Especially, finding out the average pricing of a half sleeve tattoo online can be confusing since it varies from one artist to another. If you are wondering what kind of design you should go for or how much does a half sleeve tattoo cost, then this article is for you. 

How Much Does A Half Sleeve Tattoo Cost?

There are two types of half sleeve tattoos. One is an upper half sleeve tattoo involving your bicep, and the other one is a lower half sleeve tattoo done on your forearm. 

The upper half sleeve tattoo is easier to hide. If you have a job that prohibits tattoos, this one is for you. It is easier to create an impression of a full sleeve tattoo with the lower half sleeve tattoo.

If your sleeves are rolled up to the elbow, anyone would think that you have a full sleeve tattoo. The location of the half sleeve tattoo does not affect the price in any way. 

As we have said before, getting inked is a commitment. And we would also like to mention that this commitment needs to be done by a professional. But finding how much does a half sleeve tattoo cost is a confusing task due to the variation of prices for each artist.

Some tattoo artists charge on an hourly basis, some have a fixed rate for specific designs, while some have a flat rate for a certain time. This is why we have skimmed through the internet and found out the best prices for a half sleeve tattoo for you.

There are 4 key factors that decide the accurate price of a half sleeve tattoo. 

  • The time required 
  • The size and intricacy of the tattoo 
  • The hourly rate/ per piece of the artist
  • Experience, skill, and fame of the artist 

If you have no idea of what you want and choose from something pre-drawn by the artist, it will cost lesser than a customized one. Since the artist already has an idea of what they need to do, they have already done it before, and they are aware of the estimated time required. This is why it will cost much lesser than a customized one.

On average, the price of a pre-drawn tattoo starts from $300 and can go up to $1000 with the intricacy of the design. 

For a customized tattoo, the pricing may depend on the artist. But most artists charge on an hourly basis for customized and intricate designs. This hourly rate also varies from one to another.

A tattoo artist usually decides their hourly rate depending on their skill. Keith McCurdy, also known as Bang Bang, who has inked famous people like Rihanna and Cara Delevingne charge $400 per hour. On the other hand, most tattoo artists charge around $75 to $250 per hour on average. Thus, the accurate pricing of your half sleeve tattoo will depend a lot on the artist you have opted for. 

If your tattoo takes 3 hours to complete, you will have to pay around $1200 to get inked by Bang Bang. But a regular tattoo salon will do the job for you within $750.

It is why deciding who you want to get inked by also acts as a prominent factor in half sleeve tattoo pricing. 

On a whole, you can get a simple half-sleeve tattoo done within $500. But depending on other factors, the price may hike. 

Factors That May Hike The Price 

As we have said, the pricing may increase depending on various factors. Some are;

1. The Design And Intricacy

The pricing of a half sleeve tattoo will increase significantly depending on how intricate, detailed, and thorough the design is. More intricate designs will require more attention, more detailing, and, most of all, more time. The longer you are in the salon, the more you will have to pay.

The cheapest tattoos are simple and created with black ink. If you use multicolors, several outlines, and intricate designs all over your biceps and forearm, you will need to pay more. Some intricate designs require special needles to pay attention to the detailing, which will impact the bill heftily. 

2. The Demands Of The Customer

We have said that the demand of the artist impacts the pricing. But the demands of the customer will increase the price as well. A good half sleeve tattoo should have an ending that can act as the start of a full sleeve tattoo.

In simpler words, if you are unsure whether you will get inked again or not, you should get a half sleeve tattoo that can be turned into a full sleeve tattoo without added hassle. This particular task may require the artist to work extra hard, leading you to spend extra money. 

3. Who Are You Getting It Done From?

As we have said before, the skills, experience, and fame of the artist make it more expensive. You cannot expect Rihanna’s tattoo artist to charge the same as the tattoo salon in your city. Or you cannot pay $150 for a half sleeve tattoo and expect a $500 finish. It is why choosing the right tattoo artist may increase the pricing a bit. 

Some tattoo salon that offers multiple artists may not charge the same hourly rate for everyone. Meaning the hourly rate of the artists offered may increase depending on their experience. 

Why Is It So Costly? 

The first question that comes to our mind after finding out how much does a half sleeve tattoo cost is, “why is it so costly?” 

Most salons charge up to $2000 for a half sleeve tattoo. That is quite a lot of money. Is it even worth the price?

Our answer is, yes, it is worth the price. Getting inked on your skin is no common matter. Tattoos are a commitment. Besides, tattoo removal costs more than that. When we think of a tattoo, we often forget the hard work the artist puts into it.

Half sleeves tattoos are harder to do since your arm, especially the upper half sleeve or the bicep, is not a flat surface. It is a bit easier to work on the forearm, but with the bicep, it is not an easy task at all.

When a tattoo artist thinks about doing a half sleeve tattoo, they need to come up with a design that will not fall flat due to the 3D canvas. This is a quite complex job and takes time. It is why a half sleeve tattoo seems so expensive!

Tips To Make Your Half Sleeve Tattoo Experience Smoother 

1. Know Your Options

The most important step in getting a tattoo is going to the correct artist. We will recommend asking for recommendations from the people around you. Once you have a few artists selected, check out their portfolio to see if it matches your style. 

2. Discuss With The Artist First

If you want a tattoo design customized, do not design it on your own before consulting with your artist. Your artist can help you actualize your vision by adding their twist and touch. Besides, discussing them will also let you know more about their style.

And it will help you to understand their style even more. Discussing different styles like tribal, Japanese, Celtic, etc., will help you to understand whether your artist has the caliber to visualize your dream or not. 

3. Do Not Look For Shortcuts

Getting a half sleeve tattoo is an expensive matter. But it is also a matter of your safety. Opting for a tattoo artist who does not charge “a lot” may cost you in the long run. A laser tattoo removal can cost more than getting a half sleeve tattoo. 

4. Compare and Select

We do not recommend comparing prices. Instead, compare the quality of work of the artists.

Final Words 

The process of finding the right half sleeve tattoo for you is not an easy task. However, with a little research and searching around, it will become a lot easier than you expect. Hopefully, this article has answered all the questions regarding how much does a half sleeve tattoo cost.  Our suggestion is, do not to look for a shortcut or an alternative. Your tattoo is going to stay on your skin forever unless you plan on getting a removal. Better get a tattoo that you can cherish forever than getting one you did not want at all. 

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