Celebrity Tattoo Artists: Who’s Getting Paid?


We’ve all heard the terms “Trainer to the stars” and “Accountant to the stars” and “(insert otherwise mundane profession) to the stars”; all of which prove that sometimes just doing stuff for celebrities can make you a celebrity yourself. This is especially true in the tattoo industry; where as sometimes stars don’t want anyone to know were they train or that they need the help of a financial planner, everyone loves to brag about who did their body art. Whether it’s via Twitter, during interviews, or with the ultra-cool (sarcasm alert) Instagram photo from inside the shop, everyone who you’ve ever heard of loves to show you how cool they are and how great their ink artist of choice is. We guess it’s like any other form of physical art in that you want to give the artist credit and show that you can afford the piece, but it’s still kind of annoying. However, there is a plus to all of this tattoo braggadocio: artists are getting paid these days. Who’s getting paid the best? Let’s find out! We’re going to try and stick to artists who we can get at least ballpark numbers on, so don’t be too upset if we leave out your favorite.

Kat's shop starts its pricing at $200/hr

Kat’s shop starts its pricing at $200/hr

Artists like Mike Rubendall (from TLC’s “Tattoo Wars”), Bob Tyrell, Dave Tedder, Brandon Bond, and Stephanie Tamez all make awesome livings by charging in the $200 per hour range, having minimum session times, and by booking full schedules. However, the big moneymakers list starts with Kat Von D. The tabloid sensation and star of both “Miami Ink” and “LA Ink” has a shop minimum of $200/hr, so we have to figure that her hourly is up around at least the $300 range…which is exactly what Paul Booth charges per hour. Featured on CNN, CNBC, Discovery Channel, and TLC; Booth has worked on members of metal bands like Sepultura, Pantera, and Slipknot, giving them a taste of his dark and demon laden style. Famous clients are clearly the key to big bucks too, just ask New York based artist Bang Bang, who gets over $400/hr to ink stars like Rihanna and Justin Beiber. His work is good, but rumor has it that he’s not really worth the trip to the Bahamas that it costs you to have a medium sized piece done. In reality, is anyone worth that much cash? Don’t ask Anil Gupta, we already know his answer.

Working on stars like Justin Bieber has made Bang Bang bucks-bucks

Working on stars like Justin Bieber has made Bang Bang bucks-bucks

Charging a whopping $450/hr, Gupta has done work on celebrities like John McEnroe, Christian Slater, and Rosie O’Donnell. He’s know for his abstract work as well as his ability to perfectly copy works of art onto his clients’ bodies. He’s booked up six months in advance too, so you know that business is good. Not as good as Ami James though, as the “Miami Ink” and “NY Ink” star charges over $500 for just sixty minutes in the chair. His ownership of three shops (his third is Love Hate Social Club in London) and his clothing company DeVille has given him a personal net worth of over $5 million, so yeah…he’s doing well for himself. However, he’s cheap compared to Scott Campbell.

Anil Gupta's ability to replicate has replicated him a fortune

Anil Gupta’s ability to replicate has replicated him a fortune

Tattooing only on weekend because his lucrative career in advertising design takes up his weekdays, Campbell has charged the likes of Marc Jacobs, Josh Hartnett, and Heath Ledger a thousand bucks for their first hour of work. Granted, he drops his price to “only” $200 for each additional hour, but that still gives him a pretty insane hourly rate, and most likely means that he’s living large when he’s not in the shop or in the office.


Scott Campbell makes the most per hour…

Once looked at as the dregs of society, tattoo artists are finally getting the recognition as true artists that they deserve, and with prices as high as these guys, they’re getting the cash they deserve. Of course, they won’t be getting that cash from us, we prefer to be inked in Thailand, where fifteen hours of work from a guy who has a masters degree in art and design will run you about $500. Yeah, America is overpriced…but we still love this place.

...but Ami James has a bigger bank account

…but Ami James has a bigger bank account




Is Beyonce Removing Her Love Ink?


You can learn a lot from someone’s tattoos. You can look at someone’s ink and have some idea of where they’ve been, what they love, what they’ve done, and what they believe; you can basically tell a whole lot about their past and present. Sometimes though, you can even tell their future by looking at their ink, such is the case with Beyonce Knowles and her vanishing tattoo. So what does the future hold for the “Drunk In Love” singer and multiple Grammy winner (she’s won like…all of the Grammys)? Well if her tattoos are to be believed, either a divorce or a new career as a hand model.


A few years back, the former Destiny’s Child front-woman married rap megastar Jay-Z (real name Shawn Carter), thus forming one of the celebrity world’s most famous and successful couples ever. To celebrate the nuptials, Bey went out and got herself a little tattoo on her finger of the Roman numeral “IV”. The very small piece of ink sat right on her ring finger and represented exactly what you would think: the number four. Both Jay-Z’s birthday and their anniversary fall on the 4th of the month, so the tiny tat was basically a big (little) “I love you” to her husband. A great gesture right? Well…it was a great gesture. “Was”, as in past-tense, as in “the tattoo isn’t their anymore”. Yes folks, if recent pictures of the power couple are to be believed, then the ring finger piece appears to have been lasered off at some point in the past year. So like I said before, she’s either decided that she doesn’t have enough money already and is embarking on a career as a hand model…or she’s not planning on being married to Jay anymore. After her sister Solange was recorded attacking her husband on an elevator, speculation ran rampant that the all-time great rapper had done something pretty bad to his bride, and perhaps whatever that was has lead to the dissolution of their marriage. Their “On The Run” tour is still going on as of this writing, and they’ve been photographed together seemingly still together. However, they might be pulling a Sonny and Cher, staying together for show just to make a little more money before they call it quits. We can’t really say, but we can pretty much guarantee that Beyonce has had her tattoo removed, and people tend to do things like that for a reason.


Daniel Radcliffe Can’t Get Any Ink

Daniel Radcliffe

Most people grow up assuming that the day they turn eighteen they’re on their own. Not financially of course, because people are friggin’ moochers and tend to try and milk their parents for every cent they can get, but eighteen is when most kids decide that they can make their own decision and feel that “No one can tell me what to do! I’m an adult!”. Well here’s the harsh truth fair readers: when you turn eighteen, you still can’t make most of your own decisions because you’re an idiot who can’t support him/herself, so your parents usually get a say in your life under the “He who writes the checks, makes the decisions.” rule. Here’s the harsher truth: even when you’re in your twenties and even if you’re a multimillionaire, you can’t make some of your own decisions because you just care too damn much what your parents think of you. Such is the case with “Harry Potter” (Insert whichever of the titles you’d like) star Daniel Radcliffe, a man who has expanded his career from playing little kid wizards to starring in huge stage productions where he shows his bing-bong…but still won’t get a tattoo for fear of what his parents think. He admitted in an interview that he wanted to get a quote from “Waitiing for Gadot” author Samuel Beckett, “Try, fail, try again and fail better”, but he was immediately worried that his mom and dad would hear about it, because in the same interview he mentioned that he ”shouldn’t really talk about tattoos in case my mom and dad hear about it.”. So basically, a man who is willing to take out his crotch parts for a stage role in the name of art, isn’t willing to get body art out of fear of his parents getting upset with him. That;s weird and awesome all at the same time folks. So Harry Potter will keep outgrowing being a wizard, but he’s never going to outgrow respecting his parents.


Rick Ross: Boss Adds More Ink To His Face

rick-ross-face-tattooThere’s not many people in the music industry who seem to give less of a poop about how people think they look than rapper Rick Ross. In fact, there’s probably very few celebrities overall who show such a blatant disregard for how people would perceive them based on looks. We’re not saying that he’s not a good looking guy, we’re just saying…well…he’s pretty tubby, yet never wears a shirt, his wardrobe when he is actually forced to wear something is mostly over sized t-shirts, and he’s got multiple instances of the ultimate in tattoo “ef-yous”: the face piece.  His newest piece of ink is on his chin of all places, and while we don’t dislike it (if you’re going to have a face tattoo, you might as well have, multiple face tattoos), we’re not sure that it isn’t a huge jinx. The tat in question is also the name of his new song, as it’s a piece that says “Rich Forever”. We feel like he’s just asking to go bankrupt with something like that, but at the same time, maybe he’s going to use it to motivate himself to in fact stay rich forever…or at least until he dies, you can’t take it with you folks…but maybe he’ll have enough money to buy immortality when they finally crack the code on those undying jellyfish and there legit Highlanders walking around everywhere; then the joke will be on us.rick-ross-face-tattoo-picThe new chin work only adds to the hundreds of tattoos he already has; Rick’s got over fifty different dollar signs on his body, “Against All Odds”, “Millionaire”, the names of different cars that he owns, a bunch of skulls, “5 Star G”, “Teflon Don” (his nickname, which means that even if you are in fact rubber, he isn’t glue), his parents birthdays, a “W” (for “win”), a Darth Vader piece, a Basquiat piece, the outline of the state of Florida, and some crosses. That’s just some of the work he has, as he’s started to run out of space on his upper body and has begun to have leg work done. He still remembers his first tat though, a dollar sign, but doesn’t know exactly where it is; he describes it as “in the mist.”, somewhere on his upper body. Rick won’t be stopping anytime soon, so expect to here from us about The Boss again in the near future.rick-ross-face-tattoo-pics rick-ross-face-tattoo-pictures rick-ross-face-tattoo-pictures-1

Kylie Jenner Inks Miles Richie…It Looked Unsanitary


She wasn’t even wearing gloves folks…that’s how people get infections. We’re not sure how we feel about any of this, so we’re just going to tell you how we feel about each individual factor and give you some facts…and then probably get really angry and rant for a while. Ready? Go! Okay, so Kylie Jenner, of “My dad Bruce was a great athlete and my mom is a terrible person who put our family on reality television…and now I’m a model because I’m pretty enough that my famous name makes me marketable” fame and Miles Richie of “my dad is Lionel Richie and I like punk rock but have no actual marketable talent” fame are buddies. That’s all well and good, they hang out with other untalented children of famous people like Jaden and Willow Smith and they all stay away from the rest of us as a result, so good for them. However, as part of their whole “we’re so edgy because we take black and white Instagram photos and we’re angsty because…uhhhh…next question…” teenager phase, they’ve started getting tattoos and making the rest of feel bad about the fact that now people can look at us and go “Oh, you have tattoos, like that Lionel Richie’s son!”. So we’re upset that they’ve started entering our culture, but what are we going to do? At least they’re helping to make ink more acceptable. However, now some irresponsible tattoo artist in California, who may end up losing his license because of it, has allowed Kylie to tattoo her initials on Miles…and allowed them to video the whole thing. So now Miles Richie has Kylie Jenner’s “KJ” inked on his hand/wrist, and some dude is probably going to have to go to court and defend his ability to make a living because he let an underage kid without a license or gloves operate in his shop. We’re very annoyed by the entire thing…and that’s about all we have to say about that. Actually, we have more to say: Stop letting celebrities do whatever they want! They’re never going to become legitimate members of society if you keep letting them break the law simply because you want to be in their next selfie! Okay, now we’re done.

kylie-jenner-tattoos-mile-richie kylie-jenner-tattoos-mile-richie-pic

Tim Howard: Goalie Finally Scores With Ink

tim-howard-tattooAside from winning a World Cup, Tim Howard has done just about everything that a soccer player from New Jersey could ever dream of. The goalkeeper for both Everton of The Premier League and Team USA, Howard has had a career that has seen him succeed both in The United States as a member of The NY/NJ Metrostars (later known as The New York Red Bulls) and internationally on the aforementioned Everton and USA squads. He’s also got a solid family life that includes a wife and two kids, and has been hailed as one of the more prominent humanitarians in the world football game. He’s also covered in tattoos, so we love the guy!tim-howard-tattoosAt this point, Howard has pretty much his entire upper-body covered in ink, enough so that it’s hard to really get a read on all of his work. From the pictures we’ve seen, we can tell that he has a huge angel wing piece on his back, the name of his son on his chest, his kids’ faces on his pec, his number (24) on his ribs, an outline of the state of New Jersey on his stomach, a Jesus face on his left arm, nautical stars on his front deltoids, some doves on his shoulders, a cross on his arm, a Virgin Mary on his stomach,  a passage of scripture on his ribs, some Roman writing on his collarbone, a ton of Japanese imagery on his right arm (including Kanji, rising sun art, and a geisha), and a heart piece right on his chest plate. He obviously also has a ton of negative space filled up all over his body, and a bunch of small pieces spread out over his arms. There’s so much going on that we’re having trouble picking out all of his individual work, so if you know what he’s got, feel free to post it in the comments. Overall, every bit of work on this dude seems to be extremely well done, with at least some of it being done by popular England-based artist Alex Rodriguez. We’re really impressed with the overall look of his body art, and we’re pretty sure that he’s not done yet. We don’t see him going full body suit, but he’s got a little more space left on his lower back, and we could see him getting a little bit more done on his legs. We really dig everything about this dude, and we look forward to reporting when we know more about Tim Howard’s tattoos.  tim-howard-tattoos-image tim-howard-tattoos-images tim-howard-tattoos-pics tim-howard-tattoos-picture

Ellie Goulding Is Burning To Get More Ink


Singer Ellie Goulding is known for singing about flashing lights, but her concert costumes have started to garner her attention for flashing skin, and that’s led to the crew here at Celebrity Tattoo Design noticing some of her ink. As of this publishing, the “Lights” and “Burn” hit-maker has five separate tattoos, but only four of them have been caught on camera. She doesn’t have anything particularly large or impressive as of yet, but none of her ink is what we’d consider “bad”, so we’re going to spend a little bit of time talking about her body of body art.


Her largest tattoo is also her most recent, as she visited big time tattooist Mark Mahoney of Shamrock Social Club (Los Angeles, California) in early 2014 for the lotus that graces her ribcage. It’s a very well done piece, and it goes hand in hand with one of her previous pieces of ink. The older piece, done by Dr. Woo (also of the famous and expensive Shamrock Social Club) is the Tibetan mantra “Om mani padme hum”, which translates to “jewel in the lotus.”. The two pieces are a night compliment to each other, and it’s always nice to see some sort of continuity in a persons body art, even if just to show that their ink has meaning and wasn’t just done on a whim. Her other pieces aren’t lotus related, but she seems to have put at least a little thought into each of them.


She has a “J” on her side, which we have never seen and aren’t really sure of the meaning of, but we suspect it might have something to do with one of the following: her middle name “Jane”, the word “Joy” (the title of one of her songs), or her ex-boyfriend Greg James. She also has an arrow done in white ink on her right index finger (we have no idea why she got this one, but we know that she had multiple designs drawn up for it, so it wasn’t spur of the moment), and a red triangle on her right wrist. The triangle was by her own account random, but since she sings about drawing them in her song “Wish I Stayed” and admits to having always drawn them as a child, we have to suspect that she has a thing for the shape. Overall, her tats aren’t particularly impressive, but they’re also not bad at all; they’re just hers. That’s all tats need to really be folks, so good job to Ellie Goulding. She’ll most likely be getting more ink in the future, so this isn’t the last you’ll be reading about her. Until then, we’ll keep watching her skin for you! ellie-goulding-tattoo-finger

Jesse Metcalfe’s Bad Ink


Folks, every article here at celebrity tattoo design is at least a little different. Sometimes we report on the full body of ink that a famous person has, but other times they have one tattoo that is so bad and ill-advised that we’d be wasting your time if we did anything more than simply mention the others. Sometimes one tattoo is crappy enough that it deserves the spotlight! This is the case with former “Desperate Housewives” and current “Dallas” star Jesse Metcalfe’s shoulder piece, a tat that represents multiple bad ideas at once, and blows our mind with its amazing bad-ness. Yes, he does have a cross on his back, a Roman Numeral. “IX” on his right arm (it looks like a tribute to someone), and had some forearm script that he’s already had removed, but who cares!? He’s got a naked lady on his arm who’s so naked that we had to blur parts of her out! Who is this lady? It’s nude Nadine Coyle! His ex-girlfriend! You’re eyes are not decieving you folks, Jesse Metcalfe had a naked picture of a girl he’s not with anymore inked on his arm. She got a heart on a leash too, and some back-splash design, but the important part remains the most important: he’s got a huge, half-sleeve sized naked ex-girlfriend on his left arm! What’s even more crazy is that he’s rich and hasn’t made any sort of effort to have it removed or covered up. What’s even more crazy than that is that he allegedly got the Girls Aloud singer put on his arm while they were broken up in hopes and in expectation that they would get back together. Well they didn’t reunite and they’ve both ended up with new people…so some dude gets to walk around knowing that John Tucker has a nudie of his best girl on his arm, and some girl gets to stare at Nadine’s breasts every time she takes her man to the beach. The tattoo is actually nicely done if we’re being honest, but the subject-matter is just a bad idea sandwich. Jessie Metcalfe is just another example of why you shouldn’t get inked until you’ve got a ring on it…and even then, get something that you can cover up easily…or at least something somewhat ambiguous. Well, you live and you learn, we wish you the best of luck with your shoulder tattoo Jesse!

Jesse-Metcalfe-shirtless-and-showing-the-tattoos-on-his-back Jesse-Metcalfe-tattoo

Man Loves McDonald’s; Ruins Arm As A Result


Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new leader in our long running race for “worst tattoo idea ever”, and his name is… Stian Ytterdahl? Okay, while you all try to pronounce that little bit of Norwegian verbal magic, let’s discuss his ridiculous ink and the fascinatingly idiotic circumstances that surround it. For starters, let’s just get the tattoo itself out of the way so that you can start trying to get over the shock and feelings of “the whole world is screwed if this is our youth” that you’ll undoubtedly feel: he got a McDonalds receipt inked on his arm. Not the receipt that his wife first wrote her number on, not the receipt from the meal he never finished because his wife baby was born…just a regular old McDonalds receipt from a meal he and his buddies were having on a Monday night. It’s not the worst tattoo from a quality standpoint, the small lettering is a little jumbled and will probably become just blobs of ink as he gets older, but it looks like the info from a fast food receipt. From far away, it could be anything and he could maybe lie and tell people that it’s some sort of Sci-Fi bar-code thingy and maybe get away with it, but up close it’s a Micky Dee’s order for sure. Why did he get it? Because he was doing too well with the ladies of course! Yeah, we’re not buying it either. He alleges that his friends made him get the tat because he was bedding down too many women and…yeah, he’s got to be lying. Anyhow, he either was going to get the piece of fried gold he ended up with, or a Barbie Doll on his butt, so we guess he made the right choice? He’s planning on following this piece up with some free work on his other forearm from the artist who did the original. He’s going to get the receipt for the tattoo of the receipt. We can actually get behind the second piece because it makes the whole thing more funny and less idiotic. He should get inked pretty heavy if he doesn’t want to be made fun of forever, because dumb tattoos tend to be less dumb when they’re not your only ink. Personally, we think he should just keep getting receipts until he’s covered, that will extend his fifteen minutes of fame for sure. We wish him the best in his future tattooing, and we got to give him a little bit of credit, because he made the news and we didn’t.

mcdonalds-receipt-tattoo-pic mcdonalds-tattoo mcdonalds-tattoo-pics

Man Inks Dog; News Sinks Man


Well it looks like we won’t be getting those matching “Born To Sniff Butts” tattoos that we wanted to get with the office pitbull any time soon. A Brooklyn, New York tattoo artist is coming under heavy fire for inking his best friend…because said best friend is his dog. His pooch went in for surgery (spleen removal if the reports are accurate), and while she was under anesthetic he gave her a big ole’ piece on her dog-shoulder. Quick aside, we don’t know how to properly describe dog body parts, so we always add the word “dog” to human body parts, hence the term “dog-shoulder”. Anyhow, the guy put “Alex + Mel” on her with the classic heart and dagger combo artwork, and the world has lost its mind over the inking. He’s getting all sorts of flack from the media and from animal rights groups over it, and has already been fired from his job at “Red Legged Devil Tattoos” for it! He tried to defend his actions by saying that what he did was no different than when the ASPCA tattoos dogs for identification purposes, but they shot him down pretty quick on that one. We’re not sure how we feel about the who situation to be honest, but we can tell you this: it’s not worth firing him over and the guy doesn’t deserve to be blacklisted from life for it. The kind of guy who would drop the thousands of dollars that it costs for his animal into get surgery tends not to be the kind of guy who wants to torture and maim his pooch. Was it the smartest idea ever? No, but he’s not a terrible dog owner by any stretch of the imagination, for crap’s sake, he did it while the dog was out, the little one didn’t even feel the pain. He’s also not the first person to ever do this (check out the picture below), and at least his art was well done. So in closing: we’re not going to ink our pets anytime soon, but we’re not going to hate this guy for doing it to his.