Yesterday, we discussed the most expensive tattoo in the world. While it wasn’t ink, it still sparked an idea — a list of the most expensive tattoo artists in the world.
These tattoo artists don’t just get top dollar to ink up a customer, they’re also some of the most respected artists in the business. Here are the top five tattoo kings (and a queen) and their average charge for their work.
Kat Von D (Katherine Drachenberg) is one of the stars of the TLC series Miami Ink, and then her own TLC reality series, LA Ink. Von D began working at Miami Ink when tattoo artist Darren Brass broke his elbow, appearing in the first season of the show Miami Ink. Von D had a falling out with Ami James (we’ll get to him later), leading to her leaving the shop and the show.
Von D went on to open her own shop, get her own show, and start her own cosmetics line. Her estimated net worth is $5 million and her typical charge for a tattoo starts at $200 per hour.
Booth is an American tattoo artist from New Jersey. He’s done work for countless rock bands including Slipknot, Mudvayne, Slayer, Pantera, Soulfly, and Sepultura.
Booth was an entrepreneur at a young age when he began his own sign making shop at the age of fifteen. He subsequently learned airbrushing and after he got his first tattoo, his daughter’s name, his interest was piqued and he wanted to learn more about what there was to the medium. He’s now one of the most popular and expensive tattoo artists in the country.
Anil Gupta is famous for his truthful portraits and precise artwork. He formerly copied a cover of the 1974 scrapbook by the Grateful Dead authorized Skeletons from the Closet, and the tattoo was so meticulous and realistic, it looked copied.
Anil’s work has received attention from the media on an international scale, including several tattoo magazines, the “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” television series, and many other forthcoming projects. His tattoos win awards at tattoo conventions all over the globe.
After living in both Israel and Egypt as a child, Ami James moved to the US as a young boy. In 1992, he started his apprenticeship with tattoo artist Lou at Tattoos By Lou. He is now the co-owner (with Chris Nunez) of the Miami Beach, Florida tattoo parlor Love Hate Tattoos, the subject of the TLC reality television program, Miami Ink.
James is now one of the premiere tattoo artists in American and his expensive tattoos range from $500 up to $2000. His estimated net worth is $5.1 million.
Louisiana-born Scott Campbell is known throughout the world as being one of the most talented hands in the world of tattooing. After abandoning a career as a biochemist at the University of Texas, he fled to San Francisco, and began tattooing. He learned the craft at Picture Machine, one of the oldest shops in California, rich with stories and nicotine stained flash on the walls from it’s heyday in the 60’s and 70’s.
Campbell now owns and operates the legendary Saved Tattoo in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, whose client list includes New York’s art and design elite, fashion designers such as Marc Jacobs, and a long roster of celebrities including Heath Ledger, Josh Hartnett, Orlando Bloom, Helena Christensen, and Penelope Cruz.
Campbell is currently not taking appointments but his expensive tattoos start at $1,000.