That’s a question many of us would get. Samoan tattoos: Not so easy? A lot of people go for the tattoo because they want to stick it to their faces.”
But the process of getting a custom-made Samoan tattoo requires a lot of work, and it costs extra money. The costs: about $3,000 to be precise, and that price includes the ink, needles and all of the other supplies that go along with a tattoo. There’s even a fee for printing the design.
“You want to make it look pretty, so you need a lot of colors, and I can’t give you any of those, so you can’t get the best colors,” says David Cenci, owner of a tattoo parlor in Washington, DC. “It’s an experience.”
And then there’s one or more colors that just don’t come around often.
“For tattoos that are a little more intricate, a lot of colors are available, but they are pretty expensive,” says Cenci. “And I get more designs than I can give you, because I don’t get to choose between a bunch of designs to offer you.”
The Samoan tattoos themselves are pretty neat. But some people are going so far to get them that they can’t help themselves. Many Samoan tattoo vendors have gone so far as to give away their designs in exchange for free tattoos themselves — sometimes to strangers.
“They’re just saying no matter how you give them back, they’re like ‘No way,'” says Michael D. Bower, a tattooing and piercing artist and owner of Bower Tattoo in Denver. But that, of course, raises concerns.
“A lot of people that don’t realize they’re getting tattooed. They are going to be thinking that they’ve paid for this tattoo. What if they want to do a piece of art instead?” asks Tanya Vann, a tattoo artist and owner of Vintage Ink Tattoo in Chicago.
A lot of people that have tattoos with Samoan designs feel that’s a lot of money to put into something so subtle. And so they’re going to do whatever they can to get them.
“We’ve had people come in at 8 in the morning with tattoos that looked like they were done on a Saturday morning. We’ve actually had people come in at midnight wearing no shirts. They didn’t have clothing at home,” says D. Todd Duhan, the barber
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