Eva Karabudak is a Brooklyn-based tattoo artist who has inked Sam Smith and Joe Jonas.
Karabudak specializes in landscape designs and said she charges $600 per hour.
Karabudak spoke to Insider about rates, TikTok, and what it's like to tattoo celebrities.
Eva Karabudak is one of the most sought-out tattoo artists in New York City.
She is the founder of Atelier Eva, a tattoo studio in Brooklyn that has numerous celebrity clients including Sam Smith, SZA, Jay Wheeler, and Joe Jonas.
Speaking to Insider, Karabudak said she was born in Turkey and started her career designing tattoos for Turkish actors and soccer players in Ankara, the country's capital, before moving to NYC in 2017. She specializes in landscape designs and large-scale tattoos.
Karabudak said her starting rate is $600 per hour, however this charge is only for the tattoing and she often spends a lot longer in consultations with clients to ensure the design is of a good quality and that the client is happy.
Insider spoke to Karabudak and her husband, Peter Jenkins. The couple got married in 2019 and became business partners in 2020. And last year, Jenkins made the transition to run the business side of the studio full-time.
Karabudak said clients have defended her hourly rate
Karabudak and Jenkins said clients rarely have an objection to the price due to an expectation of quality and service which Karabudak is known for, and also because her rate is standard for NYC.
"I was watching on TikTok, and if somebody is saying something like, 'This is too much,' our clients will comment to protect our side and say, 'They take their time, it's not like a 10-minute tattoo, even if it's a small tattoo they take their time,'" Karabudak said.
"Our client is explaining to the audience if any of them are angry," she said, and added that this isn't a regular occurrence.
The official Atelier Eva TikTok account has 26,400 followers at the time of writing on Tuesday. The account regularly posts videos of its artists' various designs and the stories behind them.
Back in May, a tattoo artist in Berlin faced mixed opinions on TikTok after revealing that a customer paid more than $700 for a back tattoo that looked like scribbles. The video, which received more than 2 million views, had comments of support from some viewers, while others criticized the design and the price.
Karabudak and Jenkins said they haven't seen the video, but acknowledge that many tattoo artists' audiences on TikTok are different from their clients in real life.
"I haven't seen it, but this piece you're talking about, when 30 million people from around the globe put their eyes on something, obviously pricing differs in a small town in Texas compared to New York City or London, that's when it gets dicey," Jenkins said.
Karabudak said she particularly enjoyed tattooing Sam Smith, who she said got a floral design on their arm before their latest album, "Gloria," was released in January, and they also got a separate fish tattoo. She said Smith has a tendency to get fun designs, and that she personally enjoys tattoos that are both fun and meaningful.
Meanwhile, Jenkins enjoys handling the day-to-day operations at the company, as he previously worked as an operation executive at a large fitness company, he told Insider. Before joining the company, Jenkins said he was interested in tattoos and had a couple of designs inked on his arms.
"Eva is everything art and creative... I'm sort of back of house, like management and staffing. We both are good at things the other one is not," he said.
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