Getting tattooed is in the last years something very usual, completely normal and accesible to everybody. Tattoo studios proliferate everywhere like mushrooms in the fall and it is becoming easier to find a person who brings to your skin that idea you want to immortalize forever. Maybe these are some of the reasons why, more and more, clients who seek a solution to a tattoo with which they are not happy and want to lose sight of as soon as possible reach our studios.
Many times they are old tattoos, made many years ago with materials and techniques that have not left a beautiful and lasting result. Other times it is because they haven´t chosen the right person to perform the task. In other cases, a few months after you have tattooed the name of your boy/girlfriend you realize that it has not been the best of ideas. For whatever reason, these people come to our door with the same idea: a COVER.
A cover up consists in covering a tattoo by making a new one on top. The following lines claim to be simply an aid for those clients who have in mind to cover that tattoo that does not make them happy. Normally it is not an easy job, and you have to take into consideration some factors to solve the problem in the best way possible. There are a series of tips or issues to consider when thinking about a cover:
- Although it may sound obvious, this is a common mistake but easy to solve: always, always, ALWAYS, choose your tattooist well. The first step will be to find a tattoo artist that suits your tastes and needs. Look at photos of their work. It is essential that before you get tattooed you see works of the person that will tattoo you. Do the tattoos look clean or it looks like the lines have been done during an earthquake? Have that tattooist done previously tattoos similar to the one you want to get? Do his/her works have bright colors, soft shadings … or do they look rough and dirty? Seeing tattoos in person often helps a lot … If some of your friends or relatives have been tattooed by that artist, you can check his work directly.
At this point it is also important to pay tattention to the style of the Tattoo Artist. Not every tattooist does every style of tattooing. Maybe an artist is incredibly good at portraits, but he/she is not the best option if you want to get a japanese sleeve. Maybe an “old school” tattooist is not the best to make you father´s / mother´s / son / dog portrait. Always keep in mind what kind of tattoo and style you want to get, and look for the right person that suits that style.
- Another simple and obvious advice: you must have a clear idea of what you want to get tattooed. In some cases there are people who, before the appointment to get a tattoo, can change their mind several times. Reflect, take your time, and come up with an idea that you will not regret.
If these first 2 tips have failed or have not been taken into account, here are the tips aimed at making it easier to cover that tattoo you hate:
- The determining factors will be the size, location and intensity of the tattoo to be covered. It is not the same to cover a small chinese letter on the ankle, than a tribal that goes from one shoulder to the other. In the same way, it´s not the same to cover a tattoo done 20 years ago, almost gone, than another one done 2 years ago and much more intense. Each case requires a totally different approach, and that is why the next point is important…
- Give freedom to the tattoo artist. The tattoo artist will work better if you give him some freedom in terms of composition, elements to include, etc. He will be the one who will tell you how the new tattoo should be for the cover to work.Have in mind that normally, the new tattoo will be bigger than the old one. In my opinion, the more space is free so the new tattoo can “breathe”, the better. This means that the most part of the new tattoo has nothing to cover, the cleaner it will be, and less evident that this is a cover up.
- Maybe trying to cover a old black tribal with a soft black and grey rose is not the best option… ok, I am sure it´s not the best option. There are certain ideas that will not be good when it comes to cover up another tattoo. This is why the costumer should listen to the tattooist that will provide a professional look at the situation.
- Color or black and grey? Sometimes color is more effective to cover another tattoo. Cold colors like blue, gray, violet, dark green … will usually cover better another tattoo than yellows, pinks, oranges, etc. The choice of color or black and gray will depend on factors such as the tattoo to be covered and the style of the design and the tattoo artist.
- The laser is your friend: in extreme cases or tattoos that are very difficult to cover, laser is a good option. In many cases, the goal does not have to be to completely eliminate the unwanted tattoo, but with a few laser sessions you can remove the intensity of the tattoo and make it easier to cover. For example, in the case of a very black tribal, it will be easier to cover it if it is less intense after some laser sessions. Yes, laser is a bit expensive procedure that takes time (you have to let the skin rest for a while between sessions), but after all, it’s your body. We only have one, and sometimes even if the procedure is somewhat longer and more expensive, the difference in the final result may be worth it.
I hope this article has been useful in case you want to get a cover up … for any questions related to this, you can contact me or leave a comment on the blog!
Soon I will update the blog again with the 2nd part of this article. Cover up photos showing the before and the after.