Authored by John Watson in Body Arts
Published on 02-27-2009
In recent years, thanks to reality shows like, “Miami Ink,” “L.A Ink” and, “Inked,” tattoos have gone from the perceived state of being dirty or belonging to ex-cons, to becoming a socially acceptable, “cool” fashion accessory. This has created some problems, the most common of which are people getting inked with no thought given to the piece they are getting and, worse yet, a large rise in the number of unqualified tattoo artists, or scratchers as they are commonly known, who set up shop and prey on unsuspecting rubes who wouldn’t know a good piece of work if it hit them in the face.
So, what to do if you are left with a major piece of tattoo regret? There is tattoo removal laser treatment available, but it is a costly procedure that will require numerous treatments and leave you with some scarring. There are also a number of lotions and potions on the market that may work to a certain extent, but which will never completely remove all traces of your nasty piece. Your best alternative is to visit a reputable artist and discuss cover-up options.
If deciding to go this route, you really have to take the time to find a good artist, come up with a few ideas of what you might want to have as your new design and be prepared to pay handsomely for the privilege. Generally, the tattoo artist will listen to your ideas for a new look and try to sketch something over the ink you want covered. He or she does this to try and make the new design fit in such a way that the lines and color will cover your old piece in a way that makes sense. The new colors will be considerably darker, but if someone tries to say that they will do the cover up with an all black piece, look elsewhere. Pure black pieces may mask your old tattoo, but the scarring from the other piece will show up in the form of raised ridges, leaving you with a big, black Braille mark on your arm, something that will look way worse than the original.
When looking for an artist to do your work, be sure to ask to see pictures of previous cover up work they have done as they may not necessarily be on display in their portfolio. Once you have settled on an artist, be prepared to wait for the design to be completed. This is not a straightforward process and you will more than likely be asked to leave a cash deposit as a show of good faith for the artists work. Most of them will be happy to try and help you as it is a real challenge to make the new design work over the old one, a task that they will relish and one that will, more often than not, leave you very happy upon completion.