No matter how much you really wanted your original tattoo, or how much you loved the design at the time, there may come a point when you no longer want to be reminded of your reasons for getting it, or the love of your life that it was designed to celebrate.  In times like these it’s time to look into either tattoo removal or a cover up to make that area of skin less frustrating to you and lose the stigma associated with the original tattoo.

The Idea

The basic premise of cover up tattooing is to hide the offensive original artwork with new ink.  Depending on the style and size of the original tattoo it may mean that the entire area can be covered with a completely new design, or that the original design can in some way be adapted to form the basis of a new one.  Most people will opt for a total covering of the original piece of work rather than still being able to identify the old design inside the new work.

When considering having cover up work done, look for an artist that has experience in this kind of work, as it does require a good eye and a certain level of creative skill.  Make sure you look through their portfolio’s which should contain a series of before and after shots of any cover up work completed.  Speak to anyone who has had cover up work done and ask questions about their experience and if they can recommend a tattooist for you to speak to.

Procedure

You will of course still have a tattoo at the end of the process, but you should be a lot happier with the one you leave with than the one you started with.  Make sure that when you consult with your artist that you have a range of ideas for designs that you would like to use as a replacement, ask them for their opinions too.  It may be that your artist will come up with design ideas that you have never considered.  Remember, don’t try and push a design that your artist thinks is unviable, or else you will be left with another reason to be unhappy.  These guys know what they are doing and if they say something won’t work, or will look awkward, listen to them.

Tattoos can generally only be covered up once, so whatever you leave the shop with is what you will have to live with for the rest of your life.  Bear in mind that the new tattoo will need to be larger than the original in order to cover it completely, you may also have to get used to the idea of having a darker design so that the darker pigmentation hides the original colouration.  Cover up tattoos can take a lot longer to complete than fresh artwork, and may involve multiple sittings before it is complete.  Make sure you discuss the time required and the cost of the work before you agree to anything.