Archive for December, 2010
What would you do if you got a bad tattoo?
What would you do if you got a bad tattoo in a place so prominent that there’s no way you can cover it up?
And what would you do if the tattoo was more than just ‘bad’? You remember those loving scribbles you made for your parents when you were 3 years old? Well, what if your tattoo design looked just like those?
Well, this is not just a hypothetical situation.
The other day a client came into our boutique with a tattoo that looked like chicken scrawl, right below his neck. Every morning he’d look in the mirror and see that colossal wreck and go from anger (at the tattoo artist who wronged him) to embarrassment (that this is the first thing that other people would see) to sadness (that what could have been a beautiful expression of self ended up being a total mess).
But, luckily there was a solution. With a little planning, we could come up with a new design to be tattooed over the old one, concealing it completely. It was extremely fulfilling to know that we could help redeem the art of tattooing in his eyes, and save him a world of emotional trauma.
Introducing: the cover-up tattoo
Cover-up tattoos are not a new concept, but their full potential hasn’t been realized yet in Chennai. In essence they are tattoos that are inked over marks and blemishes on skin as a means of covering them up.
But they become powerful tools because in covering up those marks and blemishes, they give people back their self-esteem … something which can literally transform lives.
Tattoos can be used to cover a number of things
- Birth marks and stretch marks: Unappealing birth marks can easily be masked with a tattoo. The same applies to stretch marks from pregnancy or rapid weight gain/loss.
- Old tattoos: These include badly done tattoos, names of exes, prison tattoos, gang tattoos, etc. A well-placed new tattoo can hide an old tattoo quite effectively.
- Keloids: These are dense, thick nodules, typically found at areas of previously injured skin (burns, lacerations), or they may arise spontaneously on normal skin. Over weeks to months, these nodules can become painful, tender, itchy, and grow to become very large (up to about 30 cm). People use radiation therapy or plastic surgery to remove keloids, but a tattoo may be a simpler (and cheaper) solution.
- Scars due to operations, liposuction etc.: Various medical and elective procedures can leave scars, which are prime candidates for cover-up tattoos.
Things to keep in mind when getting a cover-up
Cover-up tattoos are no different from regular tattoos, except that because they have to cover a mark, they need to be designed and executed with a certain amount of skill. So ask yourself the following questions:
- Is my artist skilled enough to come up with a good design? Cover-up tattoos are almost always custom-designed to fit over the marks/blemishes they are meant to hide. This means you’ll have to search for someone with the talent create original designs (see 5 Signs That Your Tattoo Artist Can Really Be Trusted and The Talisman Test to Rank Your Tattoo Artist) and set aside enough money to pay him/her (see Why Going For a Cheaper Tattoo Can Be the Biggest Mistake of Your Life).
- How big do I want to make my cover-up? Obviously the cover-up will have to be bigger than the mark you are trying to cover. So the larger the cover-up (in relation to the mark), the more options you have with design. The location of your mark will play a role in deciding size as bigger body parts allow for bigger tattoos.
- What tattoo design will do the job? This is where you will find yourself tied down, because your tattoo design will depend on the size and shape of the mark you’re hoping to cover. For example, tribal tattoos may seem like a simple solution, but they work by emphasizing the open spaces within the design. So it’ll take a lot of skill to make sure your marks and blemishes don’t show through in these spaces. Also, you’ll find it hard to place symmetrical designs (such as butterflies) so that they cover the right places. Similarly, lettering to cover the lettering of an old tattoo will almost never work.
- What colours should I use? Unless the mark you’re trying to cover is very light, you’ll have to use a solid colour (no shading) … the darker the better. And if you’re covering an old tattoo, you’ll have to remember that colors put over each other will mix. For example, red from your old tattoo and green from your new one will usually give you brown (or a similar neutral tone).
Do you need a cover-up tattoo?
If you think you’d benefit from a cover-up tattoo, book an appointment by calling us at…
Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.