We’re all allowed to make mistakes, right? They’re temporary, ephemeral things that fade into the past and can be forgotten and learned from without too much consequence, usually. Unfortunately, when that mistake is a poorly thought out tattoo or one that perhaps was better on paper than in the artist’s hands (they can’t all be Michelangelo) then what could be a simple mistake is instead indelibly branded on your skin for all of eternity. Or is it? Thankfully there are ways to eliminate a tattoo that you realized too late was a mistake, and cover-up tattoos are some of the most popular.
What is a Cover Up Tattoo?
First of all, it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. A tattoo that is done directly over another tattoo to help hide, eliminate, or change it. Not all tattoos can easily be covered up, nor do all of them need to be. An otherwise delightful design could be marred by the name of a past lover, and all you need to do to eliminate the mistake is get rid of the name. Other times the art was just so tragic that you need to get rid of it, and if you’ve ever searched online, you know that there are some mistakes that are beautiful and sweet concepts that become utter horror shows once made into reality. For all these instances, there are techniques to eliminate the tattoos without simply blacking them out, and turn them into elegant pieces of art.
Methods of Covering Up a Tattoo
There are a number of methods that can be used to cover up a tattoo. It often depends on exactly what you’re covering up and why. Sometimes you just had a poorly realized idea that is otherwise solid in its execution. Maybe you couldn’t afford the fill at the time, or maybe you just decided that the fill you chose wasn’t really what you wanted. Either way, the solution is simple; work with your tattoo artist to figure out what you want to do to fill it. Often this includes certain additions as well, things like flames behind or around the existing tattoo, or the addition of other features.
Other times you have a concept that just didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to. Maybe it was beyond the artist’s capability, or perhaps it just wasn’t fully conceived before you had it done. Either way, covering up an existing tattoo with a refinement of the concepts that inspired it is a common and popular way of covering up an existing tattoo. As always, you’re going to want to work with your tattoo artist to find the best concept, and if you rushed the first time be sure to take your time and think through this one. In fact, do this even if you didn’t rush the first time. Tattoos are (almost) forever.
Sometimes it isn’t this easy though, sometimes you have an existing tattoo that just needs to go away, but how do you accomplish this? Skilled tattoo artists will incorporate the lines of the old tattoo into the new one, making it completely disappear even if you’re looking for it. Otherwise, it can be covered with a monochrome tattoo, one of many reasons that tribal tattoos maintain their popularity.
These are just a few of the methods available, and the beginnings of ideas on how to eliminate tattoos that maybe don’t represent you as much as they once did. Talk to your tattoo artists about these and others they may suggest. Remember nothing beats a good artist when it comes to solving an old mistake.
If you’re interested in more information about cover up tattoos, feel free to visit Tattoo Emporium, located in San Marcos, TX.