How about a really big Grim Reaper...?
Sadly this reinforces the fact that not everyone is a professional or consistently puts out their very best. There are too many Tattoo wannabees with no real talent or enthusiasm operating today. Also, sadly, too many artists that are having a really crap day and don't want to Tattoo that day, carry on regardless instead of having the nerve to say "Look, i'm having a shit day and although it's putting you out, i don't think it's fair to work on you today as i don't think i'll do you justice".
Especially when i was younger, i had too many tattoos done that fell into this scenario. Four in total, which it has to be said, sadly knits into the subject of this page right now - very neatly. Cover Ups. If only these artists some seventeen years ago, had had any scruples whatsoever, not only should they have at least asked me for ID (as i was only 16/17) before getting on with it, but if they were having as a bad a day as it subsequently seems they were having, they should have refused to soldier on and packed up their machines for the day.
I've never once yet met anyone who wouldn't have at least one of their tattoos removed or at least, covered up. After talking to many many artists over the years, it's a good rough figure that around 50% of overall custom now comes from Cover up work and Reworking older Tattoos. It's something that a lot of tattpp studios are solidly building their reputations on.
This can be covering older faded Tattoos, names or just plain bad workmanship or a full on shaded full-arm masterpiece. It makes you wonder what's going on with the Tattoo 'Artists' that seem to steer clear of cover up work. I wonder why this is if they are truly 'Artists'? Thankfully, it can be a challenge that most reputable and talented artists are willing to undertake as long as the desired effect is acheivable. I.E. Lets face it, it's unlikely that you are going to get large black grim reaper covered u with any great degree of difference.
Whether it's a piece you regret, poor work or just a change you are after, make sure you find an artist that has a portfolio with an extensive amount of cover up shots in it - both before and after photos. Rather than doing just that "covering-up", try t find and artist that will aim to make the piece as unique and artistic as they would do a fresh Tattoo on virgin skin.
As anyone who has ever had any cover up work done will tell you, it's never a simple process. Common sense tells you that the darker existing colours can only be covered by darker tones and colours, mainly Blacks, Dark Blues, Dark Greens and Browns. This is where an artists experience and skill as comes into play. Any decent artist won't just tell you "yeah, you need a eight inch Black-Grim-Reaper to cover that".
Finding a good artist
Well, obviously word of mouth is probably the most effective way of finding a good cover up tattoo artist. Failing that, or to find their contact details, please see our Tattoo Studio Finder here for the most comprehensive listing of tattoo studios available.
Submit your cover up photos
If you have some great cover up work that you would like to see featured here, then please get in tocu, The galleries will be being implemented very soon (as of June 2007). Get in touch here.