San Diego tattoo cover up
Getting a tattoo can be rush… and sometimes they can simply be rushed. When that happens, the results can be, well, less than desirable. Most people in the tattoo community have been there at least once. If you got a tattoo a bit too hastily and it’s not quite what you wanted, the good news is, the right tattoo artist can cover up a bad tattoo with something that’s more up your alley.
If you live in the San Diego area, Remington Tattoo can help you reinvent an old tattoo or beautify an eyesore. Built in 1914 and restored in 2011, Remington Tattoo Parlor + Gallery is located in the North Park district, the heart of San Diego. Remington Tattoo Parlor is a combination of modern meets an apothecary/artist’s studio, and their artists specialize in a wide range of tattoo techniques — including cover ups.
Remington Tattoo has been in the business for a while, and they see a tremendous amount of clients who want a cover up design but who don’t fully understand the process or what the limitations may be. Altering something permanent on your skin isn’t as always cut and dry as it may seem. It’s a process! So, before you book a cover up job, here’s a few things you’ll need to keep in mind:
Tattoo Cover Up vs. Tattoo Removal
The term “cover up tattoo” refers to the process of transforming or completely hiding an old tattoo with a new one. It’s important to understand that a tattoo cover up is a different thing than tattoo removal. Tattoo removal is a process which uses lasers to gradually remove the ink pigments from the skin. In some cases, the two processes can be used in succession to achieve the desired effects — but we’ll go into that here in a bit.
The Color of your Current Tattoo
The attributes of your current tattoo will largely dictate what type of cover up tattoo will work best for you. Typically the easiest tattoos to cover up are older, more faded tattoos, or those with lighter colors because the existing colors do not affect the new ink as drastically.
The most common colors used in a cover up piece are:
Why? These colors typically best conceal older inks without mixing to create muddy colors. A good cover up tattoo artist understands ink chemistry, and when planning your new tattoo, they’ll consider how the new inks may mix with the older pigments.
Brighter colors, such as yellows, reds or oranges, unfortunately, do not mix quite as well with older inks and can result in some pretty strange colors. So, if your current tattoo is dark and you were hoping for something light and bright, you’ll want to make sure you talk out your ideas with an experienced artist so you know what is and isn’t doable.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s important to remember that if part of the reason you don’t like your current tattoo is the size, than a cover up will do little to fix that issue.
In some cases, especially if your current tattoo has created raised areas or scarring or is very dark, partial or complete tattoo removal is a better first step than covering an unwanted tattoo. While laser removal can be time consuming, and take several sessions, it can often create better results when it’s time to finally schedule a cover up. You’ll also more options when it comes to planning a new design.
Cover Up Approach
Typically, there are several different cover up methods a tattoo artist will use, and it all depends on which will provide the best cover for your old pieces. These approaches include
- Total coverage. As the name implies, a total cover up will completely hide the old tattoo with a new design.
- Reinvention. The reinvention route will use certain elements of the existing tattoo to create a new, blended design.
- Blast over. A blast over will use illustrative, bold line work which allows some of the colors of the old tattoo to peek through, which can often create a dimensional effect.
Other Tattoo Cover Up Tips
Before you go under the needle again, here’s a few things that can help make the process a bit more stress free.
Do your research. Whether it’s your first tattoo or your fifth, whether you’re getting a touch up or a cover up, it’s always a good idea to do your research. So many people make the mistake of believing all tattoo artists can handle all tattoo jobs, and that’s just not the case. There are some artists who specialize in cover up tattoos and have a special, creative eye for seeing the potential and possibilities of your existing work. So, before you just walk into any shop, make sure to read some reviews for artists in your area who specifically advertise transforming old ink!
Be open. Covering up tattoos comes with some considerations, and certain designs might not work with your existing artwork. Managing expectations is important here. If laser removal isn’t in the cards for you, you may need to be open to your artists’ recommendations or advice in order to create a new piece you’ll truly be happy with. In some cases, covering up a tattoo requires more creativity and ingenuity than a brand new piece, so be patient and make sure to work with your artist and not against them.
Sources some image ideas. A mood board or collection of image ideas can be super helpful for both you and your artist and can act as a jumping point for the new design. Before you make your first appointment with your artist, gather a few pictures or get some inspiration online. You may even want to specifically look at cover up tattoo work online and get a feel for the before and afters. Make sure you consider color, shape and size and, more importantly, review your expectations for the new piece.
About Remington Tattoo
Built in 1914 and restored in 2011, Remington Tattoo Parlor + Gallery is located in the North Park district, the heart of San Diego. Remington Tattoo Parlor is a combination of industrial/modern meets an apothecary/artist’s studio. Our unique shop’s aim is to create a memorable experience combining tradition and nostalgia with a modern, clean environment utilizing the best quality supplies and sterilization techniques.