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Hi there, I've been lurking for a while. I joined to ask a question about cover-ups, maybe get some suggestions. I've gone around town and found a really good artist that I would like to do the work, but I've asked just about every artist in town and some say yeah, easy to cover, some say better to just go over it and keep it as-is, and all of them kinda give me this look like maybe they think I'm crazy. So I thought I would seek opinions and ideas here. I think I might have a good idea for it. The tattoo is an ankle band so that is problem number 1: it goes all the way around my ankle. Problem number 2 is it is close to another tattoo. Anyway, I am not sure how the forum works and I don't want to post a bunch of random stuff to get post count up enough that I'll see a post a new thread button, so I'll be patient and see how it goes and if I can post my question (with pictures) in another forum eventually, I will.

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My first "real" tattoo was a cover. I did a lot of research and found an artist, luckily not far from me, who does an awful lot of cover work. My cover was drawn on by hand as that was the best way to disguise the original design. There were consultations about what styles I liked and possible designs, but I was very open minded as it was more of a case what would work best. Most tattoos these days can be improved or covered. One part of my old tattoo was re-worked and the rest covered. I know I am not really answering any of your questions but the main thing is that you have confidence in the artist you choose. The ones who have said it would be easy to cover, did you like their ideas? Is it a dark band?

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My first "real" tattoo was a cover. I did a lot of research and found an artist, luckily not far from me, who does an awful lot of cover work. My cover was drawn on by hand as that was the best way to disguise the original design. There were consultations about what styles I liked and possible designs, but I was very open minded as it was more of a case what would work best. Most tattoos these days can be improved or covered. One part of my old tattoo was re-worked and the rest covered. I know I am not really answering any of your questions but the main thing is that you have confidence in the artist you choose. The ones who have said it would be easy to cover, did you like their ideas? Is it a dark band?

The first guy who said no problem he could cover it the more I looked at his work, the worse I realized it was. The next shop they really wanted to just re-work it because they thought wow, old-school tattoo, how cool is that? Well, okay, I can appreciate the sentiment but this tattoo had been re-worked three times when it was new and now that it's a bit faded and 20 years old I think I finally have a chance to get rid of it. But they were a good shop so I let them cover a much smaller old tattoo.

The third guy I went to, his portfolio blew me away. He's every bit as good as some of the stuff you see on blogs like Our Endless Days. I'm surprised he's such a well-kept secret. He thought he could cover it but he also gave me the "you are crazy" look, maybe because I'm just some middle-class, middle-aged old lady who isn't cool at all. Or maybe because it didn't seem like I had much of an idea of what I would like and what would work. He did say to take his card and call, though. So I wanted to go in armed with a decent idea. Such an ugly, awkward tattoo but covering it also scares me a little.

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The first guy who said no problem he could cover it the more I looked at his work, the worse I realized it was. The next shop they really wanted to just re-work it because they thought wow, old-school tattoo, how cool is that? Well, okay, I can appreciate the sentiment but this tattoo had been re-worked three times when it was new and now that it's a bit faded and 20 years old I think I finally have a chance to get rid of it. But they were a good shop so I let them cover a much smaller old tattoo.

The third guy I went to, his portfolio blew me away. He's every bit as good as some of the stuff you see on blogs like Our Endless Days. I'm surprised he's such a well-kept secret. He thought he could cover it but he also gave me the "you are crazy" look, maybe because I'm just some middle-class, middle-aged old lady who isn't cool at all. Or maybe because it didn't seem like I had much of an idea of what I would like and what would work. He did say to take his card and call, though. So I wanted to go in armed with a decent idea. Such an ugly, awkward tattoo but covering it also scares me a little.

Go to the guy whose portfolio blew you away! Do you have an idea of what you want for the cover up, or is it just a tattoo you want covered up and don't care with what? The artist will have a definite idea of what can and can't be done and will work - sometimes only very loosely, which can actually be awesome and liberating! - with the idea (loose or no) that you have for the cover up.

If the dude makes you feel super uncomfortable then it is probably not the right fit for you. That said, tattoo artists have to deal with a bunch of different people and different concepts every day, so maybe it was just an off time? If he told you to call, do it! Get excited about being able to get an awesome piece to replace (or surround?) your old one. It's like a new beginning with an old body :)

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I have to admit I have been thinking equally about what I want and about what might actually work. What I think I want: bigger flowers, not all these little ones. I really like texture, patterns and brightness so if there is some way to work that in. I wish I could have mandala flowers or flowers that are almost like mandalas but not quite.

What might work is adding a snake winding around the flowers to help fill up the spaces. Maybe if the snake is black and white and highly patterned in some way and the flowers are in color with really textured leaves. Roses or big 5-petaled flowers with interesting middles. The other day I saw an interesting tattoo of a mask and it made me think maybe my tattoo doesn't even have to be anything at all. Maybe it could be patterns of color. So I'm sort of open to suggestion. For sure no 8-balls or panther heads!

I just don't know if I can color over this mess with something new or if it is still too dark or if it just covers way too much in a way you wouldn't be able to be very creative in a coverup.

I'm not sure if I will be banned if I link to pictures of my tattoo, but I will try:

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In my experience, the important part of a coverup is deciding what you want to cover it with. Decide on imagery and don't even think about the existing tattoo. A competent tattooer will let you know if he/she feels your design choice will work as a coverup. Amazing things can be done to existing tattoos; yours is pretty faded, so my guess is you can cover it with nearly anything you would like to. Keep in mind that almost all flowers make great coverup images because they are intended to have a lot of values and the dark values is where the tattooer would disguise some of the coverup.

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Oh good, I didn't get banned for posting my images.

Do you think I could use flowers like any of these, the complicated ones and the simple ones? Or am I stuck with just roses?

tumblr_mkltd5mJwv1qbwi2go1_1280.jpg

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I plan to somehow print a bunch of pictures of things I like and bring them with me, so I'm sure it would work out. I'm only a little bit fussy. I want it to be pretty and I want to be done being disappointed with my tattoo. It's been nearly 20 years. And I don't want my mom to have a total heart-attack if it comes out large. I'm almost 50 and still care about my mom, ha ha.

If the tattoo wasn't there I would probably get birds. I sometimes think that if I could start over and if I actually wanted to be heavily tattooed I would just get all birds, flowers and butterflies, all different kinds. Songbirds, parrots, birds doing unusual things, birds with other objects, girlheads and birds, whatever.

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Oh good, I didn't get banned for posting my images.

Do you think I could use flowers like any of these, the complicated ones and the simple ones? Or am I stuck with just roses?

tumblr_mkltd5mJwv1qbwi2go1_1280.jpg

tumblr_mkhilrY8LV1qkuy9xo1_1280.jpg

I plan to somehow print a bunch of pictures of things I like and bring them with me, so I'm sure it would work out. I'm only a little bit fussy. I want it to be pretty and I want to be done being disappointed with my tattoo. It's been nearly 20 years. And I don't want my mom to have a total heart-attack if it comes out large. I'm almost 50 and still care about my mom, ha ha.

If the tattoo wasn't there I would probably get birds. I sometimes think that if I could start over and if I actually wanted to be heavily tattooed I would just get all birds, flowers and butterflies, all different kinds. Songbirds, parrots, birds doing unusual things, birds with other objects, girlheads and birds, whatever.

Your artist will definitely be able to work with what you have....go big (imho)! And since you know what you like already "birds, flowers and butterflies, all different kinds. Songbirds, parrots, birds doing unusual things, birds with other objects, girlheads and birds, whatever." you can just say: "hey! I like this stuff...please make it happen!" or something maybe a little more eloquent ;) - but it sounds like you know what you like and what you're going for, and that is a great start.

The artist you choose will be able to tell you more specifically what he or she can do vis a vis flowers, whether it's 'just' roses (lots of beautiful variation out there!) or the cherry blossoms or the mandala-y flowers - but (and I am NOT an artist!) I think you have a lot to work with! Like @Brock Varty said, flowers of any type make great cover up images.

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I will definitely bring my ideas to him then and hope for the best. I'm all scratched up from hiking last weekend so hopefully I'll be healed up in a couple weeks and be able to make an appointment while my boyfriend is gone (so I can avoid any peanut-gallery commentary from the untattooed man about the house.)

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