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fix or cover-up?


Matthew Thomas
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This is a recent tattoo that I got. The inside star had already been there. The outer star was added later. The artist drew the outer star around the inner star with a pen. From my point of view, it looked fine. It was not until I saw a picture of it that I saw how asymmetrical it is. Should I ask the artist that did it to fix it (if it can be fixed), should I go to another artist and ask them to fix it (really don't want to spend more $$ on it and don't have any right now), or should I get it covered (can it be?). If I do ask the artist that did it to fix it, should I keep the red, or would it hide the mistakes better if I got it filled in all black? Really upset about this. The artist has done two other tatts on me and they've both come out fine. Located in lebanon, pa. Really need some good advice here.

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Should I expect my artist to fix this for free? They already touched it up. I did notice one point of the star being bigger than the rest, but thought it was just some crazy swelling. I'm afraid my artist will get mad and ask me not to come back if I bring it up. I've put a deposit of $650 down for some other work and I can't afford to lose that deposit or go elsewhere at this point.

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This is a recent tattoo that I got. The inside star had already been there. The outer star was added later. The artist drew the outer star around the inner star with a pen. From my point of view, it looked fine. It was not until I saw a picture of it that I saw how asymmetrical it is. Should I ask the artist that did it to fix it (if it can be fixed), should I go to another artist and ask them to fix it (really don't want to spend more $$ on it and don't have any right now), or should I get it covered (can it be?). If I do ask the artist that did it to fix it, should I keep the red, or would it hide the mistakes better if I got it filled in all black? Really upset about this. The artist has done two other tatts on me and they've both come out fine. Located in lebanon, pa. Really need some good advice here.

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Should I expect my artist to fix this for free? They already touched it up. I did notice one point of the star being bigger than the rest, but thought it was just some crazy swelling. I'm afraid my artist will get mad and ask me not to come back if I bring it up. I've put a deposit of $650 down for some other work and I can't afford to lose that deposit or go elsewhere at this point.

$650 deposit? Ive never heard of someone asking for that much down, especially someone who doesn't notice their star is that wonky. I think you should point it out to him and if he doesn't offer to fix it, I would try to get your deposit back, I don't see how anyone could not fix it or understand your dissatisfaction.Nor would they want this picture circulating around the internet with their name attached.

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She didn't ask for the whole $650 at once. It was part of my income tax return, and I decided to put the whole thing down at once because I wanted several pieces done and we agreed on a price for everything, so I gave her the whole amount. The star had been done prior to this, but I did not notice how uneven it was until last night. The star was not covered by the $650, but had been paid for separately. Trust me, if I had noticed what was so wrong with it, I would not have gone back to her. Once the pieces I've paid for have been completed, I will be going elsewhere.

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She didn't ask for the whole $650 at once. It was part of my income tax return, and I decided to put the whole thing down at once because I wanted several pieces done and we agreed on a price for everything, so I gave her the whole amount. The star had been done prior to this, but I did not notice how uneven it was until last night. The star was not covered by the $650, but had been paid for separately. Trust me, if I had noticed what was so wrong with it, I would not have gone back to her. Once the pieces I've paid for have been completed, I will be going elsewhere.

$650 in tattoos could equal thousands in cover ups or laser treatments. I guess the real question is how did this happen and can this person put on a good tattoo? Was this a freak accident or does this person suck. I know there are a lot of people with very little skill and huge fan clubs out there. I would never take or give that amount to someone, cause it just makes no sense and I don't want to be responsible for holding money for people or giving that much money back if they don't want to get tattooed. I would watch out if they make you less of a priority or start giving you excuses about why you can't get your work done. I have seen more than a few people come in over the years with unfinished tattoos that they pre paid for and suddenly the person was unavailable. It could be innocent but I would just be weary.

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These are two other tattoos she has done on me recently, both of which I am happy with, both of which were done after the star and are covered by the $650. I just don't know how or when I should bring up about the star. I don't want to offend her to the point she asks me not to come back before my other pieces are complete, but I'm worried that if I wait too long she might say I have to pay extra if I want it fixed. So what do I do? Should I ask her to fix it or cover it? Granted she made the mistake, but is there a limit as to what I should expect her to do to make me happy?

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These are two other tattoos she has done on me recently, both of which I am happy with, both of which were done after the star and are covered by the $650. I just don't know how or when I should bring up about the star. I don't want to offend her to the point she asks me not to come back before my other pieces are complete, but I'm worried that if I wait too long she might say I have to pay extra if I want it fixed. So what do I do? Should I ask her to fix it or cover it? Granted she made the mistake, but is there a limit as to what I should expect her to do to make me happy?

Those tattoos look fine, I don't think she would want it floating around, I would just say bring it up, you don't have to be a jerk about it just show her your concern. It's not like time is going to affect the symmetry of the tattoo, so I don't think that is an issue. She seems like she can put on a clean tattoo, so I don't really understand the star, unless she pulled a stencil out of the drawer that was drawn badly or something. I understand your hesitance for sure, but she should know and that tattoo is jacked up and she should do something about it, I would leave that up to her whether to cover or fix it.

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So you are going to get MORE work done by this person? I think that would be a mistake.
well I'm not about to forfeit a $650 deposit, so what other choice do I have?

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Those tattoos look fine, I don't think she would want it floating around, I would just say bring it up, you don't have to be a jerk about it just show her your concern. It's not like time is going to affect the symmetry of the tattoo, so I don't think that is an issue. She seems like she can put on a clean tattoo, so I don't really understand the star, unless she pulled a stencil out of the drawer that was drawn badly or something. I understand your hesitance for sure, but she should know and that tattoo is jacked up and she should do something about it, I would leave that up to her whether to cover or fix it.

The inner star had been done previously by someone else. It had gotten infected. I asked her to fix that star after it healed, and add the outer star. She drew the outer star on my skin with a pen (no stencil) and I didn't notice what was wrong with it until after it was done. Even then, I thought it might just be some crazy swelling or something. But it's long since healed, and the mistakes are clearly visible. I have my next appointment with her a week from today, I'll bring it up then and see what she says.

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well I'm not about to forfeit a $650 deposit, so what other choice do I have?

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The inner star had been done previously by someone else. It had gotten infected. I asked her to fix that star after it healed, and add the outer star. She drew the outer star on my skin with a pen (no stencil) and I didn't notice what was wrong with it until after it was done. Even then, I thought it might just be some crazy swelling or something. But it's long since healed, and the mistakes are clearly visible. I have my next appointment with her a week from today, I'll bring it up then and see what she says.

That makes a little more sense, it was a coverup and trying to freehand a star, I honestly was just at the park with my son thinking no one would try to free hand a nautical star, that would be ridiculous. That makes things kind of complicated for sure. The argument could be made that she did the best she could or something of that nature. As far as forfeiting the $650 deposit, situations like this are the reason you don't leave $650 tattoo deposits, it's just not a good idea, but it sounds everything is on the up and up and your other tattoos should turn out fine. Worst case you are just going to have to get a bunch of tatoos around it so it blends in.

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Do any tattoo artists or anyone with an artistic eye have any suggestions as to whether it can be fixed, or what could make a good cover-up? I was thinking either a red skull or maybe a rose with a black pearl in the middle? Do either of those seem like they would work? Or does anyone have any better ideas?

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Why do you suggest seeing someone else for a cover-up and spending more money? Don't you think the artist who made the mistake should fix it or cover it for free?

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Also, I'm not saying that anyone should tell me what to get, but there are certain designs that will cover certain tattoos better than others. Not every design is a good cover-up for a certain tattoo. I'm thinking that from a tattooist's point of view, it would be fairly easy to look at a tattoo and say what sort of designs would make a good/better cover-up vs what sort of designs will make a poor/worse cover-up. And I don't think it's an unreasonable question, but I'm sorry if you do think that, I'm still asking the question. I also do not agree with the notion of seeing someone else for a cover-up. The artist that made the mistake should do whatever it takes within reason to fix it. So far, I've not gotten a specific answer to really any of my questions, other than one person saying the person who did it should fix it, and another person saying let the artist decide whether to fix or cover it. It would make me feel a lot better if I knew what I should expect from my artist, and some ideas of what will work for a cover-up. Honestly, not answering my questions is making me stress even more.

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I'm guessing that the reason why people on here might not tell you what kind of cover-up to get is that it smacks of asking for artistic input for free/it's hard to tell from a picture only. I haven't been around here for a super long time, but it seems like "what should I get" posts are sort of frowned on. There was someone else asking for cover-up advice where the exchange got a little testy. I am happy to be proven wrong, though.

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Put a big black panther over it. Panthers cover everything, and everybody needs a panther.

Your artist is really the only one who can decide if it can be fixed or covered... another tattooer could weigh in on here, but it's really up to your artist's vision and abilities.

Someone already touched on this I think, but often when people get hung up on mistakes in tattoos they have... we suggest to just get more, and better, tattoos. You know, go out and get a kick-ass new tattoo and the other one won't bother you as much (and yes, that star is a little wonky, but it's not hugely obvious or some scratcher garbage either).

Have you thought about branching out and checking out other tattooers? You're not too far from Philly, which has plenty of good shops, and in the opposite direction there's Tattoo Mark's in State College, which has some great tattooers.

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"Asking for artistic input for free"? So now people should be paid for their advice or opinions? Wow. For the second time, I'll reiterate that I'm not asking anyone to tell me what specifically to get. Firstly, I offered two of my own ideas to see if anyone thought they would work. Secondly, I also explained that certain designs will make better cover-ups than others. Did I ask anyone to post a drawing or image and say, "I think this is the best idea to use as a cover-up"? No, I did not. Now I'm not finding any of your answers helpful so far.

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Put a big black panther over it. Panthers cover everything, and everybody needs a panther.

Your artist is really the only one who can decide if it can be fixed or covered... another tattooer could weigh in on here, but it's really up to your artist's vision and abilities.

Someone already touched on this I think, but often when people get hung up on mistakes in tattoos they have... we suggest to just get more, and better, tattoos. You know, go out and get a kick-ass new tattoo and the other one won't bother you as much (and yes, that star is a little wonky, but it's not hugely obvious or some scratcher garbage either).

Have you thought about branching out and checking out other tattooers? You're not too far from Philly, which has plenty of good shops, and in the opposite direction there's Tattoo Mark's in State College, which has some great tattooers.

Traveling or spending more money is really not an option for me right now, but the rest of your answer does make me feel a little better. I do believe she will attempt to fix it if I ask her nicely, which I intend to, and if it can be fixed, that is better than a coverup imo. But if she doesn't think she can fix it, then I think she should be the one to cover it.

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Ok, so I drew a little bit with a marker around the tattoo to simulate what it would look like if it were fixed the way I'm thinking of fixing it, and it actually doesn't look so bad. I can live with it being fixed rather than covered up.

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Basically, I feel like if I got it fixed, it could look like a street-art take on the nautical star, or in other words traditional with a graffiti/urban twist. I think I can handle that lol. Maybe also add some smaller stars around it to draw attention away from the asymmetry of the larger star. Sorry if I came off like a bit of a dick. Bad tattoos give me bad self-esteem, and that tends to make me a bit testy.

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So can you guys let me know what you think? One picture is of the tattoo as-is. I'm not a perfect drawer, but the second pic is when I drew on it to get an idea of how it would look if fixed. Better? Worse?

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I would ignore this tattoo it for now. Maybe see if you can get any of your unused "deposit" back then save up some money and seek out some higher quality artists. It may take a couple months before your have the time and money but you will be much happier with the results. It would be insane to keep returning to an artist after you lost confidence in their ability to design and apply a quality tattoo.

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^Like the above said, ask your tattooer about fixing it, for sure.

Also, as far as other people's suggestions to "get more tattoos". That's pretty solid advice. In the event that your tattooer can't fix it, and you don't want to go through laser treatments and cover-ups, adding more tattoos around it can help a lot.

A regular poster on here @TrixieFaux I believe has a similar tattoo and added around it rather than covered it up and it's a good example of how well crowding out a less-desirable tattoo works.

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^Like the above said, ask your tattooer about fixing it, for sure.

Also, as far as other people's suggestions to "get more tattoos". That's pretty solid advice. In the event that your tattooer can't fix it, and you don't want to go through laser treatments and cover-ups, adding more tattoos around it can help a lot.

A regular poster on here @TrixieFaux I believe has a similar tattoo and added around it rather than covered it up and it's a good example of how well crowding out a less-desirable tattoo works.

Yes! Have done that twice now..my simple nautical star w/my daughter's name above it on my upper left arm has been integrated into a beautiful tiger/lotus sleeve. And more recently, the little outline owl on my forearm is integrated into my raven/jewel/roses sleeve. Had considered covering them but went with what the artists wanted to do. Couldn't be happier.

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