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Hi I just got my third tattoo last week and so I wanted to have a place to come to be around like minded individuals. I like to read others experiences and see if my personal concerns are normal as far as tattoo experiences, so I tend to be on the quiet side, adding some input when its applicable. Glad to be a part of the community.

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I have a couple of questions and I guess here is a good a place as any to ask.

My tattoo peeled normally with a few scabs over the first week, and now appears to be rather smooth and slightly tender. Today is day 8 since it was done. It looks like it is going to peel a second time, this time just small white colored flakes. Is a secondary peeling normal?

Also, this tattoo did not come out as the final product I'd envisioned. I'd been to the tattooist before and was happy with his work. His stencil looked great, straight and perfect. The final product tho, is not as good as I thought he was capable of. Some spots look crooked, some parts not in symmetry, not the realistic look I was going for. Its not a bad tattoo, really it's not. At a glance it's really pretty good. I guess I expected him to copy the image I brought but he didn't, he took his own artistic liberty, or the limit of his skill I guess, I don't know. I just am so confused about admitting to him I'm not crazy about it, asking him to fix it, or just not going back to him at all. I'm disappointed all the way around because of my disappointment in this (my perception of) imperfect tattoo and I don't know if I should just try to love it or what. I want to love it, but I just don't get excited when I look at it. Does everybody get what they would consider an imperfect tattoo, by virtue of the human aspect of tattooing and/or being a canvas? How can I start to love this one?

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My tattoo peeled normally with a few scabs over the first week, and now appears to be rather smooth and slightly tender. Today is day 8 since it was done. It looks like it is going to peel a second time, this time just small white colored flakes. Is a secondary peeling normal?

Perfectly normal. And on the topic of imperfect tattoos, I like what Thom DeVita says. Something like "any imperfections only add to its beauty." It's a human-applied art form. Consider those human touches. And welcome to LST!

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I have a couple of questions and I guess here is a good a place as any to ask.

My tattoo peeled normally with a few scabs over the first week, and now appears to be rather smooth and slightly tender. Today is day 8 since it was done. It looks like it is going to peel a second time, this time just small white colored flakes. Is a secondary peeling normal?

Also, this tattoo did not come out as the final product I'd envisioned. I'd been to the tattooist before and was happy with his work. His stencil looked great, straight and perfect. The final product tho, is not as good as I thought he was capable of. Some spots look crooked, some parts not in symmetry, not the realistic look I was going for. Its not a bad tattoo, really it's not. At a glance it's really pretty good. I guess I expected him to copy the image I brought but he didn't, he took his own artistic liberty, or the limit of his skill I guess, I don't know. I just am so confused about admitting to him I'm not crazy about it, asking him to fix it, or just not going back to him at all. I'm disappointed all the way around because of my disappointment in this (my perception of) imperfect tattoo and I don't know if I should just try to love it or what. I want to love it, but I just don't get excited when I look at it. Does everybody get what they would consider an imperfect tattoo, by virtue of the human aspect of tattooing and/or being a canvas? How can I start to love this one?

Ill second the healing part seems normal, the white stuff is probably just new skin that is growing back.

As far as being satisfied with the tattoo, I think pictures would help us see what you are talking about. Seeing what you brought in vs what you got, there may be some reasons why he did it, we might have some advice on how you could handle it in the future.

I find the best advice if you aren't stoked about a tattoo is get more tattoos around it and pretty soon it will blend in. That being said I'm having a tattoo fixed that was done at a very reputable shop a couple years ago.It's not a bad tattoo, he just approached it in a way that I didn't like and I even addressed that beforehand, but getting tattooed by friends can be even tougher than being a client off the street. So you don't always have to love it.

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So, it is not uncommon to come away with something a bit different than what was expected? Man, it makes me lose a little bit of trust for all tattooists in general. I understand that it's them putting the ink in, not me, so we will always be at their mercy as far as final product, which is kinda scary! Especially for a large piece. How can a person ever know exactly what their tattoo will come out looking like?

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So, it is not uncommon to come away with something a bit different than what was expected? Man, it makes me lose a little bit of trust for all tattooists in general. I understand that it's them putting the ink in, not me, so we will always be at their mercy as far as final product, which is kinda scary! Especially for a large piece. How can a person ever know exactly what their tattoo will come out looking like?

I think 99 percent of the time you come away with what you want as long as you do your research and pick a good shop. In my case a friend just decided he was going to try to tattoo like his boss does, and because I work at a shop and we are friends, he know i'm going to trust him. If was a normal customer I think he would have listened to me more. I have other tattoos by him that are perfect.

I think sometimes what you envision a tattoo to be in your head may not envision it in real life and most people these days are hesitant to reproduce stuff brought to them verbatim. I know when people come into the shop with messed up pictures of messed up attempts at traditional, and we try to redraw this stuff to look better, often times they are bummed, cause they saw something in that design they liked. Sometimes we realize that the customer wants exactly what they brought in. Some people have different opinions, but giving the customer what they want trumps our ego most days, as long as its doable.

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I see. That makes sense. I think I must have not communicated what I expected, and even if I had, it's possible he, like you said about being hesitant to copy verbatim, just wasn't going to make it identical. I would think that as a tattoo artist, all the pieces of work they do day after day becomes like nothing at all, just another tattoo to them. But as a customer, it's a big deal, haha especially to a person who only has one or two. So being in the shop is like a whirlwind kinda, talking about size, placement, colors, pain, nerves, signing forms, all this stuff, it doesnt seem real that these choices will directly affect the tattoo, it still seems like it will come out how we envisioned. When I mentioned specifics about the design he said "oh well....ya know, blah blah blah" and so all a person thinks is, well he's the expert....but then the customer leaves with something not like they wanted and it's too late. At least my experience, anyway. I guess I could have him add a line here or there to make it more symmetrical but I don't wanna offend him or anything.

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I still haven't seen this tattoo so I don't know what advice I would really give you, as far as how to fix it, nor can really say if this guy was trying to get fancy with it, or just didn't know what he was doing. Even though a tattooer might tattoo hundreds of people a year, I think most people want to put the best product out there, because it's there name. Listening to the tattooer most of the time is going to get you the best tattoo, giving them more control is going to be better than micromanaging the experience.

Not everyone has to connect with a tattooer on a personal level, but I find getting most of my tattoos by the same person has helped, because we are very open with each other about likes and dislikes in tattooing on a daily basis. Feeling comfortable enough to say you're not into something, but at the same time knowing you can trust them to give you a good product is a good feeling to have. I have many other tattoos, I'm not totally stoked on, but I feel like have no one to blame but myself. I didn't know exactly what I wanted and I didn't know the right people to go to, so i got what I got. They are all pretty cool tattoos, but not the tattoos I would get today.

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Well, I'm trying not to be obsessive since a couple of posters indicated that secondary peeling is normal. Buuut today is day 11 and this tattoo looks like it's 10 years old. It almost feels scabby again in a couple spots, and the skin is flaky and dry, but not quite like last week. I'm not actually seeing any flaking off. It feels raised right now and still slightly tender. The skin directly on top of the ink is wrinkly and shiny but the ink is looking dull and faded. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be using lotion during this period or not. I'm still wearing loose clothes and going easy on the area.

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My average heal time from start to final scabs gone is about 2 weeks. I always have a scab or two. The shortest heal time was 12 days, the longest was 16. I think I might take a little longer than most people. IDK, but you're still "normal." The ink looks "dull and faded" because you are looking at it through a layer of dead skin and layers of live skin. Keep wearing loose clothing and "going easy" as you say and just wait it out.

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