Mimolette

Initiation - myself and my awful tattoo

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Hi guys,

Glad to join the forum, I am posting the first message here as I understood it is the rule.

I will be straight forward, I was popping on the forum for some time but never felt the need to subscribe to it as I did not have any tattoo. That's not the case anymore and unfortunately that's a bad story... I wish I could share with you all an amazing tattoo that I got but I got 2 tattoos which just don't look right and it's annoying me quite badly.

So first of all, I hope you won't judge me because I am already judging myself pretty much for these 2 tattoos I got behind my elbow.

Here's the story:

I wanted a tattoo for yeaaaars. And I waited very long to be sure that I would make one that I couldn't regret, not big, just a wearable size you know, and that would correspond me very much. 2 years ago, my life changed and since that moment I knew what would be my tattoo (I will pass there what happened but let's say that I got very much into Indian culture). And I decided to tattoo a word written in Sanskrit (indian language) that would summarize that change in my life; it was for me obvious that this was a tattoo that I really wanted, needed.

After months, I decided to get it in November. Until November I thought so hard on where to put it, where to have it inked on my body and finally turned out that behind my elbow was pretty exciting. I got it in November, I liked it for few hours and then started to already think that something was just not right about it. However I knew that new tattoos can look weird and waited weeks for it to heal to see what would be the final outcome. But still, healed, it just looked like a fake tattoo that someone would have put on my elbow right there and I was really not happy about it. So long story short, the tattoo realization was great (this is one of the 2 most recommended tattoo spots of my city, but the artist was not the best), the artist did exactly the tattoo I wanted and I don't think he blew it up but it still looks very weird

Anyway, after some time I decided in february to consult another artist (from the 2nd most recommended tattoo spot of my city, I was somehow ashamed to go back to the first place...) to tell him to add a nice drawing to it, inspired from Indian Mandala in order to make it look better. I told him I wanted something that would remind of a sunshine. And the artist drew a very nice small symbol which I was very OK with but once again, it just does not look right. 

I don't know why, it's just awful. From very close, it's already no the best tattoo (see the pic), but I love the symbol, I love what it means and I love how it can look if you watch very closely but from a little bit further away; YUK. Horrible, this looks just terrible! Like seriously, looks like I have drawn a horrible round thing with a pen (see the 2nd pic).

So here's my question; Do you think it can be improved? A 3rd time?? I am thinking to go back to the artist to amplify the lines of the mandala, to make them bigger and sharper. Do you think it's a good idea? I also believe that the shadowing needs rework.. what do you think? If the shadowing was poorly done, maybe it's not the best idea to go back to him? But in the city the other spots are kind of random...

Once again, thanks not to judge me ;)

Cheers to all!

 

IMG_5388[1].JPG

2nd pic.jpg

Edited by Mimolette

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Hi there Mimolette,

Sorry to hear your first tattoo experience was disappointing ... unfortunately I have been there myself, and can empathize.  From up close I like the tattoo ... but from far it does certainly lose all interior definition.  The shading should have had more gradient, I feel.

Here are two ideas that might help to define it from a distance .... playing with colors or thickening the black outlines.  But I think colors, if you're not against the idea, would be more effective.  If you decide to thicken the outlines of the flower the same artist would be fine, but if you decide to go for colors I would seek out another artist who is talented with them ... since I would assume that the one who shaded this would not be the best one to color this.

Hope it goes well for you~ 

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Thank you for your messages and understanding. 

What I don't like about it is that from 1 meter away or more, the Sanskrit worded part looks "fatty"; like just if I would draw some lines with a markerpen, not nice at all, not delicate. Same for the Mandala part, it looks like a badly done ninja star or spider web and this is just not my style. I wanted something refined, not heavy.. and definetely not a ninja star and marker pen lines... :(

@littlefox1970: thank you for the reco. I was myself wandering how colours would impact the whole thing. I was also thinking about placing something in the middle.. to fill the ninja star....

 

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Hi guys, I have still a concern; as the tattoo is pretty dark/black already, would color managed to cover that black and define better the lines? Even light colors? I'm totally not against the idea of putting colors in the flower but I would like to have some of your inputs as to understand what result I should expect, sort of.

thanks! 

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As for the flower:  Color would not "cover" the shading in the flower, exactly ... it would live with it.  If you sketched your flower with a black pencil crayon mindful of values (darks and lights) and then went over it with a color, you would kind of see what will happen.  The black will still be visible underneath.  Artists will sometimes use darker to lighter tones of a certain color for shading effect. But more often they will use "gray" shading (like yours) before adding color.  Present your artist with the idea .... he can probably explain better what the exact results will be.


 

Edited by littlefox1970

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4 hours ago, Mimolette said:

Hi guys, I have still a concern; as the tattoo is pretty dark/black already, would color managed to cover that black and define better the lines? Even light colors? I'm totally not against the idea of putting colors in the flower but I would like to have some of your inputs as to understand what result I should expect, sort of.

thanks! 

I went through the same dilemma as you over a month ago! I got a black and gray tat last December and was so dissatisified with it. 3 weeks ago I had it reworked/partially covered up with bold red flowers.

To answer your question, the artist managed to do it by working in the color with the old black and gray design. She was also honest with me and said it won't be 100% perfect since black is pretty hard to cover up. She also said my tat wasn't TOO black luckily so it was possible to cover. My advice is to take your time and find an artist who is not only good but will take the time to really asses and listen to you. ? 

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Hi everyone,

I am rewriting on that topic as I have a more direct question. I am sorry to seem so "unsure" and writing again in the same post but hey, most of you might know the feeling...:

So basically, do you think this tattoo is fixable and there are artists that could definetely help it look better or do you think I should not push and remain like this as it might just become endlessly worst? 

 

Thanks guys,

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From my perspective, I think it looks fine. Any tattoo will lose definition the farther you are away from it. Scale is important - which is why you'll many times hear the recommendation Go Large or Go Home. I would not try to "fix" again when you've already twice gotten what you'd asked for. 

 

Move on. Decide what you want to do next and find an artist who will talk you through placement and scale - not just do what you ask him/her to do. A solid artist will understand how size and placement fit into your body type and will make recommendations accordingly.

Edited by Devious6

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I completely understand where you are coming from. 

I actually like the tattoo, and I believe most people will.  I have pieces on my that I would get redone if it were "easily" possible, but the reality is that only i notice the little flaws - no one else does.

Don't worry about going back to the same artist to have something changed - especially if you like them. They get that all the time and have very thick skin. All great artist want you to be happy and are usually willing to make changes or additions.

Good Luck!

 

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Dear All,

Despite your good advices not to touch it anymore, i've decided to start on working to improve my tattoo a bit, as I really just can't see it empty like this anymore. So I drew what I thought about. I'd be glad to hear some opinions before I decide to get it or not. What do you think about it? Do you think it would be an improvement or the contrary? 

Thanks again.

IMG_6334.JPG

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On 4/11/2017 at 4:57 AM, Mimolette said:

Dear All,

Despite your good advices not to touch it anymore, i've decided to start on working to improve my tattoo a bit, as I really just can't see it empty like this anymore. So I drew what I thought about. I'd be glad to hear some opinions before I decide to get it or not. What do you think about it? Do you think it would be an improvement or the contrary? 

Thanks again.

 

 

this forum is full of  a lot of very experienced and knowledgeable tattooed people,there is good advice here.

I do agree with you,that tattoo needs some help,a good coverup artist could make that go away.

 

Edited by Dan

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For what it's worth, I sympathize with your feelings. My second tattoo, I was 18 or 19, I went to a highly recommended artist and explained what I wanted: a very simple Enterprise (from Star Trek...total nerd here). It was on my foot and I knew that foot tattoos can be problematic so I *wanted* it to be simple, almost cartoonish. Anyway, the guy was also a Trekkie and got so excited about doing it for me that he drew up a super complicated, very realistic version. And young, dumb, naive me didn't want to hurt his feelings (*eye roll*) so I let him do it. It looks great. Seven years later it still looks absolutely perfect...but it wasn't what I wanted. 

But. I have grown to love it. It wasn't my vision, but it was a learning experience and taught me to speak up. It has made all my other experiences with an artist better and therefore made all future tattoos better! So I don't regret it. And honestly, it does look pretty cool.

A lot of people have stories of a similar vein - tattoos that they initially regretted but grew to love. If I were you, I'd focus on your next piece and if in a few years you still feel the same way, then go back and see about a cover up!

And! I actually really love your OG tattoo design! 

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On 4/11/2017 at 4:57 AM, Mimolette said:

Dear All,

Despite your good advices not to touch it anymore, i've decided to start on working to improve my tattoo a bit, as I really just can't see it empty like this anymore. So I drew what I thought about. I'd be glad to hear some opinions before I decide to get it or not. What do you think about it? Do you think it would be an improvement or the contrary? 

Thanks again.

IMG_6334.JPG

 

i actually see what you're saying. up close, you can see the delineation between the petals. But farther away, it looks like a bit of a blur. There's not enough  contrast between the grays and the lines.

Let it heal all the way, then maybe have a friend draw the black portion on with a sharpie and see how it reads from a distance. if you think it's a significant enough improvement, take a picture of it, bring that design to a reputable artist, and explain the story. they should be able to fix it up and hopefully make you happy with the tattoo.

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update:

I've finally decided to fill the inside of the flower as you can see with the photo below. Healed after 2 weeks so still some time to complete the healing.

Basically, I believe that it's improved because it looks more like a finished tattoo but I still don't feel comfortable about it. I really feel bad about this whole tattoo story...... Just feel a bit better and hopefully will have confidence enough to be able to wear some tee shirts sometimes this summer as I never wore one since i got this tattoo in December and only 3 persons saw it..

still the same problem, up close it's "okish" but from 1 meter away, it looks crappy and creeppy..

I'll get it lasered in the automn... that's clear... 

oh my.. all these bad emotions after willing for so many years a tattoo.. that's a good lesson, I guess...

IMG_7158.JPG

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^^^ yeah, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that tattoo. I don't know what you're seeing in it that you would want hide it. It looks fine. As oboogie said....tattoos are imperfect by nature, made by imperfect humans.
Whatever you're seeing in that tattoo is all in you're own mind.

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