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so i went through a really dark patch a few months ago, and in a state of unmatched disregard i got a tattoo on my shoulder of my dog with a heart and flowers around it. very cutesie, and though beautifully done it is not my style at all and i've come to really hate it

i'd like to remove the dog (fortunately it's black) and, if possible put in it's place an eagle or something. really anything.

two questions:

1) this tattoo was done by Eli Quinters at smith street, who i deeply respect as both a tattooer and as a super nice person. should i tell him that i would like to remove / replace the dog in the heart? should i give him the opportunity to operate on his own work? or should i take the job elsewhere. i do intend to get more work from him in the future..perhaps i could just not show him that arm

2) what do you think is possible as far as a coverup / re-working? again, i only intend to remove the dog. i think that attempting a full cover-up / removal would be a bit ambitious.

thanks all.

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I think you should keep it and focus on your next tattoo instead. I have a few "mistakes" myself that I'd like to cover up in time, but those are just plain awful tattoos, craftmanship wise. Yours is not! But if keeping it is not an option I think you should go back to Eli and ask him for advice.

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i agree with iwar, having a tattoo for only a few months is not long enough , i feel, to make such a drastic decision. my advice is to live with it for longer and to just enjoy getting tattooed. covering up such a nice tattoo, being so new, will make a mess of your arm and lasering it won't really work.

the few people i have come across that seem to be in your situation end up being so focused on that one tattoo they dont like that it's all they can think of and really, the more tattoos you get the more you wil realise what a great design it is. personally i think it's really great with a nice sentiment behind it to boot.

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thanks guys..that seems to be what most have told me. valerie i did have a suspicion that as i got more tattoos, perhaps some tuffer ones, i would start to think less about this one. decisions decisions

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thanks guys..that seems to be what most have told me. valerie i did have a suspicion that as i got more tattoos, perhaps some tuffer ones, i would start to think less about this one. decisions decisions

is that what you're worried about? looking tough?

while i don't know you, i do know that i'd be more inclined to talk to a person with a tattoo to remember their pet than someone with a tattoo design that appears to be more "masculine" by stereotype. you are who you are, and you love your dog (and that speaks highly of you in my book). tattoo's won't change that and won't make you any more or less tougher than your own personality dictates. and fuck what others think or say about you due to your tattoo. it was done by a stellar artist, and it's a very simple, but clean design.

hell, i have a tribute to my deceased rabbit on my forearm and i'm an ex skin! i've got not shame in my love for Henry, as he was the feistiest rabbit i've ever met, and he matched every bit as much of my aggro tendencies during those days. if someone wanted to mock me, i'd deck in the face still to this day, and i know that Henry will be grunting, lunging, and nipping at their heels in spirit.

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when i got my first tattoo, I freaked out because it was huge and came way down into my elbow ditch. I woke up the next morning in a panic and was searching laser removal places. This feeling quickly wained.

I am a critical person, of others but mainly of myself, and I could knit-pick each and everyone of my tattoos - this line looks funny, I should have placed this a little further up, maybe that was a rash decision... you will drive yourself crazy. that tattoo looks amazing, is personal and IS YOURS. Like some people have mentioned, as time goes on you will remember each piece for whatever reason.

If you are thinking of doing something, I would consult eli. Although admittedly that would be tough to do. I have a lot of tattoos from him, and he is too nice!

Also, that first tattoo of mine is an elephant on the inside of my bicep by mike rubendall - needless to say - I am happy I did not get it removed. (it's in my profile albums)

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its your tattoo and you have to live with it. Eli put his time and effort into it, but you sought him out and payed for it and now wear it. if you don't like it, its yours to change. i would talk to him first about the changes you would like to make and hope he wants to work it out with you. but in the end you made the choice and can live with it or not.

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That is a great tattoo! I think you'll seriously regret messing with it further down the line. Give it a year, it's not like you can't cover it up if you want to. And get more tattoos.

When you're ready for more, I'd talk to Eli and see about adding to it, what can go around it, etc. And I bet by that point you won't be able to believe you ever thought about getting rid of it. Shit, that things probably just finished healing!

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that is a rad tattoo. i don't think there is anything wrong with a dog tattoo either. i think just about every tattoo i have gotten it took me awhile before it became part of me. it's just weird a tattoo changes the perception of your body. and until it completely healed its just sort of annoying. i would live it with for at least a year before doing anything. my second tattoo was a butterfly and i'm a dude. talk about not tough. idgaf i still love that tattoo.

you just need more tattoos.

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my second tattoo was a butterfly and i'm a dude. talk about not tough.

I've wanted to get a whole bunch of butterflies for a while now! Glad some other dude can a.) identify and b.) feel comfortable rocking a butterfly.

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Yeah, I've got a butterfly girl head right on my forearm and I have more flowers than I can count (roses, peonies, cherry blossoms, and more) and I'm getting another pair on Sunday! I have my share of snakes and skulls, but most of them involve flowers, too.

And just to pile on, cragdw, please wait before making any hasty decisions. I lived with some extra shitty kanji for almost 20 years before lasering/covering it. If you have more room, just get more tattoos. That dog tattoo is beautiful and is a perfect example of a tattoo with meaning that is not corny.

Good luck.

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hey thanks everyone for the replies. this has really helped re-align me and how i feel about this tattoo. i'm really not insecure in my toughness or my image..if i was i definitely would never have gotten this tattoo. i think though that the simple answer is that i just need more tattoos to put this one in perspective.

thanks again all

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I personally don't think the tattoos is un-tuff. It's a really well done tattoo and once there's a bunch of other stuff around it, you likely won't feel the same way about it as you do now. Trust me. I have some actual shit tattoos that used to stop me from wearing short sleeves or sandals/shorts and now that I have a lot more I don't even think about the shitty ones anymore. Plus in 20 years it might be nice to have a reminder of the pet you once loved so much, I have my dog on me and it's not going anywhere!

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in the first line of your post you said " very cutesy, not my style"

when you say not my style do you mean design or application? Eli's "style" is very masculine in my opinion. But no matter how beautiful or well applied it is if you don't like it, you don't like it. But who's to say you will like what you attempt to cover it with or change it.

So for that reason I am agreement that you should leave it and live with it for a while.

Get right with it.

However if you are one of those people who finds themselves obsessing about what they don't like and you find you absolutely can't live with it, then I would suggest going to Eli first and explaining what it is that you don't like and see what he suggests.

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hmm i'm in two minds about this. on one hand, i think that tattoo looks awesome and hearing you say that you wanna "put in it's place an eagle or something, anything really" makes me a little sad inside. the "anything really" kinda thought process when it comes to covering up something you're already not happy with just spells disaster to me.

on the other hand, i understand being totally unhappy with a tattoo. and a first tattoo. 3 years ago i got an outline of a half sleeve done by someone with a good reputation and who i had researched thoroughly(looked through portfolios for close to 2 years). though i accept full responsibility, since i had the final say, i think he was a bit pushy and told me to just "bite the bullet" when i asked if any alterations could be made to the design.

i wanted peonies and a chinese lion(foo dog), but he said peonies wouldn't work and decided to replace them with cherry blossoms, which i wasn't a fan of. the lion looked goofy, and he didn't feel like redrawing it in a different posture. i was told by a friend to be prepared for "the artist to change your ideas" so that, coupled with not knowing the proper etiquette(stupid, i know) if i wasn't 100% sold on the design, i ended up going with it. over the next few weeks i began to hate it, so i cancelled my remaining appointments, started getting laser, and after a couple more years am the owner of a half sleeve that i am so stoked about. lasering my first tattoo and getting it covered up was an expensive lesson, but the decision to do so was one i am completely happy with.

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That's a great tattoo. I have to echo the sentiments above: wait. I suspect that you'll come back around and start to see it for what it is: a great way to commemorate a special friend who's now gone. You can be damn sure that I'll be commemorating my pups when the unthinkable happens (doesn't even bear thinking about). Sorry for your loss.

Also, I won't speak for Eli Quinters, but I'll say that if I spent time designing and applying a tattoo that rad, and was then asked to change it significantly or cover it up (and felt that it could be done, which is not always the case), I may decide to oblige depending on who was asking, but it would bum me out. Just saying.

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The difference betwixt spending time and spending money.

A person who works purely for art, well, when the art is finished, someone can look at it and say yeah, I like that, I'll buy it. If no one likes it, no one buys it, simple.

A person who works for profit must need make their art into what the customer wishes.

If I ask a tattooist to work up a special design for me, I expect to pay them for their time. If I change my mind, or don't like their rendering of my ideas, well, it's my money, right? If it isn't a question of safety, or a design reflecting poorly on the tattooist doing it, then I would say it's entirely up to the customer, and if the tattooist has a problem with it, they should just take their money elsewhere.

Don't get me wrong, plenty of times I've gone into the shop with an idea, and had one of the guys there tell me, "look, this would really look better this way", and I've followed their advice and been glad of it. But I have to sympathize with someone getting a tattoo that they end-up not being completely happy with.

My opinion is, give the original artist a shot at working with you to change/cover it to suit you, and if they don't want to work with you on it, fuck 'em, go on down the street.

.02

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The difference betwixt spending time and spending money.

A person who works purely for art, well, when the art is finished, someone can look at it and say yeah, I like that, I'll buy it. If no one likes it, no one buys it, simple.

A person who works for profit must need make their art into what the customer wishes.

If I ask a tattooist to work up a special design for me, I expect to pay them for their time. If I change my mind, or don't like their rendering of my ideas, well, it's my money, right? If it isn't a question of safety, or a design reflecting poorly on the tattooist doing it, then I would say it's entirely up to the customer, and if the tattooist has a problem with it, they should just take their money elsewhere.

Don't get me wrong, plenty of times I've gone into the shop with an idea, and had one of the guys there tell me, "look, this would really look better this way", and I've followed their advice and been glad of it. But I have to sympathize with someone getting a tattoo that they end-up not being completely happy with.

My opinion is, give the original artist a shot at working with you to change/cover it to suit you, and if they don't want to work with you on it, fuck 'em, go on down the street.

.02

Seems to me like the person "working for profit" that "must need make their art into what the customer wishes" in this case has already done so. If I understood the op, then the reason he dislikes the tattoo now is that he finds the subject matter disagreeable, or not "tuff" enough, or whatever. The problem isn't a poorly designed or executed tattoo.

Don't get me wrong: I fully believe that the customer should get exactly the tattoo they want. In this case, the client DID get the tattoo he wanted, and later decided for some reason that he did want it anymore.

Ask the artist if he'll alter it, but don't be surprised if he's less than enthusiastic. Just because the client paid, or is paying, for it doesn't mean the artist is forever on the hook, and should be expected to alter or change existing work with no personal feelings on the matter. And if you don't like his answer, then fuck you. Take that entitlement shit down the road.

Disclaimer: this is just the viewpoint of one inexperienced tattoo artist. Others may and inevitably will differ. Speaking plainly, I did not appreciate the tone of the above post.

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Seems to me like the person "working for profit" that "must need make their art into what the customer wishes" in this case has already done so. If I understood the op, then the reason he dislikes the tattoo now is that he finds the subject matter disagreeable, or not "tuff" enough, or whatever. The problem isn't a poorly designed or executed tattoo.

Don't get me wrong: I fully believe that the customer should get exactly the tattoo they want. In this case, the client DID get the tattoo he wanted, and later decided for some reason that he did want it anymore.

Ask the artist if he'll alter it, but don't be surprised if he's less than enthusiastic. Just because the client paid, or is paying, for it doesn't mean the artist is forever on the hook, and should be expected to alter or change existing work with no personal feelings on the matter. And if you don't like his answer, then fuck you. Take that entitlement shit down the road.

Disclaimer: this is just the viewpoint of one inexperienced tattoo artist. Others may and inevitably will differ. Speaking plainly, I did not appreciate the tone of the above post.

No sense of "entitlement" involved. If he wants the tattoo altered or covered, and he's willing to pay for it, I feel that he owes the original artist-if it was a tattoo he was happy with originally - first shot at changing/covering it. I can fully understand if the tattooist chooses not to do so, were I a tattooist, I imagine I'd be less than enthusiastic about it, but, it belongs to the person wearing it, and if they want to change it, that's their right.

As for the rest, if you don't like my tone, well, that's on you. I meant no disrespect to any tattooist working, simply pointed out that once the customer pays for the work, it's his to do with as he chooses. There is no entitlement or expectation of anything further being done for free, and if you'll read my post closely, you'll see that I specifically stated that I would expect to pay for any time and work involved in changing something.

- - - Updated - - -

Guys! The OP is over a year old!

Yeah, but c'mon, gotta liven things up sometimes!

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No sense of "entitlement" involved. If he wants the tattoo altered or covered, and he's willing to pay for it, I feel that he owes the original artist-if it was a tattoo he was happy with originally - first shot at changing/covering it. I can fully understand if the tattooist chooses not to do so, were I a tattooist, I imagine I'd be less than enthusiastic about it, but, it belongs to the person wearing it, and if they want to change it, that's their right.

As for the rest, if you don't like my tone, well, that's on you. I meant no disrespect to any tattooist working, simply pointed out that once the customer pays for the work, it's his to do with as he chooses. There is no entitlement or expectation of anything further being done for free, and if you'll read my post closely, you'll see that I specifically stated that I would expect to pay for any time and work involved in changing something.

- - - Updated - - -

Yeah, but c'mon, gotta liven things up sometimes!

Right, no entitlement because you're willing to pay. But, if he doesn't want to work on it further, then fuck 'em, right? How dare he not cater endlessly to the consumer.

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Right, no entitlement because you're willing to pay. But, if he doesn't want to work on it further, then fuck 'em, right? How dare he not cater endlessly to the consumer.

So, let's see, if the original artist doesn't want to work on it, the wearer of the tattoo should just say "sorry sir, may I have another"? No, he should, as I said originally, just go elsewhere.

Probably by that point neither of them want anything to do with the other, so yeah, fuck it, walk it off. Again, the "consumer", as you put it, is wearing the tattoo. If he wants it changed, that's his prerogative. If the tattooist, after talking it over with the customer, doesn't want to change it, then it's his prerogative to tell him to fuck off.

Pretty basic stuff.

When you commission a piece of work, it's pretty much yours to do with as you choose. If I hire a carpenter to build a cabinet, and then decide in a year that I want it modified, why should the carpenter get all worked up about it? If he does, I would consider it to be unreasonable, and then, yeah, fuck 'em.

A tattooist may work in a different medium, but a master carpenter is no less an artist...I've just never met one who felt he should pitch a fit whenever someone decided that their taste had changed.

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