Coverups with Chris Henry

Do you have any tattoos that you no longer love? Have you ever asked yourself, “Can I cover my tattoo?”  The answer is most likely yes, but there are a few key things to keep in mind to get the best possible artwork.

Today, resident artist, and our cover-up specialist at Tattoo Boogaloo, Chris Henry will give you the low down on how to get the best cover up!  Every artist works differently, but based off of these questions, these are the things that he recommends keeping in mind to getting a successful cover-up.

Can my tattoo be covered?
Most likely!  With cover-ups it’s not always what you were originally picturing since I have to work with what you already have, but as long as you go in knowing that, we can make your old tattoo a distant memory.  Feel free to contact me, so I can check it out and we can make a plan from there!  Just know that if it’s a project that I am not confident will work, I will not take it on.

Is my existing tattoo too dark to be covered?
That depends on a lot of things.  It depends on what you want to put over it. You can always schedule a consult with me and we can talk about your options.  The lighter your existing tattoo is, the more options you will have for a successful cover up.  If you want to lighten it, there are a few options, you can always do laser removal to lighten it up.  That can be very successful at lightening tattoos, but comes with some cons.  Beyond the cost, and and pain, it is recommended that you wait at least 6 months from the last session to tattoo that area again.  Another option is to do a session of a light neutral grey over your existing tattoo before starting the cover-up.  This just neutralizes the contrast and opens up more possibilities for the cover-up.  Usually one layer of grey is enough to do the trick, but on rare occasion an additional layer may be needed.

How do cover-ups work?
Coverup tattoos are basically distractions from your existing tattoo. Whatever ink is already in your skin doesn’t go away simply by tattooing over it. It is still there, it is my job to distract from it and bring the focus to the new design. Every bit of your current tattoo will influence how the cover up will be designed. I can take your ideas and let you know how it can work as a coverup, but a lot of flexibility in design is needed for it to be a successful tattoo.

Does my new tattoo need to be larger than my existing tattoo?
It sure does, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be huge, but sometimes it does has to be significantly larger than the original to be sure to cover all of the existing tattoo, and make it look aesthetically pleasing on the body.

What subject matter works best for cover-ups?
Typically somewhat busy, organic designs work best. A lot of things can be drawn that way, but plant life and flowers are always a good place to start if you need some ideas.  Also typically color tattoos are easier for cover-ups than black and grey, at least for me.

How does your process in specific work?
I like to have a consult and see the existing tattoo in person. Feel free to fill out my request form if you want to get that ball rolling! I do the actual design work in one of two ways.  I either charge a drawing fee of $100 that is non-refundable to do the drawing, or I will draw right on your skin free of charge, depending on your comfort level.  Drawing for cover-up pieces on paper typically takes me 2-3 times as long as a standard tattoo drawing, and is more likely to need changes, so that is why I charge extra for them.  Sometimes I don’t know 100% if something will work or not until I’m I’m sitting down and drawing. I you don’t like the drawing and it needs to be completely re-drawn, I will charge another nonrefundable $100 to compensate for my time.  The other option is that I will draw right on your skin. This method is easier for me to match the curves of your body, to make sure every line of your existing tattoo is incorporated. This method takes me significantly less time, but it’s also harder to see what the final result might look like.  Check out the included examples so you get an idea of the two different methods.