for tattooed people, and those who want to be

soul and inspiration, part 5: Redoing existing tattoos


(Otherwise known as Everything Old Is New Again)

Even if you’ve spent plenty of time thinking about your design, and working with your artist to create it, the old saying that “There’s nothing so sure as change” still applies. As time goes by, you may well change your mind about that tattoo. So, then what?

How about having it re-worked into something else? Not every design is suitable for this, of course, but with enough imagination and careful ink placement it may well be possible to transform something old and/or unwanted into something fresh and new.

Amy Krakow’s Total Tattoo Book includes some photos of old designs being covered up by, or reworked into, new ones.

A lot depends on what color the ink was in the original design and where it’s located. Black ink, of course, will be the most difficult to cover up. But even that can be worked around if you’re willing to take time and think about it.

My own transformation

I had a small Eye of Horus on my ankle that I was never entirely happy with. The artist went too deep on the outline, and over time the black outline spread into what was supposed to be the gold color of the Eye, and obliterated the nice little spiral in the “eyeball’ that had originally been highlighted in white ink. When I consulted with another artist about re-doing the gold color, she explained to me that tattoo ink is transparent, not opaque (which, believe it or not, I had not known up till then) so it would not be possible to color over the excess black with more gold. However, she suggested that she could highlight the entire area with gold after she applied the new surrounding design, to make it look like the Eye of Horus had been designed with a golden highlight. And that’s what she did.

Here’s how that turned out: the Eye of Horus reborn

So if you’ve changed your mind about your ink, don’t make the tattoo-removal clinic your first stop. Get someone to take a picture of your tattoo, and print out several copies at life size on plain paper (the quality of the reproduction is not as important here as is having a good surface to draw on and paper that doesn’t cost a lot if you toss out several sheets while you’re working through your idea). Try drawing a new design with the old one. If you don’t have much in the way of artistic skills, sketch in what you want as best you can and take the drawing to your favorite tattoo artist and see what he or she says about it.

Even if you’re not a fan of the Transformers, you can still be transformed.

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Author: infmom

I got my first tattoo when I was 46. I hope the people who read this blog don't have to wait that long. I love talking about body art.

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