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In the field of tattooing, you will more than likely be asked to preform a cover-up. It is important to understand what can, and should be covered and how. There are many times, when you will see a beautiful vibrant tattoo, which is muddied by a past tattoo. This, is not a proper cover up, light pigment should not be used to cover a tattoo darker than the new tattoo. It is important to find the proper fit, (i.e- if someone has a small name on their shoulder, they want a pin up: Suggest using the hair to cover the name. The hair generally will range in the dark gray to black range) Be sure to get a measurement, or stencil of the existing tattoo as this will aid in the new tattoo design.

It is important to sit down with your client, and explain the limitations of a cover-up. Discuss possible themes they want, and why, or why it will not work. Make suggestions, if you can play with an idea that the client wants do it. Drawing up several options for the client is also helpful, it will help to ease their mind about mistakes being made.

Sometimes your client will ask for a partial cover-up, again make sure to discuss possibilities with them. You will need to be clear on what that want covered, and if it is even able to be done without effecting the new tattoo.

Often times an artist will be required to preform a cover up through sessions, each session should be anywhere from 3-4 weeks apart to promote healing. You, and the client will then have the ability to evaluate the progress of the tattoo.

Pictures, pictures, pictures. Taking pictures of the cover up in phases will become a positive section in your portfolio. Often times an artist who is able to preform an accurate, and beautiful cover up will receive more clientele from word-to mouth than one who is not. The pictures should begin with the original tattoo, lifework, shading, and then the final product which will give people an idea of what to expect. This, will also help to explain visually the problems that are encountered during a cover-up.

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