For the title of this cover-up I was undecided between the one I’ve chosen and “The Impossible Cover-Up”. I eventually decided to use the first one because it’s closer to the way I feel whenever I have to do a cover-up.
I don’t like covering crap done by others, nor do I like the uncertainty regarding the colour choice and the fact that the old stuff may influence my work in one way or another.
In this particular case I spent approximately two weeks evaluating the cover-up and for the whole time I was pretty sure I would end up saying “No, I’m sorry but I can’t do it”, but the insisting requests of the client convinced me to try so, after telling him that I was going to try but that if I didn’t find anything suitable for the cover-up there was a chance that he may have to leave the studio with his old tattoo and consider laser removal, I began tracing some lines and I felt immediately inspired. In a small amount of time I traced the lines of a drawing that seemed to fit the purpose.
After about one hour of work the design was ready to be tattoed.

After the first sitting the arm looked better already, but there was still plenty to do and above all we had to wait for it to heal to see how much of the old mess was going to re-emerge.

In occasion of the second sitting I sadly realized that the old obscenity had re-emerged agressively and that I needed to go over it multiple times to hide all that black that, besides, was making the execution difficult.
Definitely a frustrating work.

After each pass of colour, when it looked as if the old crap had been decently covered one could not exactly predict how the old mess may have reappeared confusing the new design and in many cases, when it seemed like a second pass of colour would have given the desired result, it was necessary to go over it with colour a third or even a fourth time.
As if that were not enough, what was underneath was an overlapping of many works carried out so badly that they had damaged the skin making it more fragile, so I had to work carefully to avoid damaging it even further.

I couldn’t have picked a better title for this work.
Definitely the most absurd cover-up I’ve ever done and, honestly, that I’ve ever seen. Saying that this work is challenging is more than an euphemism, but I have to admit that it has given me the chance to further deepen my knowledge and skills, even though I really hope I won’t have to do other cover-ups for some time.

I often found myself wanting to give up. Frustration, annoyance and discouragement added themselves to the sense of challenge and payback.
A sort of fight between me and that damned black smut, a result of ignorance, approximation and presumption by those who think that you only need a tattoo machine in your hands to be a tattoo artist and that ruin people’s skin without any scruples.
This time I won 😛

A cover-up that required a lot of effort and that from a purely aesthetic point of view probably isn’t one of my best works, but now my client has something that he can look at and show around without feeling ashamed instead of the absurdity he had before.

But it’s not over. This client is covered in very questionable tattoos so two additional cover-ups have already been scheduled and there are probably more to come.
I guess I should take a picture of his entire body now and one after all the tattoos have been covered and maybe think about some kind of subscription for clients like him 😛

Maybe it’s appropriate to add that before you get a tattoo it’s important that you use your head 😉

TATTOO INFO

Useless to say that if the arm had been “clean” it would have required a third of the time and maybe even less.

I had the chance to take a picture one year later. Some of the old stuff is still visible, no one can do miracles, especially with this kind of cover-up, but this guy, as stated by him, can finally and proudly show his arm. Not a small thing for someone who until some time ago was ashamed of showing it.

 

Look at the images of the working process below.
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