Why are consumers in such an uproar about Kat Von D’s blackout tattoo? She did it to “blackout a large portion of old, crappy tattoos” on her arm. A person’s body is theirs to do with what they want. And yet, as every tattoo artist who has covered up or blacked out an 80s tribal knows, trends pass. People make bad decisions about their art. Then compound those bad decisions with… more bad decisions.
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I’m so in love with my new blacked out arm tattooed by @hoode215! 🖤 Can’t believe it only took him 1.5 hours - and it’s the most consistent, true black I have ever seen! I feel so lucky to have @hoode215 guest spotting here at @highvoltagetat and excited to have him come back in regular basis! Go follow @hoode215 to see the most impressive black work ever! 🖤🖤🖤
The answer to bad ink is usually – for better or worse – more ink, usually bigger and darker. But at what point does bigger and darker become too big and too dark? And if it’s a trend, does that make it okay – or is that a rationalization? It’s one of life’s most important lessons: when something goes wrong, don’t make it worse. A desperate coverup is usually neither a satisfactory, nor a well-done, coverup.
Joe Kelly, Tatt2Away® technician at Red Ocean Tattoo in Savannah, GA, said, “We’re currently removing a giant black out piece. He wishes he knew about Tatt2away before he got the blackout done.” Kelly thinks blackout tattoos are “just dumb. But if someone wants it, why stop them? It may give us more business in the removal side of things or at least consults and they can chat with artists and get multiple opinions. At least at Red Ocean they can.”
Jimmy Locker, owner of Hammer’s Tattoo in Canton, OH, was surprised by Kat Von D’s blackout and said he considers it a drastic measure. “I don’t get the impatient part. Why not try to do something really nice out of some bad past ideas?” Locker uses Tatt2Away to help people avoid what he views as another regretful mistake. “We cover up old tribal tattoos now. Having Tatt2away in the arsenal has been a great help for opening a client’s mind.”
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Having been in the tattoo industry for the greater part of my life, I’ve seen countless tattoos of all types of styles — but NEVER have I felt inspired to tell anyone “that’s ugly” or “you’re stupid.” Tattoos are funny in the sense that ultimately it is one of the most intimately personal things we can do for ourselves. But even though tattoos are an outward expression, they really aren’t for anyone else other than the person wearing it. With that being said, I do love sharing and giving the world a window into aspects of my life — especially when it involves something/someone that inspires me. But just because I choose to share my experiences, it shouldn’t be an invitation for such negativity. Yes, I did decide to black out a large portion of old, crappy tattoos on my arm that I posted yesterday, and regardless of what people might think about it, I absolutely LOVE how simple and clean it looks now. So, to respond to a lot of the noise that clogged up my comment section in my last post: •No, it doesn’t matter that you don’t like the way my arm looks. To each their own. •No, this isn’t bad for my health [but thank you for caring!] When done correctly, tattoos don’t penetrate passed the second dermis layer of skin. During the healing process, our skin naturally filters out any excess pigment through our pores. And no, there is no lead, plastics, toxins in the professional-grade tattoo pigments that we use. Nowadays you can even find vegan-friendly pigments that works just as well, too. •No, this isn’t a lazy attempt at a coverup. It actually takes an extremely skilled artist that specializes in blacking out tattoos. •Before you label something “ugly” or “horrible” try to remember that beauty is subjective. Your idea of a dream tattoo, might be someone else’s idea of a nightmare. Last thing: Swipe through to see some inspiring black work tattoos by @hoode215. Even if it’s something you would never get, there’s no denying the simplistic esthetic to this style of tattooing really is beautiful in its own way. Lotsa Love. X
Blackout tattoos are nothing new for artists, Bree Solomon of Black Diamond in Venice, CA, and Jessica Weichers of Seed of Life Tattoo in Festus, MO, both Tatt2Away locations. Solomon seeks clarification. Is the blackout to cover an unwanted tattoo or to pop out a body part, perhaps incorporating negative space with designs and images? If it’s coverage, she probes further to learn their end goal. “If it’s to not have that tattoo at all or to have something that they like, I’ll go over the options for Tatt2Away.”
Weichers makes sure a person with a big black mistake – who wants more black – understands how permanent a blackout tattoo is, and how a coverup would be easier using Tatt2Away to remove some of the existing black. She also offers them the option of white on black. And though she hasn’t removed any blackout sleeves. she’s currently removing two half sleeves and a chest piece. “I’m very happy with the Tatt2Away system,” she said. “I show them a tattoo I had lasered that scarred my skin, and I show them where I did Tatt2Away on myself. It sells itself.”
Increased options are what Tatt2Away provides, while blackout is the ultimate permanent coverup. “I would for sure inform them of the options available with Tatt2away,” said Rich Slay of Ink Therapy in Glendale, AZ. “I’d want to make sure it wasn’t solely because they no longer liked their old tattoos. I’d also discuss the possible costs of a blackout tattoo. They’re difficult to do and expensive.”
Help your client to not fall victim to a trend. Use Tatt2Away to remove portions of what they have so they can experience better art, rather than solid ink they may regret even more in the future.