Let’s Talk About Cover Ups and Fix Ups Tattoos

Hello!  We are working on writing blogs or articles on topics that we found are brought up often by clients or questions that clients have that we answer on a regular basis.  If you have any ideas that you would like Green Fox Tattoo staff to write about let us know! We would love to spread the knowledge about the tattoo world in Omaha as we see it.  
We are going to write an article topic at least every quarter and if enough people are interested we will start writing these articles monthly.  There is always so much going on in the tattoo world and we want to keep you all in the loop!
First let me introduce our studio! It consists of three persons at the moment.  Veronica Oleson is the shop manager, she runs the social media and the books. Patrick Oleson is the owner and a tattoo artist that prefers 3D and Realistic tattoos.  Last but not least we have Taylor Watts who is a super talented tattoo artist.
Patrick and Taylor both apprenticed as tattoo artists in Omaha, Nebraska and have been doing it for years.  Patrick has been a tattoo artist going on seven years now and Taylor has been doing it for three years.
Both Patrick and Taylor went to college for art where their love for fine art turned them into some super talented tattoo artists.
Patrick and Veronica opened Green Fox Tattoo in Omaha NE in the Big Fred’s building on the Northeast side.  We are absolutely thrilled about the location and have friendly & helpful neighbors all around us.
So enough about us!  Let’s get to our first topic cover up tattoos or fix up tattoos.  We decided we should write about this topic first because it is such a touchy subject with clients.  Our team is always looking out for the client whether they are brand new or been with our artists for years.  Because it is hard for someone who isn’t a tattoo artist to understand, we thought it would be best to write an article on why cover ups and fix up tattoos are something that we work on in a case to case bases.

A few times every week new clients in Omaha and the Midwest reach out to us to inquire about their tattoo project.  We appreciate every message and do our best to reply to everyone. A percentage of these new super awesome clients ask us about covering up or fixing their existing tattoos.  Some clients can get quit offended when we decline a project.

We are super chill, relaxed and caring artists and we don’t mean to offend anyone. There so are many factors and variables in any tattoo and a cover up or fix up has another level of considerations.  Sometimes it is just something that wouldn’t be beneficial to either of us working together on that specific tattoo project but if there is another tattoo that the client would like to start that might be the best option.
Tattoo ink is permanent (wow mind blown), that is why we do what we do.  We always strive to make a wonderful permanent memorable art piece on your skin that will last for the rest of your life.   Trying to cover someone else’s work is no easy task and sometimes it just isn’t possible. Depending on the expectations of the client, we may try to guide you into a successful design or we may have to pass on the project if certain criteria are not met.
There are many different reasons why someone wants the current tattoo covered up.  It could be an ex-wife or ex-something that the client no longer wants to affiliate themselves with.  It could be a really terrible tattoo that they got when they were 17 in their best friend’s garage. They could have even gone to a tattoo shop and gone with an inexperienced professional tattooist.  Later, when the time comes to fix or cover the original tattoo, the client does more research and finds a tattoo artist that they know can get the job done right.
I personally have a tattoo I wouldn’t mind getting covered up. I got it when I was eighteen years old.  It was my eighteenth birthday present to myself. My good ole tramp stamp isn’t making me look that sexy anymore.  But I did call around and made sure to do the research of the best tattoo studio in town. I loved my tattoo………………when I was eighteen.   My tattoo isn’t bad, but when I eventually get my back piece done, I will probably have it faded and blended into darkness.
I did have a friend who got an NSYNC tattoo, yeah that boy band!  I often wonder how she feels about her tattoo in her 30’s, I’m not in touch with her but if I ever see her again I would sure love to ask.

Needless to say some of the original tattoos look better than others, but that isn’t always the deciding factor on whether on not we will work on the cover up.  We have had people cuss us out because we simply said “that isn’t something that we can work with.” There is no offense to be taken here. We want to educate clients on the reasons why we turn down cover ups and why we take on certain projects and pass on others.

First of all, there are many reason why we would not touch an existing tattoo.  Most of the time we can not cover up a tattoo because there is too much black in a concentrated area and the client can not or will not go larger with the new tattoo.  The new tattoo has to be at least three to four times larger so that the old cover up tattoo resides in the shadowy dark space within the new design. Think of any three dimensional object.  One side is lit and is lighter toned (not ideal for a coverup) while the other side is darker and in shadow (possibly a good place for your old tattoo).

Take our word for it, the new tattoo needs to be equally dark or darker than the tattoo being covered.  Attempting to cover solid black lettering or tribal with a soft pastel flower will never work. Be careful what you see on tv and social media.  Anything will look covered while the tattoo is fresh. It’s whether or not the old tattoo is still noticeable once healed. We judge a successful cover up, by the healed result.  Often times we will insist on doing a second pass. We do this so that we don’t have to go overly dark at the beginning. We let the tattoo heal for a few weeks and then adjust by darking only the necessary spots.

Existing art style is another huge factor.  New clients often ask us to continue or finish an existing tattoo.  The client doesn’t necessarily want it covered, just continued. Maybe the other tattoo artist moved or can’t be found.  Maybe the client decided against that artist for any number of reasons. We are very picky about this type of tattoo as well.  Imagine this, the existing tattoo is done in a differing art style and we don’t even have the original reference to guide us. Every tattoo we choose to work on has our Green Fox Tattoo seal of quality.  If we are not 100% confident that the project will turn out spectacular, we don’t start it.

At Green Fox we won’t ever just say “NO” without first hearing more about your project.  We would like you fine people to keep in mind that we may not choose to start every project, and that’s ok.  We are still here for your next new tattoo project and we appreciate every message.

The artists at Green Fox Tattoo, Patrick and Taylor will do their absolute best to take care of any and all clients.  After speaking to either Patrick or Taylor they will be able to tell you what your best option would be moving forward.

Patrick has completed some larger cover ups.  One in particular was blue tribal waves. The client wanted a piece that would cover up the existing tattoo and continue into a ½ sleeve.  Not only was this client flexible with the design to be able to incorporate it, but he was also an incredibly interesting individual. I’ve included both the before and after images of the tattoo here.   Patrick has been working on David for a few months now. This piece isn’t completely finished but I did want to give you all an example of cover ups that we at Green Fox Tattoo would take on.

BEFORE
AFTER TWO SESSIONS (not completed)

There is one last option that we haven’t discussed yet.  If you have a tattoo the you want covered without a doubt and it is to dark to cover, there is also Laser Tattoo Removal in Omaha.  There are several different companies that offer this service.

I’ve heard that this can be a little painful but less painful than getting the actual tattoo.  With the laser tattoo removal they schedule several sessions with you in order to mostly remove the tattoo.  If you want something to go over the tatoo you may not need the usual 5-7 sessions. Maybe even a couple session will make the tattoo light enough to be put a new tattoo over it.  Sessions are usually scheduled about eight weeks apart. They do not guarantee that the tattoo will no longer be visible but I have seen them get super close. They say that towards the end of the removal sessions that the tattoo starts to look like a bruise.

The cost of the laser tattoo is typically between $500-$3500 depending on the size, they usually give out free quotes.  Each session is paid when the session is completed so that payments are easier to afford.

There is a way that this can all be prevented.  Don’t get people’s name tattooed on you unless it is your child.  They can leave you but you will always be their parent. DO NOT get tattooed at someone’s house, this sounds so obvious to me but I see it way to often.
I will say that most of the time that people do get tattooed at someone’s house it is when people were younger and drinking.  But that isn’t always the case.
There are lots of reasons to not get tattooed at someone’s house or garage.  But the main reason is for sanitation purposes. We keep our studio clean, sanitized and 100% up to code for the safety of our clients.  When working with blood you can never be safe enough.
It is so important to keep everything sanitized because when someone is working with blood the client could easily get an infection if the area isn’t sanitized.  I would say that besides terrible tattoos that I have seen coming out of garages that the not be sterile and sanitized scares me more for people.

Well, I digress so I will close on this note.  If you want a tattoo, find an artist that does tattoos how you are looking for them to be done.  Only get you children tattooed on you!!!!! Really think about what you are getting tattooed and want before talking to the tattoo artist.  
At Green Fox Tattoo our goal is to never have any of our work covered up!  Super fantastic goal that we have but we do want you to love your tattoo.
Reach out and let us know what topics you want to hear about.  Email us at GreenFoxTattoo@gmail.com or reach out to us on Messenger on Facebook.  
Much love to all of those who took the time to read this!  We truly appreciate all of the support in our first year opening Green Fox Tattoo and owe our success to you awesome freaking clients!

Veronica Oleson
Green Fox Tattoo
1103 S. 119th St.
Omaha NE 68144