San Diego Cover Up Artists

Finding a Quality San Diego Tattoo Cover Up Artist

first tattoo

Writing on personal experiences is always the most fulfilling. Sharing an experience with someone who has gone through something similar creates a new avenue for conversation, education and growth. Having experiences that others can relate to often helps to relieve the stress, discomfort or embarrassment of a situation. Tattoo cover-ups fall into a category that not many are comfortable with sharing their stories. Most bad tattoo decisions come at the stage in your life where impulse decisions and the chance to look like a bad ass out weigh the rational decision to research a good artist. Not many care to talk about the underage trip to the seedy tattoo shop across town or friend of a friends basement to get the tribal armband or butterfly and daisies inked permanently onto your flesh so you could show up to school on Monday and be the talk of the lunchroom. Wonder how many times that story has been told in the tattoo shops of the world?

This story about cover-ups was inspired by a friend of the site who wrote the following about her experiences with a cover-up she had done. She relates to her experiences as if it were a group we join after getting bad tattoos, similar to an alcoholic going to an AA meeting:

Tattoos Anonymous

"Hello, my name is Crista and at the age of 21 I had my fiancee's name tattooed onto the small of my back". This is how I feel, like stepping into a TA meeting, every time I go to the Handlery pool and doff my top. And just as alcoholics bear the badge of premature wrinkles, liver medication and rotten teeth, so too tattoos anonymous' bear the banner of bad decisions from their youth in the form of tribal marks, exe's names, and zodiac signs. The difference is, tattooing is transformative. A dried up alcoholic will always have a set of false teeth to lug around, but a tramp stamp can be transformed into a badass back piece. I'm living proof, Two, 3 1/ 2 hours sittings down and one to go into my back piece cover up. There comes a time in your life when you have to ask yourself: "Have pride in that person you were 11 years ago, or go the way of Kafka, turning that 21 year old into a 32 year old metomorphisis of sophisticated Japanese artwork. I chose the later, but have chosen to keep the scorpio, an insignia on my ankle, as proof of my 18-year old innocence.

For those that can relate or have the old blob of sunburnt skin and ink that once resembled a rose, there is help. We all make mistakes, be it bad artists, bad imagery or a past lovers name that has been a painful reminder of days gone by. Some would consider these past poor decisions a mistake, but flip the coin, take these experiences not as a mistake but a as an opportunity to find a good quality artist that will not only help them cover up the old memories but also create a relationship that will hopefully create new artwork in the future.

As the author of this I speak from my own personal experiences and bad tattoo decisions. I am guilty of the 18-year-old tribal armband, yet I don’t classify it as a bad decision, impulse – yes, but it marks a time and story in my life. I have had portions of it covered up but still keep most of it visible. For me it is part of the story, but for others, the story might not be as memorable. Full cover-ups are possible and with the correct artist, an old piece can be resurrected with new ink or covered to create a new chapter in the storybook.

This article will share others cover up experiences and introduce some local tattoo artists that specialize in cover ups. My own personal cover up was a learning experience and made me research artists before finding the right one, and it the cover up has lead to large collection of artwork, including almost 2 full sleeves and a leg piece. This is an opportunity for you to find your own good artist and enhance some of the physical markings of days gone by.

These are a few of the cover up experts in town. This is just a sampling of what can be accomplished by cover-ups. The only disclaimer that should be stated is this – take your cover-up seriously. There’s not really a do-over for a cover up due to the size and amount of ink required to cover old ink. So unless you are a fan of lasers, please take the time to educate yourself and research to find an artists that understands what you are looking for and you feel comfortable with. The artists featured below are active participants with and the local art scene. Are they the right artist for you?

Chad Whitson - Bearcat Tattoo Gallery
Chad Whitson
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I had decided to get a tattoo of a "Coffin Girl" on my back near my left shoulder. A friend of mine was dating a "Tattoo Artist" (which I learned a couple years later that he was what the Tattoo Industry calls a "Scratcher".) His artwork was actually really good. His tattooing skills were extremely poor. Of course I didn't realize this until it was healed. I was looking for a good deal and got a tattoo that I was embarrassed to show.... the tattoo was faded and barely resembled what I had asked him to tattoo.

I sought out Chad Whitson to cover the "Coffin Girl" with flowers and spider webs. Chad was extremely creative and well aware of how to use his tattooing skills to cover the atrocious tattoo on my back. I looked up some flowers on the internet and brought them to Chad as a guide to what I was looking for. He hand drew the stencil on my back and about 5 hours later he was finished. What was a horrific "Coffin Girl" on my back was now a bouquet of 3 gorgeous flowers. EXACTLY how I envisioned my back to look. He did such a great job covering the old tattoo that I almost forget that I even had it in the first place. I can now proudly show my back and not cringe when someone asks to see my tattoos.

People ask me how much I pay for my tattoos and which artist I suggest. I tell them they need to not only look at the artwork, but to also look at the finished pieces. Watch the artist while they work. Make sure they are using ONLY sterilized equipment and they are changing their gloves regularly. You get what you pay for.

- December

Read more testimonials for Chad Whitson
Terry Ribera - Remington Tattoo
Terry Ribera
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