"We can't cover that."
Sometime around three years ago I met an artist new in town named Snoopy. I was itching for another tattoo and my friend Anastasia had several that Snoopy had done when they had both lived elsewhere. I liked his work so I went to the studio to watch him and look at his portfolio. Everything seemed copacetic so I set up an appointment to have my left inner wrist tattooed with a tribal heart design. Snoopy customized the colors for me, which I really liked. My ex and I went on the same day and he got his tattoo right after I got mine. I already had three tattoos in various sensitive places, the most sensitive one being the large spiked tribal heart that I designed and had placed between my shoulder blades. I have one on the back of my neck as well, but that one didn't hurt at all; I actually fell asleep. I expected pain, but I was almost brought to tears by this two inch by two inch tattoo. I figured it was just because I have small bony wrists, but I was to find out differently later on. My new artist told me that Snoopy had gouged me; pressed too hard with the needle.
Healing did not go very well. It didn't become infected but I broke out in small blisters around the entire tattoo and ended up having to see a dermatologist, who told me that I had a bad reaction to the red ink. Apparently Snoopy still used red ink that contained mercury, a fact of which I was unaware of.
After it had completely healed I was severely disappointed. The blisters that I'd gotten had actually warped the design and even though the color was beautiful, the design just looked ugly to me. I hid it most of the time beneath my watch or a wristband I was so embarrassed by it. Everyone else thought it was really cool, but once I explained to them what happened they kind of got the picture.
About a year ago I had finally saved some money and made the decision to have my wrist covered. There was no longer a tattoo artist in town, so I drove 45 minutes to Lake Havasu, which has quite a few studios. I had already been to Culture Shok because my ex had gotten me the coolest Valentine's Day present- he paid for the nose ring I had wanted for so long. I had seen all the amazing art displayed inside, watched several of the artists at work; basically I was really excited to go to Culture Shok and have my tattoo done.
I was torn on designs that could cover my wrist, but I knew I wanted a flower. When I talked to one of the artists there and described what I was thinking of, he told me point blank that it would be "too hard" to cover it, with anything that I was looking for. I was so disappointed; I had seen some of the cover-up work that they had done and I couldn't believe he was telling me that a tiny tattoo like mine couldn't be covered! He told me the colors were too complex, I would have to get something that was almost predominately black or at least very dark colors; not what I wanted.
With that in mind I looked elsewhere. I came across the new location of The Chamber, a clothing/smoke/tattoo/piercing shop that I had been to at the old location. The owner is an awesome guy, and I'm not just saying that because he always gives me a discount, or told me I looked really hot in this dress I ended up buying; he's a generally cool guy.
I went in the back and discovered my new favorite artist, Jon. I spoke with both him and the other artist on at the time and the other artist wasn't even sure what I was talking about, so I went with Jon.
I showed him what I had and told him I wanted it covered with a blue and purple orchid. He said he had never done an orchid before, but rather than come up with some excuse not to do it, he pulled a book of flower line art off his shelf, thumbed through the index and found the page orchids started on. Never once did he say it couldn't be done. Instead he thought of ways it could be done.
There was one design I liked in particular, but because of the shape and size of the heart Jon had to modify it to fit. We discussed the colors and I explained to him the idea. I made the appointment and a week later when I came back he had the design drawn out; it was beautiful and even better than I had imagined. He even used the center of the old heart as the center of the orchid!
Jon had absolutely no problem covering my old tattoo, and even used white highlights in the orchid without the original colors coming through. It's now a two inch by two and a half inch tattoo but I constantly get compliments on the beauty and color of the work done and I proudly show it off. My husband is considering getting a tattoo done and he wants to see Jon. I've been sending people to him ever since he did the work.
Several months later I returned to have a new tattoo placed upon my breastbone and Jon immediately understood my intentions for the design. Not only that, it only took him one try to come up with the perfect color.
Needless to say I'm going back to Jon from now until I can't get anymore ink done.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 20 June 2008