Two tattooists talk about the worst disasters they've had to rectify. Boyfriends’ – and girlfriends’ – names are another massive blunder.
ALL tattoo artists see their fair share of dodgy art, but hearing one woman discuss how a pub landlord inked her using equipment he snapped up online has to take the crown.
The girl ended up with a dubious-looking scorpion stretching across her stomach – the lesson being it’s probably not ideal to let an amateur artist get stuck into your skin with absolutely no training.
Boyfriends’ – and girlfriends’ – names are another massive blunder.
That’s before anyone touches on the hordes of drunk clubbers deciding on a permanent reminder of their summer session.
Get one of those and you’ll be sheepishly making your way to the local tattoo parlour for a coverup quicker than you can say, “One Chinese symbol, please.”
Here, two tattoo artists chat about the most mind-blowing cover-ups they’ve had to pull off.
'It seems like a good idea at the time'
Laura Salmon, 37, lives in London and is an Ink Artist @ Tattoobulance. She works out of a mobile studio and has clients in London, Lincoln and across the southeast. She spends much of her time covering up badly thought through tattoos
"I had to try to re-work a tattoo a girl got done by a pub landlord.
He bought some tattoo gear off the internet and started tattooing above the pub he ran.
Unsurprisingly, he was prosecuted for tattooing in a non certified environment.
She’d had a scorpion created on her stomach. Originally she’d wanted a little one pointing towards her hipbone, but she ended up with a huge one on across her tummy pointing towards her groin.
I got rid of the patchy black, added some colour and put some flowers on it.
It’s not finished yet, as she's only had a two-hour session so far. Mistakes take a while to correct!
One of my most memorable cover-ups was a Chinese symbol tattoo.
I was approached by a young girl who was a bit freaked out by the response she’d got from it.
Her name’s Fiona and she was told that the Chinese symbol for her name was the one she had inked on her upper arm.
One night she was eating out at a Chinese restaurant and a Chinese diner kept staring at her.
Fiona thought she'd got the Chinese symbol for her name inked on her arm, but she'd actually ended up with 'evil' emblazoned on her skinIn the end Fiona’s mum went over and asked why he kept giving them the evils. He said, 'It’s her tattoo!' Her mum said it was just her name and the bloke replied, 'No it isn’t. It’s a Chinese symbol for evil!'
Mum and daughter were horrified. Especially as the tattoo was slap bang in the middle of her upper arm. So she came to me to change it! To be fair it did look like pretty vile.
I transformed it from a pale blue-black angry-looking Chinese symbol into a flower in pillar-box red. I was proud of that one.
One problem is people often get inked in a moment of madness while they’re on holiday.
Apparently it just seemed like a good idea at the time.
One guy went to Bulgaria for his holidays. He was drunk and ended up having 'Bulgaria 13' done on his hipbone! I transformed it with a bird design. We ended up doing a matching swift on the other hip to even it out.
Another girl had been drinking and got her name Julie inked in Thai with a small flower next to it while on holiday.
I changed it with a pretty orchid design. It was quite sweet in the end because it’s her grandmother’s favourite flower.
People don't realise tattoos fade if they're rubbed a lot too.
There's this bloke who wanted a moustache on his middle finger so when he holds his finger up under his nose he has a moustache.
He has to have it redone on a regular basis because the colour fades."
'Don't do it' I said - but she went ahead
Paul Dunham is a tattooist who lives in Greenwich, London. He's been working for 22 years and had corrected countless mistakes during that time
"The biggest tattoo regret women have is men’s names.
"When I first started tattooing one girl already had ‘Colin’ on her arm.
"She came to see me and asked to have ‘Property Of’ done above it. I immediately said, 'Don’t do it!” but she calmly explained they’d been together for six years and were getting married.
I did it and I’m not joking, three days later she was back in to see me n floods of tears, 'We’ve broken up!'
I’ve had to cover up so many ex-boyfriend’s names I’ve lost count.
Popular spots on the body are the top of the thigh, the top of the arm and even above their lady garden.
I had one young girl and she had the name of her bloke at the top of her knicker line.
It was a short first name, thankfully. I was able to ‘erase’ him by tattooing a cute little bow over him.
She was in her mid-20s.
People do not think, they get a tattoo when they’re 18 and then regret it when they’re 21.
They’ll come in with their friend who is getting a tattoo done. It’s on the spur of the moment and they’ll decide to get their boyfriend’s name inked too.
They insist on getting it done they won’t listen to my warnings. Nine times out of ten they’ll be back to have it covered up.
Men are the same as women when it comes to having to do cover up work.
They get women’s names, usually at the top of the arm or across the chest. If they’re large then they’re difficult to cover up. If it’s a name or a silly quote they’re easy to change usually.
Recently I had to go over a tribal tattoo down one arm. There were loads of mistakes in it so I did a war scene over the top of it. That worked out brilliantly.
Trends change massively over years. For a while girls wanted tribal or Celtic arm bands around their upper arms. There were those who get a daisy chain around their ankle too.
2019 is all about religious tattoos but next year it will be something else, so think about what you want.
Tattoos aren’t like pair of trousers. You can’t throw it out when you’re bored with them."