If you’re living with a less than desirable tattoo, then you already know the pain associated with being the unlucky recipient. For many, it simply becomes a reminder to make better choices the next time around, and for others it becomes a mark they can’t bear to look at.

So what are your options? Well you’ve got a few. If you’re just done with ink and want to bare as a newborn, you can always opt for laser tattoo removal, but if you’re looking to reup your old piece then you can always find an artist who can do a cover up tattoo. This is done by having the artist design a tattoo around the older piece in order to cover it up.  Of course you give them the style of the tattoo you’d like, and then they’ll create a design which will merge seamlessly into – and over – the existing work. So does it really work? Keep you reading and let your eyes be the judge.


Cover up tattoo by Andy Pho - Las Vegas

Cover up tattoo by Andy Pho – Las Vegas

After the cover up. Can you see where the original tattoo was on his chest?

For this client here, he opted for the second option and after searching around town he wound up going to our resident artist Andy Pho. Andy then designed a custom piece and the end results are stunning. It takes a while for even the most well-trained eye to figure out that this was a cover up and to be honest, most couldn’t tell at all – even if they were to examine it for a few minutes. Needless to say, this is a great example of what can be achieved if you find the right artist.

Before the cover up tattoo by Andy Pho - Las Vegas

Before the cover up tattoo by Andy Pho – Las Vegas

Here’s the original tattoo.

If you’re interested in more details about cover up tattoos, be sure to do your homework and look for a qualified artist that you’re comfortable with because making the same mistake twice would be disastrous. Also, cover ups are an art in itself so be sure to check out the portfolio of any artist your interested in. In specific you’ll want to see some before and after work of any of his or her cover up tattoo work. The bottom line, life’s too short to have a shitty tattoo so stick to your intuition, shop around, and if you feel like you’ve found the right artist…then get ready to leave that old piece behind.