Tattooing is a unique art form, a medium that is permanently etched into skin. As a living and breathing canvas, we must carry that art with us, throughout our lives. As we grow, change, and redefine our personal meaning, we may end up feeling haunted by our past decisions that are indelibly inked on our bodies. Whether it's the quality of the work, the subject matter, or reminders of past times and relationships, there can be numerous reasons why we may not love a tattoo we once cherished.
On the plus side, tattoos can offer a sense of security, self-expression, and ownership of our bodies. On the flip side, they can make us feel embarrassed, insecure, or filled with self-doubt. It's perfectly logical to want to cover up an old tattoo that no longer resonates with us. However, it's essential to understand that tattoo artists aren't magicians, and a cover up tattoo is not a magic eraser. Some tattoos are easier to cover up than others, and some may be nearly impossible to completely disguise or camouflage.
As an artist, I'm aiming to help people find love for their tattoos and a renewed acceptance of older works. I'm drawing some inspiration from the rich traditions of Japanese design and aesthetics for those more challenging types of coverup projects. Two concepts, in particular, resonate with me and offer valuable insights for transforming tattoos:
1. **Wabi Sabi**: This concept encourages an acceptance of change and an embrace of imperfections as marks of character and interest. Much like life itself, tattoos evolve and change with us. Embracing these changes can lead to a more profound connection with our ink, our bodies, and our personal histories.
2. **Kintsugi**: This concept of "golden repair" in ceramic arts, highlights the mends, extending an item's life while adding a sense of beauty at the seams. Just as broken pottery can be made more beautiful with the right mending, we can view our tattoos as unique and beautiful works of art, even with their imperfections.
I love how both of these concepts reject perfectionism, an ultimately unhealthy goal when it comes to our bodies. We all inevitably change as we age, but we can approach this with acceptance instead of fear. It just might require a creative approach to mend what we perceive as problems.
While covering up tattoos can be a challenge for both clients and artists, maybe the goal doesn't have to be complete disguise. Instead, we can work with the imperfect aspects and add new layers in a way that breathes life and love back into our body art.
Aren't we are all just perpetual works in progress anyways?
As an artist, I am embarking on a new project with the hope of providing healing and acceptance for those living with tattoos they no longer love. Each individual and each tattoo will require a unique solution. So, let's embark on a creative journey together, finding new ways to move forward in our own skin.
If you're interested in this transformative journey, please fill out this form. Together, let's embrace our developing stories and celebrate our unique journeys, and translate all that onto our own living canvases.