Tattoos are forever. Which makes them even more devastating when the tattoo artist messes up your ink. You saved up for this tattoo. Presumably, you thought a lot about what you wanted to be put on your body. You were excited to show your new body art.
However, now that the tattoo is complete, you’re not in love with it. Either the artist did not execute your vision the way you had wanted, or you immediately realize this isn’t something you want on your skin.
Though tattoo mistakes are rare, they do happen. A recent survey by InkedMind.com, found that approximately 14% of respondents had received what they considered a tattoo of very poor quality that may have included mis-spelt words.
So, what do you do if you fall into the 14% category and get a tattoo that you don’t like or feel inaccurate? This isn’t a meal that you ordered at a restaurant and can send back because it doesn’t taste good. This is something that was etched into your skin and now, you don’t know what to do.
Many people might find it difficult to voice your displeasure to the artist. Much like a bad haircut, the remedy is not a quick one. You are displeased, though; and you will want to make this known so that both you and the artist can find a happy medium.
Whether you have already received a tattoo you are unhappy with or you are preparing to get a tattoo, there are ways you should know how to deal with this situation.
How Do You Tell the Artist?
Hopefully, you can notice that the tattoo is not going the way you want it to while there is still time to fix it. An artist will always sketch out the piece before starting on the tattoo process. If you notice that the drawing isn’t what you want, there’s time to adjust.
If you find something off about the design of a tattoo that the artist drew up before the process starts, say something. Be upfront.
Regardless how much time the artist spent on drawing up the sketch, be honest.
This way, there is still time to adjust, so you can get what you want. You don’t like the way the wings look in a piece that was drawn up? Let the artist know so edits can be made. This helps guarantee you will get a happier outcome.
What if the tattoo is complete?
If the tattoo is done and you are unhappy with the result, you should again, be up front and tell them at that time. You are paying for their services and should expect to be happy with the results.
If there is something that you feel needs to be added or you want to fill in an area with color, it is the right moment to do so.
Sometimes, your tattoo may not be fully visible while you are getting it and you may not see a problem until after you get home. If that’s the case, then give the shop a call as soon as you can and speak with the artist that did the work.
Generally speaking, tattoo artists are very understanding when a customer calls to tell them something is wrong with their tattoo. The ink on your body is free advertising for them. If it looks great, odds are they will get additional business from people who see the work and like it.
The same goes for if the artist puts out work that is bad. If they do it often enough, it’s going to ruin their career for that particular area. Therefore, artists will usually work with you unless the customer is being completely unreasonable.
What Common Options Are Available to Fix Your Tattoo?
If you are unhappy with your tattoo, the important thing is to stay calm and not panic. There are options available to correct it.
Come back for a fix – If there is something you wish to change about your piece and the artist feels that they can provide the changes you want, you can make an appointment to come back for the fixes. If the fix is needed due to a mistake on the artist’s part, then it’s likely the additional work won’t cost you. However, you should confirm this ahead of time to avoid any misunderstanding
Other changes can be made after you’ve gotten your tattoo. If you’ve gotten a tattoo that is black and white and upon looking at it, realize you want it in color, that’s something that can be added in the future. However, the artist is not at fault for a change like this. You should expect to pay for any touch ups or change that you make because you are changing the design.
Seek other artists – Then we have the mistakes that either is beyond the artist’s capabilities or the artist is refusing to fix. This is the time where you should look at other tattoo shops. Seek another artist and talk to them about what it is about your piece that you dislike. See if they can make changes. Whether this means you are unhappy with the shape of something or a word was misspelled, you can take about the options when it comes to modifications. There are times where your current tattoo may suggest another artist, if they feel they can’t fix the mistake themselves.
Cover up – You may not like the idea of getting another tattoo to cover up one that you spent time getting, but if the case is that the original tattoo is so poorly done and not at all what you wanted, a tattoo artist may suggestion covering it up. Some people get a tattoo in the heat of the moment and end up asking themselves, “what was I thinking?”. By getting a cover up, this is a way to create a better piece of art than you had gotten originally, and you hopefully will love it more than the bad one you had gotten.
Removal – The worst-case scenario is that you might want to investigate laser removal. This should be a last case scenario since laser removal is expensive, extensive, and painful. Remember when we said tattoos are forever? Make sure you really think about what you are putting on your body and do your research when it comes to the tattoo artist doing your piece, because if it truly comes down to you not wanting that tattoo at all, it will cost you a lot and take a long time to get rid of.
Do You Pay for the Tattoo You Dislike or Refuse Payment?
This is a bit of a tricky question and it could lead to an uncomfortable confrontation. As stated before, you must do your research before finding the right tattoo artist. That being said, even the best tattoo artists have their bad days. You will need to voice your concern over your tattoo’s design and hopefully, can work out a plan for a free fix-up or if you have paid already, a refund – either in full or partial. Before flat out refusing to pay for the work, see what can be done first.
If it comes to the point where your artist is refusing to budge, go to the studio manager. Studios do not want anyone writing negative reviews for them online, so a manager should be willing to work with you as far as the costs are concerned.
What to Do If You are Unhappy with Your Tattoo After a Day or So?
Everyone experiences buyer’s remorse. Whether you are buying shoes or a car, there are moments where you will wonder if you are truly in love with your purchase. This happens even with tattoos. It is possible for you to have liked your tattoo at the time or completion and when you look at it at home, realize that it isn’t what you had originally envisioned. Perhaps as it heals you notice little things about the piece that could be adjusted.
If this is the case, follow the rules stated before and talk to your tattoo artist. Even call the shop or go there in person to discuss with the artist what it is about the piece that you would like to change. The one thing you should not do is immediately go to the internet to blast the shop for their work.
Most artists should be comfortable with fixing your tattoo. After all, they want to ensure customer satisfaction. But, the situation won’t be a pleasant one if you immediately go on the defensive. Be open and honest, so that you can have something that you are happy living with on your body.
Tattoos are pieces of artist. They help us express ourselves. Whether you are getting something to reflect your favorite movie or sports team or you’re having something put on you that memorializes a loved one, tattoos are forms of expression.
You, of course; want to make sure that it is exactly what you wanted. And what you paid for. It’s okay to look at several different shops before deciding on which one is the right one for you. We always hope that a customer is happy with their ink and will be proud to show it off!
Can a tattoo artist be sued for poor work?
The answer to this question is not an easy one. Ultimately you will have to reach out to an attorney in the state in which you received the tattoo to know for sure.
However, it is likely that you can sue your tattoo artist is they failed to provide reasonable services. If you decide to proceed with legal action, you would file a civil suit in small claims court.
If you go to claims court, you will need to prove that the artist/shop didn’t fulfill their obligation to the services that they promised. When you call to speak to the attorney, they will like ask you what paperwork you signed prior to getting your ink. Signing a waiver indicating that you know there is a risk of dissatisfaction when you get a tattoo could make your legal suit more difficult.
Again, you should contact an attorney to find out your complete rights in a situation like this.