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What Happens If A Tattoo Artist Messed Up?

If you work with an experienced tattoo artist with good recommendations, a clean tattoo studio, and a dedicated work ethic, you have nothing to worry about, as long as the tattoo you detailed meets your expectations. However, for one reason or another, it may happen that your tattoo artist got it wrong and the tattoo you showed him is not good.

Prevention is the best measure, so it’s important to have a thorough discussion with your tattoo artist about the design you want and notice any potential mistakes before they become too difficult to correct. Making mistakes when tattooing can be unpleasant for the tattoo artist and the client.

That’s why we wrote an article about what happens if a tattoo artist gets it wrong and how to communicate your dissatisfaction without appearing rude.

Communication with your tattoo artist is key, and this article should help you fix your tattoo without too many hiccups, and what steps you should take in case your tattoo artist refuses to be communicative.

What to do if a tattoo artist made a mistake?

The best thing about tattoo mistakes is noticing the error as soon as possible. Usually, when the tattoo is messed up, a sane tattoo artist will offer some sort of compensation, concealment, repair, or in the worst case, removal.

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Registered tattoo

However, not everything depends on the tattoo artist himself. It is extremely important to communicate your wishes and design idea to your tattoo artist before making an appointment for the first tattoo session. Sometimes tattoo errors also occur due to client error.

Let’s take some tattoos for example. Many customers have found themselves dissatisfied after writing down an important quote or name, but they didn’t spell it out in the first place. Also, many tattoo mistakes stem from clients misunderstanding the meaning of a certain letter or word.

The internet is full of misspelled Japanese Kanji or Chinese Hanzi characters simply because customers weren’t invested enough in researching the meaning of a certain symbol, ending up tattooing something boring and meaningless, instead of deep and meaningful.

That said, if you’re tattooing a verse, quote, or symbol, be sure to research it thoroughly, especially if the term is in a language you don’t understand very well and need help translating. If everything is done well on your end, it is always important to communicate your wishes to your tattoo artist, as mentioned before.

If you have to ask a lot of questions, ask them, and if your tattoo artist doesn’t feel comfortable with them, find a new one. Your skin gets pricked with an ink needle, so you need to make sure you’re on a safe note when getting a tattoo. Don’t forget to research your tattoo studio as well.

Now let’s get to the errors themselves and what to do about it.

First mistakes during the tattoo session

It is important to be patient while your tattoo artist is working on your tattoo. The tattoo process includes shading, brushing, inking and more, so your tattoo may not look what you want to look at first.

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Registered tattoo

However, if there is something that is not right for you, such as an outline, a certain color or pigment, it is important to tell your tattoo artist as soon as you notice it.

Remember not to be shy because you are paying for this tattoo after all. If you notice the needle forming a shape on your skin that doesn’t look like the one you gave your tattoo artist, it’s important to speak up.

To note: The best solution is to tell your tattoo artist as soon as you see that something is wrong.

This is because if the mistake is noticed sooner, it will be easier to fix, and it won’t be too painful or cause too much discomfort for you and your tattoo artist.

Errors noticed during the healing process

Most mistakes are noticed during the healing process of the tattoo.

This is because a lot of the color fades, and when the damaged skin starts to dry out and scab over, it won’t look anything like the tattoo you imagined, especially if the tattoo starts to fade. its tint and color.

To note: In this case, it is better to be patient and wait for the tattoo to heal.

This is because your skin will be swollen and a lot of the dead skin will peel off. Usually, after the tattoo has healed, you can visit your tattoo artist for small touch-ups of ink that has leaked or peeled off.

Also remember that healing problems can sometimes occur if you are not careful with your wound.

Notice mistakes after the tattoo has healed

Usually the best thing you can do is tell your artist that something is wrong with a tattoo as soon as the session is over.

Initial repairs are much easier to do, and once the tattoo has healed, it becomes much more difficult. Many tattoo studios do not offer a guarantee after the tattoo has healed.

However, if there are a few small mistakes, the tattoo artist will offer touch-up or some small fixes and shading to make sure the tattoo looks good and the client is happy.

To note: If you only noticed that the tattoo is not as you wanted after it has healed.

Talk to your tattoo artist and be sure to find a common solution like reworking your tattoo or covering the faulty element with another symbol.

How to fix a messed up tattoo?

After noticing that there is a mistake with your tattoo, there are several ways to discuss it with your artist and see the best way to fix your tattoo.

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Registered tattoo

Usually, if the tattoo is small, your tattoo artist will offer a quick fix and a touch-up that will quickly correct the mistake as if it was never there. Other methods require more commitment and may include covering the tattoo with another tattoo and, in the worst case scenario, laser removal.

Quick edits

Quick touch-ups will be done in the studio, and these are the best solutions when the tattoo mistake was noticed during the inking process.

Maybe your tattoo artist forgot to add something to your tattoo, so you noticed it and expressed the mistake to him.

In some situations, touch-ups can be done after the tattoo has healed, to cover up the broken ink with more brushing and shading.

To note: If you need a quick touch-up, always let your artist know at the end of the session.

Don’t tell them you’re happy with the outcome and give up just to regret it later. Be sure to tell them before you pay.

Cover with another tattoo

This is not the happiest solution and usually happens when you are unhappy with the tattoo and don’t want to keep the mess the tattoo artist made.

It is the compromise option, but it is important to express it before paying and to say that you are satisfied.

Cover up tattoos are usually not too big. They are made for wrong or misspelled letters, incorrectly inked dates and other things.

To note: The result of your camouflage tattoo may not yet meet your expectations.

Covered up tattoos are bigger and sometimes even messier than the original, but it’s up to the artist what method they will use to cover up the mistake.

Read also : 14 best camouflage tattoo artists. Find the best American tattoo artists


If you don’t want to cover up the tattoo you are unhappy with, the best and last option you have is to remove it entirely.

The most common approach to removing a tattoo is to remove it with a laser. The process will make your skin look like there has never been a tattoo anywhere.

That said, if you don’t want to remember the mistake your tattoo artist made, the best thing to do is to go with this approach.

What else to know

Of course, not all tattoo sessions end well. Some tattoo artists are hard to talk to and don’t want to accept the guilt on themselves.

That’s why it’s important to communicate it to them correctly and politely. Here we answer common questions about tattoo mistakes.

What if my tattoo artist refuses to take responsibility for the mistakes they made?

Sometimes tattoo artists don’t want to accept responsibility for the mistakes they’ve made. That’s why you have to talk to them politely.

It is extremely important to keep a polite tone and find a common solution that will benefit both of you. Keep in mind that your tattoo artist also invests time and skill in making your tattoo a reality.

If the error was caused because of your mistake, discuss it thoroughly.

Should I sue a tattoo artist for a poorly done tattoo?

Taking legal action seems drastic, but realistic if the tattoo artist is acting inappropriately and the mistake is theirs.

Professional tattoo studios offer a waiver that must be signed, so tattoo artists can be sure they will be clean in case of a crazy mistake.

However, if you can prove that the tattoo artist was negligent and irresponsible to your skin and it turned out badly for you, a lawsuit might be worth it.

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