Tattoo artist Chris Neal working at Ink City Tattoo. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Tattoo artist Chris Neal working at Ink City Tattoo. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka

Tattoo artist says cover-up tattoos are a weekly occurrence

FROM backyard botch-ups to ex-girlfriend's initials, Rockhampton tattoo artist Chris Neal has seen his fair share of bad tatts.

And like the TV shows Ink Master and Tattoo Nightmares, it's been his job to fix them.

The reality show Tattoo Nightmares tell the stories of people and their bad tattoos, while Ink Master features tattoo artists competing to be the best artist.

Inking Rocky locals' skin for the past nine years, the Ink City Tattoo artist told The Morning Bulletin that cover-up tattoos were a weekly occurrence.

"I'd say that's largely due to the fact that people have bought tattoo guns and so there was a lot of home jobs being done," Chris said.

"It's about 80% of people coming in saying their mate had a go at it and they want it fixed."

Chris said people were moving away from the typical tattoos, such as the Southern Cross, to more adventurous and creative styles.

"They've really diversified a lot, there's not any one thing that's popular now," he said.

"The neo-traditional is more the style now, which is thick lines and bold shading, with the neo part being the subject matter of the tattoo. Things that can be colourful and eye-catching, or portraits, realism, tribal stuff for example."

As for hearing clients' horror stories of tattoos gone wrong, sometimes it's a case of, "don't ask, don't tell".

"Sometimes you just don't want to know," Chris laughed.

"But they're really appreciative once they see it all covered up nicely to the point they jump out of the chair and yell 'thank you'."

The Morning Bulletin asked online readers to share their tattoos stories, and here (in gallery above) are some of the photos that were sent in.


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