Tattoo Cover Ups
12:14 PM
tattoo-480.jpgPhoto by Corey Kilgannon for The New York Times

The NY Times blog recently discussed how tattoos are hurting job applicants, especially in this tight economy. And while Bobby Fisher has decided to raise a tattooed middle finger to corporate America, I've never had a problem covering up to pay my rent -- and even welcome the reprieve from the usual stupid questions.

Hey Bobby, just see how "FUCK 401(K)" knuckle ink brings the dumbasses out to play? You'll be invited to every post-collegiate frat party on the Upper East, my friend.

I may have most of my torso and and sleeves covered in tattoos but it's the little one on my finger that has given me the most trouble because it's hard to conceal. And I'm not the only one. The popularity of head, neck and hand tattoos has soared, leaving us with limited cover-up options like hats, ascots, and gloves. Better for ballrooms than boardrooms.

There is the make-up option.

As the Times writes, a public advocacy group in East Harlem, Strive, teaches how to cover-up tattoos with cosmetics, along with providing resume and interview training.

The latest tattoo concealer make-up comes from none other than Kat Von D for her Sephora line.  At $25 a pop, it comes in three different shades (light, medium, and tan) but none for those with darker skin tones.

Reviews are mixed so I plan to head to Sephora and pick up the light shade for my hand to see if it really is dumbass questions proof.

sad but true.
interesting article, i hope you follow this from awhile.
its easy to say 'fuck them' or call them 'sellouts' but reality is what it is.
the problem is our stupid society.

Reading some of the comments on that article reminds me why I have to be so careful of where I get new work. I'm debating getting my feet tattooed. How hard will it be to have to wear socks to work for the next 40 years. I envy guys in this there clothes make it so much easier to cover up.

Thought provoking piece. Typical comments on the Times' page. It seems like public understanding may never be reached. Nice to see that Von D is doing something to help out, even if it is to make some money while doing it.

I am still weighing my options on my hand, neck and few ornamental facial tattoos. While I am confident that I am going to succeed in tattooing once my apprenticeship is done, I am still pausing before doing my visible work.

I'm not sure why... Maybe it's because it IS the final frontier on the societal visible tattoo scumbag-o-meter. It is kinda nice to cover up and "take a day off once in a while" (as the great Mr. Lyle Tuttle once said to me on this very subject). Maybe there is that nag of "responsibility" ingrained through social brainwashing... or maybe I have a WWII Marine vet for a grandfather who is still warming up to the idea that I am as tattooed as I currently am. While he is being very supportive of the career I've chosen to pursue, he'd probably disown (read "murder") me if I got them done right now.

On the other hand (no pun intended), I know that once I quit my current job to become a tattooist, I will probably never be able to re-enter the field I am leaving, due to an over saturated employee applicant pool and constant technical upgrades. Nor do I want to come back to it... it pays shit, they treat you even worse, the hours are murder and the work is soul-crushing.

So what's the hang up? My money's on the scary Marine.

Sorry for the verbosity.


i find it funny reading all the comments to articles like that. i don't know where those people are but being visibly tattooed (hands, knuckles, etc.) i rarely if ever encounter them. maybe they're just hiding behind their computers.
anyway, my plan is to never work again. it's been going pretty good so far.

after 11 yrs of tattooing professionally, my artist just did his fingers. for a heavily tattooed person, even he admits it is a commitment.
being doomed to work for the next 15-20 yrs, i will leave the visible tattoos to the rebels and trust-fund babies.

I got a few comments down after the article and had to close it. The shit people will say on the internet never fails to amaze me.. And while I'm staying away from hands, neck and face, the negativity just spurs on my general drive to get tattooed. I'll also say I'm kind of equally amazed by a slightly younger crowd going neck or hands right off the bat.

i have my hands, knuckles, forearms, etc. tattooed. i have plans to get my neck done next year. all that being said i didn't go below my elbows until i was in my 30's and knew for certain that a career in the "professional world" was not in the cards for me.
i definitely have a tendency to shake my head at kids in their late teens/early twenties who haven't even begun to establish their lives yet that are getting neck. hands, etc. tattooed.
to each his own but i'm already tired of people complaining about not being able to get work due to their tattoos.
this is only gonna exacerbate my annoyance.
damned kids!!
and get off my lawn!!

P. Sull:

Ah yes, the internet "tough guy"... will say whatever he thinks (or knows will stir the hornets' nest up) and bash whomever he likes, without fear of retaliation, except from those foolish enough to play his game. These people are just bullies, though. They would never have the stones to talk to people in real life the way they do on internet comment boards. Fuck 'em.

I too am amazed at the number of youngins getting work that can't be hidden. Do you think there is an obligation from the artist to refuse to do these items? I mean I remember when artists used to discourage below the elbow tattoos on the those not heavily tattooed.


There is definitely some lack of responsibility from those getting visible ink. Maybe this IS where the artist responsibility comes into play to get the person to weigh their future prospects before getting that "sick ink". On the other hand (again no pun intended), these kids are going to get the tattoo regardless. No amount of life discussion is going to dissuade them.

Regardless, they definitely should not be bitchin', accept the responsibility of one's actions and try to work with it, rather than against it... plenty of folks hold ridiculously professional careers with visible ink... they just do a lot of work from home and they have to work that much harder to secure that work.


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