I thought I best do an update for those of you following my tattoo removal progress.
On Thursday, I got my cover up done! So I officially don't have those ugly lasered blobs anymore!!!
I am now the proud owner of a plate billed mountain toucan, and some beautiful flowers which are still not finished. I am no good at sitting longer than 4 hours at a time it seems hehe.
Mike Driver did one laser session on my arm and they faded so well that he gave me the okay to get them tattooed over by my wonderful artist Zoe Dennis, so off I went.
For those interested, this is what my arm looked like before I had any laser done at all....
My arm was just a mess. I had many different artists, with completely different styles, work on it over a period of time between 2006 - 2009, prior to meeting my amazing artist Zoe, and really understanding tattoos and the style I liked, and I just wanted something done to fix all the mess. Something major!
I visited a laser removal clinic in 2011 (which I won't name as they were crap) and had a 10 minute session done, on a very low laser setting, for over $380 and it basically did nothing for fading my tattoos.
From the beginning, I have been working on the removal of the light yellow flower with no dark outline, the tiny black birds on my wrist, the red bug and the blue and black butterfly.
Here is what my arm looked like before that first session....
And here after it...
So, after that session, I kind of gave up. My arm was looking terrible, the laser bloody hurt, and it was not much different from before the laser, so a year or so passed and I just did nothing to fix my arm. Every single day I would look at it and think it was a lost cause.
I was seeing Zoe regularly for other amazing pieces, and had an idea that maybe I could put a peacock in between all the mess on my forearm. Zoe talked me out of that, but said I could put a peacock on the top half of my arm and then she could start working on my forearm.
We did that, and the peacock looked amazing. I was still unhappy that my forearm was ugly and horrible in comparison though....
Around September 2012 I visited Zoe to ask if she would cover up my arm with some flowers and a new blue butterfly, and she told me that Mike Driver, an amazing laser removal guy, was going to be setting up his machine at her tattoo studio in Melbourne (Third Eye Tattoo for those wondering!) and if I felt like going for another laser session, I should have a chat to him, and maybe he could fade it more so we could change my arm into something amazing.
So I thought, well, heck, why not. I visited Mike in October 2012 and this is what happened...
The left photo is a before shot of my arm, and the right photo is directly after Mike zapped me with the laser. As you can see, his laser did a LOT more damage than the crap laser people I went to prior, as both photos were taken directly after laser removal and his laser lifted my tattoos almost immediately.
So, over a period of 8 weeks, my tattoos were fading amazingly.
Now, I'm not going to sugar coat it, the process with Mike was so painful afterwards (the actual laser session was painful too but not so bad as the aftermath) but it was amazing and worth every penny.
I must also note, Mike was way cheaper than the people I went to the first time, and he didn't put a timer on the process, he quotes by the size of the piece you want lasered.
Here is what it looked like on day 2, it bubbles up, that is totally normal, and then gets crusty.
Okay, so after a while, it's fading nicely, and then on January 10th 2013, only 3 months after getting lasered, I went in for my cover up.
This is my arm the day before the cover up. As you can see, it's faded so much!!!!
Below is what my arm looked like directly before the cover up, and then after it.
This is a combination of an amazing tattoo laser removal guy, and an amazing tattoo artist who worked together to achieve a new and gorgeous piece on my arm. It's not finished yet, but the work Mike did meant that Zoe could easily tattoo a new piece on my arm and not have to worry about making it dark and horrible. I have seen cover ups where there is just a horrible black blob where the tattoo used to be, because people think there is no other option but to cover it with something dark. As you can see by my experience, this is not the case at all!
If you would like to get lasered by Mike Driver I totally recommend him, and the great news is, he doesn't just work in Melbourne, he has laser removal popping up all over the place, within Australia, and he is training up another guy to do it too. He was so worth visiting.
Of course, as always, I recommend Zoe for any kind of tattoos. She's bloody awesome, and so lovely to get tattooed by.
Here is another photo of the progress on my cover up. The flowers will be coloured in lovely rainbow colours, and when it's all finished, I will come back and show you!
Well, I hope you enjoyed my little story of my laser removal process. I can't tell you how happy I am and how excited I will be to get my toucan finished! I have waited so long to have this done. I almost immediately regretted my original decisions to get my forearm tattooed the way it was, so I am over the moon about having this progress!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOO!
And just for fun, here is a photo of before any laser at all, after all my laser, and then the cover up! Seeing them all side by side is amazing!
If you have any questions about the process at all, please feel free to comment below. I know when I was searching the internet for laser tattoo removal it was hard to find real life examples of how it can work. It's mostly photoshopped crap... so please let me know if you have any questions at all.