Covering Up a Tribal Tattoo in the East Bay
March 22, 2022 8:19 AM   Subscribe

I have a three inch by three inch tattoo of a mouse in memorial of a dead relative. I am White and the tattoo is in a ‘tribal’ 2000’s era style. I would like to cover it up with a rat/mouse tattoo that corresponds with the heritage I shared with my relative (Italian, Azores, Portuguese, Russian). I’m looking for either specific artist recommendations or estimates on how much I should expect to pay. I live in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area.
posted by anonymous to Grab Bag (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Most tattoo artists in the bay area start around $100/hour or will quote you a flat rate based on size and complexity of the design. I would expect to pay a few hundred dollars for this. You can get lower rates if you're interested in being tattooed at a convention--I usually make appointments with the artist and get art drawn ahead of time, then sit for the tattoo itself at the convention. Also a good way to get tattooed by an artist you like who would otherwise be too far away.

I've had 2 good tattoos at Black Sea Tattoo in Walnut Creek, but haven't been there in 5-6 years. They're a traditional shop and it's the traditional big room of buzzing machines experience. They do a lot of custom work.

I had a beautiful tattoo experience at Thorns Tattoo in Berkeley immediately before the pandemic, but a lot of their artists's work has fine lines so I'm not sure whether they would cover a tribal tattoo--worth asking! It's a peaceful place--shares space with a florist--and was a completely different environment than I am used to. It was just lovely.
posted by assenav at 9:48 AM on March 22, 2022

I have a couple of friends who have had good experiences at Modern Electric in Berkeley for this sort of thing. They have a few different artists associated with them, assuming they survived the pandemic at all.
posted by small_ruminant at 2:59 PM on March 22, 2022

Carolyn LeBourgeois has done some lovely work on me, and I've seen great cover-ups on her Instagram.
posted by thesmallmachine at 7:11 PM on March 22, 2022

Amanda Go at True Love Tattoo in Berkeley has been my artist for years, and she does animals (and flowers and other nature stuff) beautifully, in a few different styles. I've also seen some great cover-ups in her portfolio.
posted by rhiannonstone at 10:01 PM on March 23, 2022

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