This Tattoo Artist Transforms Mastectomy Scars Into Works of Art

by Tasbeeh Herwees

December 30, 2015

Sometimes people get tattoos to memorialize important moments in their lives. Something they use them to cover up moments they want to forget. Virginia tattoo artist Amy Black uses her talents to help people who have had mastectomies turn their breast tissue scars into beautiful body art. Black specializes in nipple tattoos, or post-mastectomy scar tattoos, which mimic the appearance of a nipple—the procedure is often referred to as “nipple and areola repigmentation.”

Black—who also owns Alive Tattoo, a studio in Richmond—founded the Pink Ink Fund, an organization that helps pay for women’s post-mastectomy tattoos, in 2011. In a TedX talk she did in 2014, Black said that sometimes people approach her for post-mastectomy scar tattoos because they need help with the healing process. Black said that people with mastectomy scars are reminded every day of their experiences with cancer.

“They tell me, this helps cure that,” Black said in the TedX Talk.

A nipple and areola repigmentation. Image courtesy of Amy Black.

Black also helps people cover self-harm scars, like those of Keebra Mason, who told Dazed that Black’s tattoo helped her to allow the scars to heal.

“I have done tons of tattoos to help people address severe depression, grief, overcoming eating disorders, anxiety, addictions, and more,” Black told Dazed. “Some clients want to use imagery directly related to their journey, overcoming the issue that caused them to self-harm, while others just want something they will like seeing forever that is totally unrelated to their self-harm history.”

Amy Black helped cover Keebra Mason's self-harm scars. Image courtesy of Amy Black.

You can check out more of Black’s work here


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This Tattoo Artist Transforms Mastectomy Scars Into Works of Art