She’s inking up for a good cause.
A San Francisco tattoo artist is helping customers cover up their stretch marks and scars by using the simple art of tattooing.
Tatianna B., 23, shares her work and inking process on TikTok. She’s also worked with burn victims, domestic abuse survivors and people with vitiligo and other skin conditions.
The practice is known as paramedical tattooing and is used to help camouflage scars and restore the appearance of certain body parts. She uses ink that is custom-colored for clients. For some, she uses an “inkless” method to help make the marks blend into the skin.
“From day one, I’ve been obsessed with creating and learning about art. It wasn’t until a few years ago when I discovered paramedical tattooing,” she told Jam Press.
“I get to meet amazing new people every day that give me the honor of helping them feel confident in their own skin,” she gushed. “I can say I found my dream job.”
The artist admitted that, for some, stretch marks and scars “are beautiful and can tell a story of our strength. Many people embrace them, and that’s incredible and empowering.”
However, not everyone wants or is able to get past their scarring.
“I’ve had clients with self-harm scars that hate being emotionally transported back to how they felt 10 years ago when life was different,” she said, adding that “a simple glimpse of a scar while they’re taking a shower can remind them again of their insecurity.”
That is where her expertise comes in.
“I do sympathize and resonate with those that feel a need to grow – to grow past something that maybe has bothered them for their whole life,” she said.
Tatianna said that she sees “people of all ages” who have scars that “can psychologically impact the way people live their day-to-day lives” and offers free consultations so they can make the life-changing decision to get a tat.
“Even though paramedical tattooing takes a couple months to see the accurate, healed results, I see clients that visibly appear relieved watching me camouflage their scars,” the social media star explained. “I think being able to make a choice that can change the perception of yourself in a positive way is empowerment, too. It doesn’t mean we can’t love ourselves at the same time.”
Tattooing breast cancer survivors is also a common practice used to help them pump up their confidence. Tattoo artist Vicky Martin has made her living for over 15 years inking up nipples on survivors. While she’s an expert in her trade, she has practiced on herself to make sure she gets the art right. A hospital in Madrid, Spain, even offers free nipple and areola tattooing.