From the Interwebz: Burn, Scars & Tattoos, part 2

Here’s the next bit from the incredible world of wide web, discussing burns, scars and how tattoo shops in Clearwater, FL – and other places with tattoo shops – address the physicality of tattooing scarred skin and the mental & psychological benefits that proactive body decoration can provide.

“Therapy” can mean different things to different people, but in most instances the hoped-for result is the same: relief. Whether emotional, physical, psychological, spiritual or all of the above, life’s traumas require attention. Change. Growth. You know the drill.

Recently when some tattoo artists gathered in a tattoo shop in Clearwater, FL, someone asked “What’s the most ‘therapeutic’ [tattoo] work you’ve ever done?” The answers were interesting, inspiring and in some cases intimidating:

            “Memorial tatts are always somewhat therapeutic. And I find that the stories clients tells while getting them have as much positive effect as the actual act of getting the ink.”

            “Once a woman came in to see if I’d help her “decorate” what she called her “well-earned scars.” She had survived some rough shit in her personal life, which left physical reminders of some bad times. Her idea was to “dress up” those places on her arms and left leg that some people would have wanted to cover up and forget, so she could claim what happened as part of her past, and move on.”

            “I’ve been asked to work on scars and burns before, and even tho it’s some of the most challenging work I’ve done, it’s also some of the ‘best,’ in that it went beyond just looking good to actually, I’m pretty sure, doing someone good.”

The whole concept of “normal” isn’t something that, historically, tattoo shops in Clearwater, FL and around the country have embraced. After all, aren’t we inked folk somewhat out of the norm, and, admit, somewhat proud of the fact?  So it’s ironic (in a good way, not an overpriced craft beer hipster way, or an intellectually/academically literal way) that our tattoo work can help to normalize how people who have burns and/or scars may feel about themselves. Keep rocking that individuality, and don’t fear becoming “too normal” when addressing what those annoying REALLY normal people might consider a physical flaw.  Real life leaves marks. Live inked.