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2018 Blog Blogtober Women Wednesday

Amy Black, tattoo artist

October 17, 2018
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Photo by Joey Wharton

A couple of months ago, my coworker and good friend told me she was getting a tattoo after work. She came back the next day with what could only be described as an absolute work of art. And yes, I know all tattoos are technically art. But, this one was different.

It was so intricate, well-done, and detailed. It was quite literally the dream image she had described the day before, come to life. She couldn’t stop gushing about how nice, accommodating, and willing to listen her tattoo artist was.

I also noticed she had a new T-shirt.

Art Heals,” it said on the front.

“Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, my tattoo artist founded a non-profit to raise money for mastectomy tattoos.”

Okay, put the brakes on. It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s almost Women Wednesday

Who was this tattoo artist and how can I talk to her?!

 

I’m so excited to be able to introduce:

Amy Black.

I went out on a limb and asked her if she’d be willing to be our featured WW this week. It was so clear from the first email conversation that Amy was all the things my coworker described and more. 

For instance:

She’s in her busiest season. She’s been recognized by countless media outlets; including news, magazines, and even a few TEDtalks. (Check out her impressive list here.) 

But, despite all this, she still took the time out of her crazy, hectic, booked schedule to answer my email.

I am so thankful, and so excited to share this WW with you all.

 

Amy’s Story

 

After graduating high school (at 16, nonetheless), Amy attended the Columbus College of Art and Design, a private art school in Columbus, Ohio.  

It was during this time she received her first tattoo, and I guess you could say the rest is history!

She moved to Richmond, Virginia shortly after college (shoutout to my city) and completed her tattoo apprenticeship.

After a while, she took ownership of the shop she worked for, deeming it “Amy Black Tattoos.” The shop has been going strong ever since. 

She enjoys all sorts of tattoo styles that change often based on client demand. Everything from nature to classical art tattoos have been created within the walls of her shop. It was clear from my coworker’s review and her reviews online from others, that Amy’s attention to her client’s vision was unique. She’s extremely devoted to her work and art, working closely with her clients to take their tattoo from imagination to reality.

“Never stop learning. Don’t focus on the destination, focus on the present journey. Don’t be afraid to slow down and take care of yourself…”

She loves this quote from David Bowie’s wife, Iman:

Her Passion

When I asked Amy what her definition of success was, she said,

“There are many versions of it. I believe none should be seen as an endpoint.”

She then went on to say that success should be something that launches you towards continual learning, self-improvement, and to be of help to others as much as possible.

In fact, helping others is where she finds her confidence and passion.

In 2010, Amy started a new kind of tattoo art, mastectomy tattooing.

Since then, she’s been aiding with breast reconstruction for post-mastectomy patients, either due to breast cancer or BRCA diagnosis.

 

Mastectomies are performed on both men and women. Typically, the natural nipple and areola are removed to prevent the expansion of cancer tissue. The patient can sometimes elect to have these areas rebuilt via donor skin, but the coloring and texture are dissimilar to before.

Amy is talented enough to be able to tattoo the color AND texture back to these areas, making them look and feel more realistic. She also does work for transgender clients and clients with alopecia.

She’s so talented, in fact, that plastic surgeons refer post-op patients to her and clients visit her from all over the world.

Her breast cancer patients, along with their families and friends, constantly inspire her. Needless to say, she’s found a living doing what she loves: Healing with art

 

Her Fund

Amy even started the Pink Ink Fund, a non-profit organization that seeks to financially aid people with their post-mastectomy tattoos, nipple, and/or areola repigmentation, as well as the travel and service fees associated with getting them. The Fund also works to provide education and outreach for patients and the medical community.

~You can donate or buy merch here!~

Her Favorites

You can even follow her pup on Instagram! Check her out.^^^

Buddhism, Gose-style beer, tattoos, happiness, learning new things, the mountains, emotional intelligence, & her Frenchie puppy.

 

It would be a crime to not include a picture of her…

 

 

 

 

And, if you weren’t already convinced about how amazing she is, here’s a video about her and her work:

My favorite thing she had to say?

“I’m a product of strangers showing compassion to another stranger. Don’t ever give up on being as positive and compassionate as you can be throughout your life, it can lead to wonderful things.” 

 

You can see more of her beautiful tattoos on her Instagram 

or her website.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know about Amy and her amazing work as much as I did! Perhaps a new tattoo is in order for me…

 

Until next time,

 

  • Reply
    Lavrax
    October 17, 2018 at 8:11 am

    I am in love! This is so absolutely amazing, such a great woman to feature. Amazingly written and I can’t wait for next weeks #WomenWednesday! Lots of love xxx
    Lavraxlondon.com

  • Reply
    GrandFashLife
    October 17, 2018 at 8:42 am

    Such an awesome and powerful woman doing magical things with her talent! I don’t have any tattoos nor will I get any but I respect the amount of time and effort that goes into the art form. Amy deserves all the success!

    Erica Raquel
    https://www.grandfashlife.com

  • Reply
    Geraldine
    October 17, 2018 at 8:44 am

    ooo this was a great read!! I love that Amy is raising money for mastectomy tattoos, I’ve never heard or thought of that before! That is an absolutely wonderful way to empower women.

  • Reply
    theadventuringemily
    October 17, 2018 at 8:51 am

    She sounds awesome! I love that quote that she says is her favorite.

  • Reply
    Iddy Biddy Works Of Love
    October 17, 2018 at 8:52 am

    What a wonderful interview! Any time people do what they love they become a blessing to those around them.

    • Reply
      Lauren Swinson
      October 17, 2018 at 8:13 pm

      Totally agreed! Thanks for your sweet comment.

  • Reply
    Paula | The Value of a Moment
    October 17, 2018 at 9:14 am

    Wow! She sounds like an incredible woman! Thank you so much for sharing her story with us. Her nonprofit is simply amazing, what a worthy cause, and a unique approach to helping breast cancer survivors! The work she does is breathtaking!

  • Reply
    whitelilylifestyleblog
    October 17, 2018 at 9:18 am

    This is great! She sounds like an incredible woman, and so talented! Great post 🙌🏻🙌🏻

  • Reply
    Kammi
    October 17, 2018 at 9:23 am

    Great article! What an amazing lady. I particularly liked how she’s helping women heal with art, and her thoughts around success as a continual journey. Lucky you getting to spend time with her! xx

    • Reply
      Lauren Swinson
      October 17, 2018 at 8:11 pm

      I am lucky she’s kind enough to take time out of her crazy busy life! <3

  • Reply
    Natasha MacFarlane
    October 17, 2018 at 9:28 am

    Incredible! So much talent!!

  • Reply
    THE JOYOUS LIVING
    October 17, 2018 at 9:40 am

    that’s a really cool post, Lauren. I love the shirt quote and also what she does for those with mastectomies.

    Joy at The Joyous Living

  • Reply
    paddockfamily4
    October 17, 2018 at 10:08 am

    OMG- What an amazing and inspirational person!!!! Thank you for sharing this! I had no idea mastectomy tattoos were a thing or that there were such incredible people out there like Amy helping people heal in this unique way!

  • Reply
    Batmom85
    October 17, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    What a beautiful post. She is stunning artist. What she does for these survivors is amazing.

    • Reply
      Lauren Swinson
      October 17, 2018 at 8:10 pm

      Thank you!

      And I know, right?! I’m still gushing over her story tbh.

  • Reply
    Kristin
    October 17, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    Absolutely love this! She sounds like an amazing woman using her compassion and talent for such good. It’s women like her that are worth looking up to and that show kindness is really there in the world. I will definitely be checking out her charity!

  • Reply
    Rums the Reader
    October 17, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    Thank you so much for this series – I love reading these amazing women you highlight and Amy is no exception, her work seems beautiful and I love that she supports such an important cause too. I would love to support a cause and be able to do art as well, so fulfilling x

    • Reply
      Lauren Swinson
      October 17, 2018 at 8:09 pm

      We’re so glad you enjoy the series.. It’s definitely one of my favorite things to write as well!

  • Reply
    Janice
    October 17, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    Great interesting post on the tattoo.

  • Reply
    Cat
    October 17, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    This is amazing!

  • Reply
    thoughtsfromjasmine
    October 17, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    Oh my god. Amy sounds like such an inspiration! Also, her work is absolutely beautiful. What a great candidate for your WW post!

    Jas xx | https://thoughtsfromjasmine.co.uk

    • Reply
      Lauren Swinson
      October 17, 2018 at 8:08 pm

      She couldn’t have been featured at a more perfect time! Thanks for reading!

  • Reply
    Bailey Armitage
    October 17, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    Loved reading this! Amy is such a girl boss

  • Reply
    maemaevsfood
    October 17, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    This was an amazing article and important feature! Thank you!

    • Reply
      Lauren Swinson
      October 17, 2018 at 8:07 pm

      no, thank you for reading! So glad you liked.

  • Reply
    Pauline
    October 17, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Beautiful article. Not enough is said about women who give back.

    • Reply
      Lauren Swinson
      October 17, 2018 at 8:07 pm

      thank you! Amy was definitely an important feature and one blog post doesn’t do her work justice!

  • Reply
    cozystylist1
    October 17, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    Wow Amy’s life is so impressive, she has accomplished so much! Also I LOVE her tattoos!!

  • Reply
    April Nelson
    October 17, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    Inspirational!! Very awesome woman!!

  • Reply
    Annaleid (@ActuallyAnnaxo)
    October 18, 2018 at 6:06 am

    This is very important and so inspirational !! Let’s create awareness towards breast cancer! I loved reading the interview! If you’re interested I wrote a blogpost about the things you can do/buy this month to support the research towards breast cancer!

    Xoxo Annaleid

    http://www.actuallyanna.com

  • Reply
    lonieshap
    October 19, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    I totally admire her for who she is and what she does. Such an amazing role model for us all. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Reply
    BCA & MOVEMBER - MyLifelines
    October 29, 2018 at 8:02 am

    […] also interviewed the insanely talented tattoo artist, Amy Black, who specializes in mastectomy tattooing and began a non-profit organization, Pink Ink Fund. And, […]

  • Reply
    4 Incredible Ways to Bring A Larger Purpose to Your Blogging Business – Brit Mallard
    November 7, 2018 at 1:01 am

    […] Recently the MyLifelines women decided to use their platform to spread awareness and raise money for a few charities. In October, they focused on Breast Cancer Awareness. They posted on Twitter and Instagram stories once a day with survivor stories, statistics, and facts about Breast Cancer. They also wrote about it in a blog post which you can find here. […]

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