The Healing & Humbling Power of Tattoo Therapy

Every tattoo I do is an honour, and special to that person in some way. Every now and then, I do something like this for someone. It reminds me that sometimes what I do goes far behind a physical aesthetic. Sometimes, what I do is tattoo therapy.

Tattoos can heal YOU.

This floral arrangement is covering a 2 year old mastectomy scar on Michelle. When she looked in the mirror after it was done and proudly said with a smile across her face, ‘That’s something I don’t mind looking at every day’, my heart swelled. I could feel her relief.

The feeling of being able to create that for a person is indescribable. I wonder what Sailor Jerry Collins would say if he knew back in the 1930’s what tattooing would become? Not just for sailors on leave to permanently record their nautical achievements and journeys, but to help people heal from physical and emotional wounds.

It’s amazing how a medium like tattooing, a medium that’s come so far from being something reserved for the seedy underbelly of society, is still frowned upon and misunderstood by many. Tattoos can have such therapeutic and healing potential. If you have a tattoo enthusiast in your life, you’ve undoubtedly heard the term ‘tattoo therapy’. It really is a form of therapy for some people.

The amount of people who have cried tears of happiness, sadness, relief, and healing in my studio in the last 14.5 years is astounding. I’ve covered all manor of scars with tattoos. I’ve camouflaged body blemishes and helped people feel like they were taking ownership over their own bodies. These are things I couldn’t even fathom when I began my apprenticeship so many years ago, just excited to draw for a living.

With all this healing positivity happening, its hard to believe some people still make negative comments to tattooed people. While it happens less frequently these days for me, I still hear whispers about my appearance in public. Sideways glances at airports, sales people serving me saying they feel that tattoos are mutilation or are just ugly. I’ve had people ask me what prison I was in, like….to my face. I’ve walked by people on sunny days in a nice sundress to hear them say after they’ve passed me ‘Now why would you go and do that to yourself?’

You wouldn’t believe the hard time I had trying to rent a space for my tattoo studio when I moved to Truro! One renter told me I’d have to sign a contract saying I wouldn’t have hard drugs or loud music on the premises! This is even funnier if you know me at all. Needless to say, I did not rent there. Jokes on them, as I’ve been in the same building with my wonderful landlords, Denise and Tom, for 7+ years and expanded my space with them three times to accommodate my growing business!

Not just for sailors on leave to permanently

record their nautical achievements and journeys

I hope this blog can give you a deeper look at tattooing as a treatment instead of a fad. Whether you have one tattoo or one hundred; whether they have deep meaning, or just bring you joy, tattoos are for any person and any body. I’m so thankful for the places this career path has taken me to, and excited to see where it will take me in the future. One things for certain, I can never repay the gratitude I feel for the gift of so many people’s trust and business over the years, but Ill spend the rest of my days paying it forward.

For more on tattoos as therapy, check out this Instagram post I did on International Tattoo Day

Sometimes, you just have to start.

Have you ever wanted to do something but talked yourself out of it? Or end up paralyzed from moving forward by overthinking what you should be doing? What will the faceless “they” think? Thats been my journey with this website.

Over the last couple of years, it became clear I needed a site for myself and all the things I’m working on that don’t fit in to the other businesses I have. I’ve wanted to create a blog for years! Each time I opened a new business that required a website, I added a blog page to it, but they sat unused. It’s as if adding a title to something immediately triggers imposter syndrome. ‘I can’t have a blog because I’d have to call myself a blogger, and I’m not.’ 🤷🏻‍♀️

What should I say?
What do people want to read?
What can I give to the world?

I’ve been trying so hard to figure out what to write for my first blog on this site that I have decided to just write… because sometimes, you just have to start.

As I get older (I’m closing out my 30s!), I find its easier to let go of those insecurities that hold us back. Is it the passing years that give us an appreciation for the shortness of life? Or is it that time seems to go by too quickly to not live as fully as possible? I’ve missed out on so many things in my younger years because I was afraid of failure, but somewhere along the line, I learned to dust myself off when I fall, learn why it happened, and to keep going.

If you don’t know me, I’m an entrepreneur in Truro, Nova Scotia. I went from barely graduating high school to owning three businesses here in the northern area of the province, and I love what I do. Being a part of the entrepreneur community has changed my life forever. I love the passion and creativity that comes with every day. I love the team I’ve built, and the work we’re doing. I’m accomplishing things I’d have never thought myself capable of doing (more on that later!) There are definitely plenty of sleepless nights worrying about being responsible for people’s livelihoods, the tasks I didn’t get done, looming deadlines, but overall – its worth it (someone remind me I said this when I’m crying at my desk for one reason or another).

I have a wonderful partner, Tyson, and we have a new rescue pup (Meloo) and two crazy cats (Memphis & Polly). This summer we had the incredible opportunity to work together hosting an upcoming Eastlink show called Road Trippin that had us exploring Nova Scotia in an RV! We’re also planning our wedding for 2022, as well as selling our house and building a new one, so I’m sure there will be more about those experiences to come!

I love to write, and I’m going to write for me because I find it therapeutic. Hopefully there are people out there who will enjoy what comes out, or maybe even find it helpful, but in the meantime, I’ll just keep writing for me. If you’re reading this, thanks for taking the time to checking out my site. I’m glad you’re here, and I’ll keep showing up with my musings.