One tattoo artist is helping others turn traumatic scars into symbols of strength.
Brian Finn, who works at Infinite Art Tattoo in Toledo, Ohio, spends one day a week inking over people's scars from domestic violence, human trafficking or self-harm -- for free.
The artist, who began his compassionate project back in October, has worked on five tattoos thus far with many more to come. He explains that he does it all to help others feel empowered.
"It's just something I can do that won't take much time that can make a big impact on other people," Finn, who's been tattooing for almost 17 years, told The Huffington Post of his thoughtful initiative. "A tattoo can help disguise the scars, so ... it's like a new chapter."
Finn explained that over the years, he's encountered many clients who have scars from trauma and wanted to ink over them. However, when Finn would explain the cost he found that many were going through financial challenges and were unable to afford them.
The artist eventually decided to set aside time to help individuals, who went through similar obstacles, at no cost so they'd be able to turn over a new leaf no matter their financial situation.
Finn has been inking different designs through his initiative, including a Celtic knot, which is an existing tattoo on a client that he's reworking to hide scars, a rose and a skull with pistons. While some open up during their sessions and talk about their experiences, Finn mentioned that he also encounters people who prefer to keep their stories private.
He says that ultimately, the people he's worked with feel overjoyed when they see the ink.
"There's definitely been tears involved -- of happiness," he said. "It's been a great response."
Though the artist has worked on five, he's received many requests since the news broke of his initiative and is booked through April with appointments to transform scars. And though his project is very admirable, the humble artist says it's simply the right thing to do.
"It's just not being a jerk," he said with a laugh.
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