Tattoo Artist Helps Trauma Survivors Start Anew With Cathartic Ink

"I'm able to use this as an empowering device. I don't get traumatized anymore."

This person is in the art of healing. 

Auberon Wolf, a 29-year-old tattoo artist who identifies as genderqueer, has attracted media attention for their tattoos over scars of trauma survivors. The artist, who is a self-harm survivor, aims to help people turn a new leaf and reclaim their bodies. 

A tattoo Wolf did on a trauma survivor. 
A tattoo Wolf did on a trauma survivor. 

The 29-year-old, who works at Birthmark Tattoos in Vancouver, British Columbia, inks survivors of self-harm, domestic violence and attempted suicide, among other forms of trauma.

Wolf said that the healing work is inspired by their own experiences with self-injury. The artist told The Huffington Post that they'd self-harm on-and-off for years and tattooing over the scars turned out to be cathartic. 

"Those tattoos ... contain elements of nature that feel larger than me -- more beautiful than the ugly of my pain," they said. "They disguise my scars from myself and the world when I don't need reminders of my bad moments interrupting my good."

They added that they have also been influenced by breast cancer survivors who've used tattoos to cover up surgery scars. 

The inking process is all about being comfortable, the artist said. Wolf told HuffPost that their consultations can involve coffee, tea, a snack and a comfy place to sit. Then the brainstorming begins. 

"It is not required for anyone to share more than they want to, though I want to leave the door open whenever possible for somebody to feel connection during the process of tattooing," Wolf said. 

The artist does not disappoint. Many of their clients have expressed the positive effect the work has had on their outlooks. 

"I now have a beautiful piece of art here," Jenny Magenta, who has scars from a suicide attempt as well as a bad experience with an intravenous needle, told CBC News. "I'm able to use this as an empowering device. I don't get traumatized anymore." 

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