“Art can heal.”
Those words are a perfect example of why Amy is one of this year’s Live Your Dash Award winners.
Amy Black is the Owner and Operator of Amy Black Tattoos and the Founder and President of the Pink Ink Fund.
Amy is a gifted tattoo artist, who amazingly, has developed a way to re-create nipples and areolas for women who’ve lost them to cancer. As a skilled artist, she provides a variety of tattoo styles.
Combining both her medical interests and her artistic talents, Amy is fostering a new movement that replenishes femininity taken away by both cancer and surgery.
Mastectomy surgery is a life-saving procedure but often leaves the patient without their natural nipple and areola or leaves permanent scars. An important part of a full physical and emotional recovery from mastectomy is the reconstruction of the breasts. Amy works with her clients to help them feel more comfortable, secure, and beautiful after mastectomies.
Amy says that the tattoo process can be very emotional, with some women laughing while others sob with relief.
“The emotional toil of having to deal with the diagnosis alone and then the various procedures these women endure is heart wrenching,” she says. “As if chemotherapy, radiation, hair loss and weight loss isn’t enough then women have to deal with the distress of losing their breasts and having linear, horizontal scaring across their chests as well as their nipples removed.”
In 2011, Amy founded the Pink Ink Fund after beginning mastectomy tattooing in response to seeing friends who were concerned about their own mastectomy tattooing costs.
Pink Ink Fund is a Non-Profit Organization that seeks to aid people needing assistance with their post mastectomy tattoo needs as part of their Breast Reconstruction due to Breast Cancer and/or BRCA diagnosis. Pink Ink Fund raises money and solicits donations in order to offer financial assistance, education, and outreach to those in the community needing post mastectomy reconstructive, restorative, and recovery tattooing.
In partnership with the medical community and service care providers, they work to educate cancer patients, survivors, and those genetically predisposed to breast cancer on their full spectrum of options on breast reconstructive tattooing.
Pink Ink Fund is also focused on helping military and first responder patients and their spouses. Because of her compassion and beautiful work, Amy’s nipple tattoo clients travel worldwide to see her.
Amy looks forward to continually bringing her best services to both clients and patients. Her work has been featured in O magazine, The Richmond Times Dispatch, NBC12, WTVR, NPR’s Virginia Currents and more. She is honored to partner with multiple medical professionals throughout the United States including Walter Reed Military Hospital, Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, many Virginia plastic surgeons, oncologists, and more for mastectomy tattoo services.
“Although it has been nearly nine years since my breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, every day when I look in the mirror I am reminded of the healing power of art. In fact, “art heals” has become a motto of the Pink Ink Fund for which Amy is the director, and I know for certain that the healing power of art is just as important as any surgery or any drug that we use to fight cancer. Amy takes very seriously her ability to responsibly help the survivor transform into a thriver through art, and I am living proof of how her art heals long after the surgeries and treatments are over.
I think there is no better compliment to the artist and woman who is Amy than to recognize and honor how she helps others “live their dash” and transform from survivor to thriver in that dash, and in turn how each of us inspires her to “live her dash” by giving so much back to Richmond in so many ways that extend even beyond her art. It is truly a beautiful symbiosis of art and life and we are so fortunate to have her.” Dawn Carter, Client
Amy’s artistic talent and passion for helping women feel whole again are beautiful ways that she lives her dash — one tattoo at a time.
Join us Thursday, April 29 as we honor Amy, along with more amazing community members living their dash, for our annual spring luncheon.
Sources: Richmond Free Press, Huffington Post, RVANews