The artist, Whitney Develle, 22, is based in Brisbane, Australia at Garage Ink Brisbane. She originally posted on her Instagram account on March 1, offering 50 free spots through the end of the year. But because those filled up so quickly, she's now offering discounted cover-ups to others who are still interested.
Covering up scars has become a very specific talent for some artists. For instance, there are those who specialize in giving women cover-up tattoos for their mastectomy scars. But self-harm scars often come with an extra-intense emotional component — and stigma, long after you've stopped cutting. For those who have stopped, getting a tattoo to cover the scars is often a symbolic decision to fully move on from that part of their lives.
Develle told 9 News in Australia that she was inspired to start the free tattoo offer by a friend who had struggled with both self-harm and an eating disorder. “She told me how much pain it brought her when people would question her about [her scars] or make comments,” Develle said.“No one should ever have to feel like a public museum for people to ridicule.”
Many of the people who have written to her since she posted the offer have said they were "too scared to speak with a tattooist out of fear of being judged," which made Develle's impulse to help even stronger.
Not everyone wants to completely cover their scars, though. For those who've found some relief through the Butterfly Project — a technique in which you're encouraged to draw a butterfly on your skin rather than cut — a butterfly tattoo seems only natural. Of course, in the end should you choose to be inked, whatever you get should reflect your mental health journey however you see it.
ATTENTION: I am now accepting no new emails regarding the free tattoo enquiries. I have received a substantial amount of emails and will be sending out my replies as soon as possible. I am only able to provide around 50 free day sittings, 1-2 each week until the end of the year. Please note that given the overwhelming amount of beautiful people out there, I have decided to dedicate more of my time to offering highly discounted rates to anyone who is seeking to move forward from their past and embark on a new beginning. I want you to be able to look down at the scars that bring you pain, embarrassment, shame, and be able to put those feelings behind you and instead feel proud of the body part that now contains art and offers a new beginning. If you are interested in this please email with an attached photo with the subject line of DISCOUNTED SCARS, from there I will provide you with all the information necessary. Thank you again for coming forward, I await creating something for you to admire. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Instagram: @whitneydevelle, Location: Garage Ink Brisbane. ✌️ NOTE: Due to the larger than expected amount of requests I have received it will take longer than first expected to respond to all emails. I am working my hardest to reply to each and every one of you. Please be patient at this time. ❤️