There are a lot of wonderful ways to put something positive back into the world.
Some people donate whatever money they can spare. Others volunteer in soup kitchens, or help to rescue abandoned elderly dogs.
Fortunately, charity knows no bounds; almost any skill or interest can be applied to helping people. You just sometimes need to get a bit creative with your approach.
Thats exactly what talented tattoo artist Flavia Carvalho did when she realized that her skill could be put to use for a very special purpose: covering up scars.
The artist, who lives in Brazil, started a yearlong project called “A Pele Da Flor,” or, translated from the Portuguese, “Deeper Than Skin.”
The heartwarming project was aimed at creating beautiful body art free of cost for women looking to embrace and learn to love their scars.
Some of them came in with marks left by mastectomies or cesareansections, but the majority of women that Carvalho treated were victims of violence or domestic abuse.
She chronicles the project in a beautiful before-and-after photo series that touches on the heartbreaking stories behind her art, and the profound strength of the women who take their scars and use them to heal, despite everything.
Please note that the following content may be disturbing to some viewers.
Flavia Carvalhooriginally began her project to make a difference in the healing process of the victims of violence. She told Huffington Post:
“It all started about two years ago, when I worked with a client who wanted to cover a large scar on her abdomen. She told me that she was at a nightclub, and when she turned down a man who approached her, he stabbed her with a switchblade. When she saw the finished tattoo, she was extremely moved, and that deeply touched me.”
Each and every tattoo Carvalho has created since has a similar story, ofturning a reminder of something ugly and violent into an emblem of beauty, hope, and self-esteem. She chronicles these stories briefly on her Facebook page.
This joyful scene of birds and flowers helps to transforms a series of scars left behind on the victim of an attempted murder.
Carvalho notes on her Facebook page that this women was stabbed in the stomach, and was left with scars from the attack and the medical treatment.
Carvalho uses her design to create a new significance to the scars, as part of a hopeful and beautiful future.
This young woman carries a dark oblong scar on her back, from a single bullet fired by her ex-boyfriend.
Instead of letting the scar remain a reminder of tragedy, Carvalho covered it with a spray of cherry blossoms.
Cherry blossoms, a springtime flower, symbolize new life and femininity, and serve as a reminder to live every day to the fullest.
CLICK TO REVEAL
This lower arm design was created not for a victim of domestic violence, but of a horribly tragic accident.
In 2013, a massive fire overtook a nightclub called Kiss, killing nearly 250 people. This woman was among the few who survived contact with the fire and lost her boyfriend in the flames.
Now, years later, her burn marks transform into a warrior woman, symbolizing her fighting spirit.
This young woman was shot in the knee by her ex-partner.
The scar, though quite small, must have been a painful reminder of that time.
Carvalho transformed it into something beautiful and uplifting by tattooing it with a tiny, colorful owlet, flying up into the sky!
This scar comes with a profoundly challenging story, and some beautiful symbolism.
The woman who requested this scar had a rough life, living on the street as an addict for around two years.
In that time, she encountered all kinds of violence, including the above scars left by a shotgun.
Carvalho created a glorious phoenix out of the scars, a symbol of rebirth and rising from the ashes.
These scars were left on a young woman after her boyfriend drunkenly stabbed her during an argument.
While she was in the hospital, he died from drug and alcohol intoxication.
After she recovered, she selected a design of a beautiful and vibrant young woman to transform the scars left behind.
This puckered scar calls to mindthe scar that started it all, sustained by a young woman who refused to kiss a man in a nightclub.
He stabbed her in the abdomen with a switchblade, leaving a deep wound.
When the scar healed, the woman went to Carvalho for a beautiful tattoothat would change the meaning of the scar.
Carvalho’s tattoo project may be over for now, but she’s still working every day to help the victims of domestic violence make their voices heard.
Check out her Facebook page, and make sure toSHARE her beautiful, life-changing work!
Read more: http://www.littlethings.com/flavia-carvalho-tattoos/