The Nipple Artist
09:24 PM
Little Vinnie Nipple Tattoo.jpg
We've shown some truly artful transformations of mastectomy scars on this blog -- more recently highlighting the work done on P-Ink Day, in which breast cancer asskickers hooked up with stellar tattooers to create beautiful works that made the women fall in love with their bodies again.

What we haven't done, however, is explore 3-D nipple tattooing for those women who want breast reconstruction to have a more natural look. Unfortunately, the doctors who often tattoo these faux nipples don't often hit the mark on realistic tattooing.

Little Vinnie Myers, long-respected for his illustrative tattoo portfolio, has found himself as the premier artist for nipple areola tattoos that offer exceptional realism -- so much so that women travel from all over the world to his studio in Finksburg, Maryland. In fact, according to his site, he is now only accepting appointments for nipple areola tattoos.

In the NY Times feature "A Tattoo That Completes a New Breast", writer Caitlin Kiernan, who, after two years of breast cancer treatment, "wanted to have breasts that at least appeared normal," sought out Little Vinnie and made a wonderful video documentary of her experience, which is part of the article. I highly suggest watching it.

In the article, Caitlin also offers some interesting info on how Little Vinnie became the go-to guy for breast cancer survivors. Here's a bit from that:

Mr. Myers originally specialized in colorful, one-of-a-kind tattoos. But at a party in 2001, he struck up a conversation with a woman who worked with a plastic surgeon.

"She told me they were having problems tattooing their breast cancer patients and asked me if I would come in and help correct some of them," Mr. Myers said.

After doing a few jobs, he quickly recognized the need for trained tattoo artists to be involved in breast reconstructions.

"I would never advise anybody to come to me for surgery, but in the same vein nobody should go to a surgeon for a tattoo," he said.

As Mr. Myers developed his technique, word spread and his business grew, giving him little time for other tattoos. Mr. Myers said that in 2010 he decided to stop doing nipple tattoos.

"The morning that I planned on telling the guys to stop taking appointments for them, my sister called to tell me she had breast cancer," he recalled.

He took it as a sign. Today, he is busier than ever, with a waiting list of four to six months.
Read more on Little Vinnie and Caitlin's experience here.

And for more on illustrative tattoos on mastectomy scars, check these earlier posts:

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