Real Life

Kiwi tattoo artist creates cover-up magic

This tattoo transformed cancer surgery scars

Tattoo cover-up transforms cancer surgery scars

The work of a Kiwi tattoo artist, on the breast of a cancer survivor, has stunned the world with its incredible beauty.

Alison Habbal (36), had to have her right nipple removed, as part of a lumpectomy to cut the cancer out. While nipple reconstruction was one option, she chose to cover up the scarring left by the surgery, with a large floral tattoo.

The Sydney mum told the BBC that during the year she was sick, she spent her days trawling the Internet, looking for the perfect artist.

After an extensive search, she settled on Hamilton-based, Makkala Rose, who works with a bold and colourful illustrative style.

Young mum's breast cancer plea

The 24-year-old tattoo artist travelled to Melbourne earlier this year, to apply the tattoo in one 13 hour session. Alison described the tattooing process as “blood-curdlingly horrific”.

The end result was posted to social media by Alison, and the response was simply overwhelming. To date, the picture has more than 23,000 likes, and has been reposted multiple times on Instagram.

“Because there’s no nipple”, Alison said, “I can blast it everywhere all over Facebook and Instagram, and they can’t censor it, which I think is really funny.”

Makkala said Alison was an "absolute champion" for sitting through the 13 hour intense session.

"She was pretty clear about the idea that she had, and what she wanted it to look like, but she also gave me a bit of freedom.

"Tattooing a breast is quite different from tattooing a leg or a back. It was a bit challenging to design something that would fit, and work around it.

“It’s quite humbling, and it puts a lot of things into perspective. That made it really cool to be able to do it for her” she told the BBC.