When it comes to tattoos, a good tattoo artist makes you feel like you have this all new part of yourself. Eric Catalano is a tattoo artist who works in the hyperrealistic. He first came into the limelight after he tattooed a man’s nail beds onto his fingers following an amputation. The results were incredible. And what’s even more incredible, was he did it for free!
While chatting to The Sun UK, Eric talked about how he got into creating hyperrealistic tattoos for amputees. His grandmother was a breast cancer survivor who underwent a double mastectomy. While he was much younger then, and hadn’t perfected his art skills, he was inspired to help women regain what they’d lost, in a visual way of sorts. Using nothing but ink, he created what looked like three-dimensional nipples – and it was almost impossible to tell the difference.
“I started offering free breast cancer tattoos to raise awareness. Through that outlet, many of the women needed nipple tattoos after their mastectomies. I got to work on patenting and inventing a micro dermal implant that sits under the skin and has a silicone areola and nipple magnetized to the top as a way to give women a tangible nipple, instead of just raising awareness.” the 38-year-old said. “I couldn’t bring myself to charge them, and I’ve been doing them for free for 5 or 6 years now.”
Eric, who’s a dad of three now, has been doing them for 8 years and he’s done over 75 pairs of nipples completely free of charge.
He stated, “Most times, untrained nurses or surgeons (in the tattoo art) are performing nipple and areola tattoos that leave MUCH to be desired…”
Regarding the man with the missing fingertips, he had come to Eric’s workshop, Eternal Ink Tattoo Studio, looking to get tattoos on each of his fingers. All he wanted was to have something relatively good tattooed.
“I don’t think he expected the realism that he received,” Eric said. “When I wiped the skin clean and he saw the lifelike realistic outcome, I could tell by his facial expression that his expectations were exceeded greatly and I could see relief and appreciation all over his face. It was really touching.”
Eric has said that he can’t bring himself to charge for his services when the people availing of them – amputees and cancer survivors – have gone through so much pain and loss. It wouldn’t feel right. Even when they offer to pay he refuses.
However, the hyperrealistic tattoos aren’t cheap to create, as there are special inks and materials required in order for the results to be flawless
Eric recently set up a Go Fund Me Page to source funds in order to continue his work for free. As his page states, “After lots and lots of pushing and pushing by people basically demanding me to get a funding site set up, I’m doing it. What this will allow is ‘angel’ donations to pay me, for sufferers to receive their free tattoo work. Allowing me to help more and more people while still being able to support myself. If you can throw a little money at it, I can promise you’re helping one more person get in the door. Thank you!”
Hopefully he will have no trouble sourcing donations since it’s a very kind thing that he is doing.