Who Did Your Ink?: Grace Furman commemorates her struggle with mental health

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      Who Did Your Ink? is the Straight’s weekly feature, where we ask badass Vancouverites about the talented artists, indelible stories, and, at times, questionable antics behind their most treasured tattoos.

      What's your name? Grace Furman.

      What do you do? I am a freelance writer and manage a health and wellness blog, Heartful Habits. On my blog, I write about natural remedies, beauty DIYs, wellness tips, and more.

      In the summer of 2015, I was selected as the winner of the My Vintage Ink competition, which was a life-changing experience. My tattoo was voted the most popular out of those who entered in B.C., and now my body art is featured on limited-edition bottles of Vintage Ink Rebel Red wine.

      It’s so awesome to see them now that these bottles are in stores!

      Who did your ink? Heather Lefebvre, who runs her own studio, Odist Tattoo, here in Kelowna.

      Why did you choose this artists to do your tattoo? I had wanted a female artist so first, I looked at a lot of local artists’ portfolios online.When I found Heather, I really liked her work.

      I contacted her and we had a couple of discussions about what I wanted the tattoo to look like beforehand. This tattoo is a personal and meaningful piece of artwork for me, and Heather was supportive and respectful throughout the process.

      Is there any meaning behind it? I decided to get this beautiful tattoo to cover the scarring on my upper-right thigh as a result of my personal struggle with mental health. It is also a celebration of my recovery from self-injury.

      Now I look at this part of my body as something beautiful instead of something to be ashamed of. It is a symbolic reminder of my strength and resilience.

      Entering this tattoo into the My Vintage Ink contest was a way to show the world that I am not going to hide who I am or who I was. When I won, it created a unique opportunity to speak honestly with friends and family about my battle with mental health, which I believe is a topic that should be out in the open.

      Who's your favourite local tattoo artist? Definitely Heather! My husband is currently discussing designs with her for his next tattoo. I’m excited to see how it turns out.

      What's next on your ink list? While I am interested in getting another tattoo, I don’t have any specific plans for one yet.