When a Tattoo Goes Viral
It all started when Catalano helped Mark Bertram — a man who lost a couple of fingertips in a 2018 workplace accident. His index and middle finger were now shorter and missing the nails. Bertram found the tattoo artist and asked him to tattoo a couple of fingernails on his injured fingers as a joke. The final tattoos looked incredibly realistic. Once a picture of them was put on the internet, no one could stop it from turning viral. With the unbelievable new exposure, Catalano started looking into paramedical tattooing. He realized he could literally use his artistic skills to help people live more comfortably in their own skin. Soon, he had people from all over the US (and the world) booking appointments at his studio.
Establishing “Wellness Wednesday”
To cover scar tissue, Catalano uses skin-colored ink. Another one of his impressive reconstruction works was done on a woman named Leslie Pollan. Pollan, who traveled to his parlor all the way from Oxford, Mississippi, had a scar on her lip she wanted to cover. The scar was put there in 2014 when a puppy she was playing with accidentally bit her face. She tried to turn to plastic surgery to restore things back to the way they were but it didn’t work. She then turned to Catalano, who covered the scar better than anyone else. Some of Catalano’s other clients are cancer survivors or people with unfortunate surgical scars. His delicate artistry drew the interest of so many people with compelling stories, he started what he calls “Wellness Wednesday”. Every Wednesday, Catalano gives up to 8 restorative tattoos for free. According to him, these tattoos are not about making money, but the emotional fulfillment he grants his clients and himself.