$4,848
pledged of $25,000pledged of $25,000 goal
69
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, August 5 2018 11:28 PM UTC +00:00
Judy Timm-NyhusBy Judy Timm-Nyhus
First created
Judy Timm-NyhusBy Judy Timm-Nyhus
First created
$4,848
pledged of $25,000pledged of $25,000 goal
69
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, August 5 2018 11:28 PM UTC +00:00

About

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"The Scar: Transformations Beyond Mastectomy" will be a full-color book featuring photos of survivors and the tattoos that cover their mastectomy scars. It will include personal stories by the survivors themselves about their cancer experience and how they chose their tattoos. The foreword will be written by a breast cancer survivor who is also a practicing oncologist specializing in breast cancer. In addition, several tattoo artists who have tattooed mastectomy scars will contribute brief essays about how creating these pieces of living art have affected them.

Survivors photographed by Jen Wheeler
Survivors photographed by Jen Wheeler

This book is about what happens after the mammogram, endless appointments, surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, and tissue healing.  Healing from mastectomy surgery can be enriching, empowering, and a form of reclaiming beauty that has been lost to cancer. Women who experience the profound disfigurement that comes from breast cancer surgery are moving toward wearing crafted, artful, and personalized tattoos over their scars.

Much of "breast cancer awareness" in our culture ends with the beginning of the cancer experience. We're a society that is very aware of causes but not what comes after, or how the story evolves. This book will tell that story, and in particular the powerful choices survivors make as they heal.

Please note: This book does not contain any sexually explicit material. It features portrait images of breast cancer survivors who have opted either for implants under removed breasts or for no implants at all and then received beautiful tattoo work on this skin. Some tattoos feature artistically rendered nipples.

Mockup of book cover
Mockup of book cover

This book is far-reaching in its appeal and purpose. Its two primary audiences are breast cancer survivors and tattoo artists. The secondary audiences are family, friends, and medical professionals caring for cancer survivors as well as individuals seeking tattoo work (which is a $220 million business, worldwide). Sadly, breast cancer rates are higher than any time in medical history.  But, there will be more survivors than ever before, and this book offers a type of hope and healing not widely known until now. 

This project is headed by a talented team: Judy Timm-Nyhus, a breast cancer survivor and the Project Creator; a professional photographer, Jen Wheeler of Serendipity Photography / Show Me Beautiful, who has been photographing women and nudes professionally in the Minneapolis area for 20 years (she also created the video for this Kickstarter); enormously talented tattoo artists from across the nation; our beautiful survivor models; Melinda Weir of Melinda Weir Design who is our website designer and social media manager; and Beth Wright, an experienced book publishing consultant. We also have a book printer lined up to print and ship the book. All of us have a shared vision and motivation to make this project a  success. What we need now is seed money to lift the project fully off the ground. This Kickstarter campaign will pay for the photographer's work; the editing, design, and layout of the book; travel expenses related to working with our out-of-state participants; hiring a lawyer to protect the integrity of the entire project and the team; and building and maintaining a website to promote the project.

"The Scar: Transformations Beyond Mastectomy" will be a beautiful, informative, and life-changing book.

A peek behind the scenes at two of our preliminary shoots:

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Risks and challenges

As I’ve begun to put together this project, I've been fortunate to have several of the essential pieces fall into place with quickly and with ease. For example, I’ve had an extensive interest from women who have had tattoos completed over their scars. I've had the good fortune of finding a publishing consultant with 20 years of experience to help guide me. But a project this complex does have several challenges. Our first significant challenge has already been met in that there are over 50 women who have enthusiastically agreed to be in the book! Each of their stories are powerful, impactful and inspiring. Their tattoo art is something that will be highlighted to the fullest. Their tattoos are truly living art.

Another major challenge will be traveling to the participants. One of the good outcomes from the search is that approximately 32 participants are in the San Diego area, and we will be able to photograph the entire group over several days' time. This will save a great deal of money and travel time, since we’ll just need to do one round-trip flight to and from Minnesota. Scheduling photo sessions is also a logistical challenge: we need to coordinate schedules with participants and photographers to find times that work for everyone. My chosen photographer, Jen Wheeler-Serendipity Photography, is multi-faceted in her skillset and is ready at-the-quick with ideas.

Another risk in producing a book that features images such as these is that there will be people who misconstrue, misunderstand, twist or malign what the actual content is about. This book has nothing whatsoever with sexually explicit material. Yet, if someone who is not educated in what occurs from beginning to end with breast cancer, these images might look 'sexual' or promiscuous. This is absolutely not the case. Nearly all of the book participants (and beyond) will tell you that they no longer have breasts-they were removed with the cancer-what remains are implants with remaining skin, but certainly no natural structure that once was a natural breast. In some cases, survivors opt to not go with implants and remain flat, without any further reconstruction. As a survivor myself and when I did have implants, they were not my breasts. Simply implants under skin. In all our cases, nerve damage is so significant from the surgery itselt, there is little-to-no feeling with the skin, forever. There is additional coping needed for this. Therefore, the additional challenge is educating the public on what actually occurs and that these images about living through something physically devastating and regaining beauty and a sense of completeness is a significant step in this journey that is breast cancer.

Finally, one of the risks I must acknowledge is “cause fatigue.” Breast cancer awareness has saturated every corner of social media and society; and is a common theme of public events and corporate campaigns. This book and our participants are past the early awareness stage and is specifically addressing healing and moving forward after the battle is said-and-done. This book is bringing attention to a progressive way of dealing with scars and disfigurement after the breast cancer experience. It's important to separate this artistic and healing endeavor from 'awareness' campaigns. This book is an artistic project that centers on the final healing process to surviving breast cancer and moving on with a beautiful life, showcasing incredibly talented tattoo artists, and celebrates the art and healing they create together.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    One Star

    A personalized thank-you

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    Two Stars

    Specially designed and individually produced mug emblazoned with your choice of "Rockin' My Scars" or "Scar Beauty."

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    our specially designed, high-quality, cotton-blend, short-sleeved shirt, emblazoned with "Perfectly Imperfect."

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    Three Stars

    A copy of the book "The Scar: Transformations Beyond Mastectomy" PLUS our specially designed, high-quality, cotton-blend, short-sleeved shirt, emblazoned with "Perfectly Imperfect." Choice of sizes will be given at time of ordering.

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    Five Stars

    A signed, ADVANCE copy of the book, PLUS our specialty mug (with your choice of statement) and the specially designed shirt (specify size at time of order).

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    One Diamond Donor

    One signed, advance copy of the book "The Scar: Transformations Beyond Mastectomy," PLUS an exclusive behind-the-scenes video with bonus unpublished images and interviews with the subjects, emailed to you (in mp4 format), PLUS a "Perfectly Imperfect" T-shirt, size to be specified at time of order.

    Includes:
    • Signed, advance copy of the book
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes video with unpublished photos
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    Double Diamond Friends

    Your name or organization will be listed in the Friends section of the donor page in the book. PLUS you'll receive two signed, advance copies of the book "The Scar: Transformations Beyond Mastectomy," and an exclusive behind-the-scenes video with bonus unpublished images and interviews with the subjects emailed to you (in mp4 format).

    Includes:
    • Listing in Friends section of the donor page in the book
    • Signed, advance copy of the book
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes video with unpublished photos
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    Triple Diamond Supporters

    Your name or organization will be listed on the project website and in the Supporters section of the donor page in the book, as well as on the website. PLUS you'll receive two copies of the book "The Scar: Transformations Beyond Mastectomy," PLUS an exclusive behind-the-scenes video with bonus unpublished images and interviews with the subjects emailed to you (in mp4 format).

    Includes:
    • Listing in Supporters section of the donor page in the book
    • Your name listed on the website
    • Signed, advance copy of the book
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes video with unpublished photos
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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    Silver Crown Art Patrons

    Your name or organization will be listed on the project website and in Art Patrons section of the donor page in the book, PLUS two signed, advance copies of the book, PLUS your choice of:
    a) A 30-minute survivor's photo shoot with Jen Wheeler from Serendipity Photography, which includes a retouched digital file from your shoot, OR
    b) A quarter-panel mastectomy scar tattoo for you or a survivor from your area.

    *Travel and lodging fees not included. *Scheduling must be arranged through the artist.

    Includes:
    • Listing in Art Patrons section of the donor page in the book
    • Your name listed on the website
    • Signed, advance copy of the book
    • Photo shoot or quarter-panel survivor tattoo
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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Gold Crown Survivors' Allies

    Your name or organization will be listed on the project website and in the Survivors' Allies section of the donor page in the book, with your personalized dedication to the person of your choice. You will receive an exclusive Skype interview with the project creator, Judy Timm-Nyhus, PLUS two signed, advance copies of the book and an exclusive behind-the-scenes video with bonus unpublished images and interviews with the subjects emailed to you (in mp4 format). You may also choose:
    a) A 30-minute survivor's photo shoot with Jen Wheeler of Serendipity Photography, with professional hair & makeup styling, and a retouched digital file from your shoot OR
    b) A half-panel mastectomy scar tattoo for you or a survivor from your area.

    *Travel and lodging fees not included. *Scheduling must be arranged through the artist.

    Includes:
    • Listing and personalized dedication in Survivors' Allies section
    • Listing and personalized dedication on the website
    • Signed, advance copy of the book
    • Skype Q&A event with project creator Judy Timm-Nyhus
    • Photo shoot with hair & makeup styling OR half-panel tattoo
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    Pledge US$ 7,500 or more About US$ 7,500

    Platinum Benefactors

    Your name or organization will be listed on the project website and in the Benefactors section of the donor page in the book, along with your photo and personalized dedication or message. PLUS you and your guests will attend an exclusive in-person event with the project creator, Judy Timm-Nyhus; the photographer, Jen Wheeler, and up to three of the survivors featured in the book's photos, and 5 copies of "The Scar: Transformations Beyond Mastectomy."
    (US travel only, unless otherwise arranged. We will arrange logistics for the venue based on your number of guests).

    You will ALSO receive your choice of:
    a) A 1.5 hour survivor's or beauty/boudoir photo shoot with professional hair and makeup styling and 10 retouched digital photos, OR
    b) A full-chest mastectomy scar tattoo for you or a survivor from your area.

    *Travel and lodging fees for your custom artistic services are not included.
    *Scheduling must be arranged through the artist.

    Includes:
    • Listing and personalized dedication in Benefactor section
    • Listing and personalized dedication on the website
    • In-person Q/A event with project creator, photographer, guests
    • Copies of the book
    • Full photo shoot package or full-chest tattoo
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Funding period

- (30 days)