Kiwi's breast tattoo sets internet ablaze

Kiwi Makkala Rose, 24, is the tattoo artist whose ink to cover breast cancer patient's surgical scars has gone viral. Photo: Alison Habbal Instagram @secretary925
Kiwi Makkala Rose, 24, is the tattoo artist whose ink to cover breast cancer patient's surgical scars has gone viral. Photo: Alison Habbal Instagram @secretary925

A Kiwi artist is behind the breast tattoo which has set social media on fire.

Hamilton's Makkala Rose is the tattoo artist who created the intricate ink on the right breast of young Sydney cancer survivor Alison Habbal.

Habbal, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at 36, had to have her nipple removed as part of a lumpectomy to cut her cancer out.

But rather than have plastic surgeons create her a new nipple, Habal instead chose to cover up scarring left by surgery with a large, floral tattoo.

An exhaustive search for the right artist led Habbal to Rose, 24, whose painstaking work has gone viral on social media.

According to Habbal, the tattoo took a whopping 13 hours in a single session which she said was "blood-curdlingly horrific".

Instagram posts revealing Rose's finished work are drawing legions of fans from all around the world and been reposted thousands of times.

Rose said that particular part of the human canvas was challenging, but commended Habbal as an "absolute champion" for seeing it through in a single session.

"Alison 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," Rose told the BBC.

"Tattooing a breast is quite different to tattooing a leg or a back or something. It's 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 for her."

Habbal's ink also includes the name of her 7-year-old daughter, Bessie.

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