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My Invisible Tattoos - Self Portrait by Jaeda DeWalt

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My Invisible Tattoos - Self Portrait by 

This image harkens back to my childhood and the invisible tattoos of CSA. I believe this is what triggered my OCD, which started very young, at age four. Despite my chaotic mind i am obsessed with cleanliness and order. For the longest time i felt unworthy, damaged, tainted and broken.

This was a challenging image to create both emotionally and artistically. I mixed coffee grounds with body oil to create the look of dirt on my skin and wrapped my chest in some brown packing paper i found in my shipping supply closet. I painted the words on my skin with a mascara brush. I used the chocolate brown black out curtains in my bedroom as my backdrop for this photo as they have a slight sheen and were the perfect color for this concept.

Art is my healing vessel. I’ve come along way in my journey of survival and know i still have a long way to go. My goal in creating this was not just to heal myself but to give a voice to others, of whom, struggle with similar trauma from their past.

I’m a self-taught photographic artist. My art explores my
internal landscapes, wherein, i explore; survivor issues, spirituality and sexuality. Much of my work is comprised of self-portraits. My intent with my creations is to be one of the connecting threads in the universal fabric we share.


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  • Adamdabs
    Adamdabsabout 2 years ago

    What strikes me most about this impressive image is how lovely you still manage to look despite the treatment :-)

  • Thank you, Adam :)

    – Jaeda DeWalt

  • HPFA
    HPFAabout 2 years ago

    Love this one Jaeda!! but no matter how hard you try to look bad, your still very easy on the eyes!!

  • I was going for a tattered look and am still easy on the eyes? LOL. Thank you :).

    – Jaeda DeWalt

  • Del Millar
    Del Millarabout 2 years ago

    Trouble with this one is I want to give you a hug and tell you how lovely you are,
    what anyone else inflicted on you cannot take from you your own
    special spirit. Your self is to value and to love. oxo

  • Thank you, Del, for your compassion and heartfelt words. My art is a safe place for my most difficult feelings to emerge. Feels good to let these feelings out, repressing them would be toxic. The light always comes when i am willing to move through the darkness.

    – Jaeda DeWalt

  • Dlouise
    Dlouiseabout 2 years ago

    Awesome image Jaeda,,beautifully done!!

  • Thank you, Dlouise!

    – Jaeda DeWalt

  • Mel
    Mel Brackstone...about 2 years ago

    I’m so glad that art has given you the strength to grow and heal! Strong and emotional work, Jaeda, congratulations!

  • Tam  Locke
    Tam Lockeabout 2 years ago

    Very striking image. May you continue to heal <3 x

  • Thank you, so much, Tam :).

    – Jaeda DeWalt

  • debsphotos
  • Honored to have an image like this featured, means a lot to me, thank you so much!

    – Jaeda DeWalt

  • Jeanne Sheridan
    Jeanne Sheridanabout 2 years ago

    Awesome! Congrats on your feature in The Woman Photographer :-)

  • Thank you, Jeanne :)

    – Jaeda DeWalt

  • trisha22
    trisha22about 2 years ago

    You did wonderful on the photo. I am also a child of SA from an early age. Art is a wonderful outlet as is writing. Do not be discouraged if things never get perfect; we are none perfect anyway. But it will get better. Remember, those tattoos are invisible and you look beautiful to everyone else. You are the only one who has to accept the past and then as you can let go. I know it is not easy. You are in my prayers.

  • Thank you, Trisha, for sharing of your own experience. I am sorry you know that kind of pain, too. Your words are uplifting and encouraging… wise and true. Thank you :). Sending peace, love, light and healing to you

    – Jaeda DeWalt

  • Denise Abé
    Denise Abéabout 2 years ago

    gorgeous :) xxx

  • Thank you, Denise :)

    – Jaeda DeWalt

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