A student hangs out on a branch with an offer for tattoo artists

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A student from the University of Waikato offers her soon to be amputated leg as a canvas for budding tattoo artists.

For 19-year-old Tineke Buser, getting a tattoo on her right leg is high on her wish list because come November it will be gone.

She decided to have an amputation after years of discomfort due to a medical condition.

But Buser is in no way shaken or discouraged. She’s all smiles at the family home in Morrinsville as she models her shiny new purple hair.

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“It’s not like I can do anything else with this foot, so it might as well be used,” Buser said.

“If you’re trying to learn how to tattoo, it’s going to be a lot easier to do it on a physical person than on silicone.

“If I can help someone else, that’s just a bonus.”

When 19-year-old Tineke Buser decided to have her right leg amputated, rather than counting down the days until her surgery, she chose to reach out to any tattoo apprentice who wanted to use her skin as a canvas.

TOM LEE/STUFF/Waikato Times

When 19-year-old Tineke Buser decided to have her right leg amputated, rather than counting down the days until her surgery, she chose to reach out to any tattoo apprentice who wanted to use her skin as a canvas.

Getting amputated was something Buser decided for herself in May this year.

She was born with a clubfoot which has gradually become more painful over the past 7 years as the bones in her foot have slowly shredded against each other to the point that there is hardly any bone left.

Buser chose to seize the moment and do something spontaneous.

Rather than let her bare leg go to waste pre-surgery, she took to social media in search of an aspiring tattoo artist from Waikato willing to flaunt his work on her skin.

“I thought my lower leg might be useful to someone before then as well,” Buser said.

And, there are no rules – “as long as it’s not inappropriate because I work in a school”.

Due to a health condition she has had since birth, Buser has become less able to do regular activities in her life such as caddies, hiking, and grocery shopping.

TOM LEE/STUFF/Waikato Times

Due to a health condition she has had since birth, Buser has become less able to do regular activities in her life such as caddies, hiking, and grocery shopping.

Tattoos may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for Buser, they’re an appealing way to show off some creative expression.

She has an interest in art. Her room is decorated with vibrant personal artwork, musical objects and colorful ornaments.

When it comes to who gets the chance to tattoo her leg, Buser is open to everyone, and she doesn’t have a preference for designs either.

“I have a few tattoos and I love them,” she said.

“I’m an artist myself, playing instruments and painting and I understand how hard it is to practice your work, especially if you don’t have the right materials.”

The University of Waikato student will be relieved to have a prosthetic leg as it will help improve her mobility.

TOM LEE/STUFF/Waikato Times

The University of Waikato student will be relieved to have a prosthetic leg as it will help improve her mobility.

The operation is scheduled for November and Buser is almost relieved to think about it due to the discomfort caused by her foot.

What will happen to the amputated leg after the operation? Well, Buser has already had offers from other people to keep the leg and show it off.

The aspiring primary school teacher is optimistic that her prosthetic leg will give her the mobility and freedom to be more active and be able to keep up with children around her workplace.

“I pretty much accepted. At this point, I just want it gone. you know, it’s just going to make my life better, having a prosthesis, because I won’t have pain,” she said.

“I will be able to do the things that I love.”

Any artists interested in Buser’s leg tattoo are encouraged to contact her directly.

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