LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — A Lancaster business owner is using ink to leave a positive mark on the future. His decision is inspired by a friendship months — and several tattoo sessions — in the making.

For 13 years, Christian Anavitate has been putting ink to skin.

“Yeah we’re sleeving him up for sure,” he described the tattoo he is currently working on. “Wings with a microphone on his forearm.”

However, Anavitate started with ink to paper when his family moved from Puerto Rico to Lancaster.

“I didn’t understand too much English ’cause I was just freshly here. Because of the language barrier, I used to draw in class,” the owner of Beautiful Sin Tattoos & Body Piercing said.

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Later, Anavitate started selling his artwork, which eventually sparked his career as a tattoo artist.

“Seeing people buying my artwork to get it tattooed,” he remembered. “I bought my first tattoo machine after I was 18 years old and basically started from there.”

Now, Anavitate owns his own shop, Beautiful Sin Tattoos, which marked its seventh anniversary in February 2023.

He has several regular customers, including Jesse Miller, who first walked through the door in September 2022.

“Something just told me, you got to take care of this man,” Anavitate said.

Miller is no stranger to ink. He has tattoos dating back 20 to 25 years, some he helped design himself. When he walked into Anavitate’s shop though, he was looking for what would be his first tattoo since his life changed in 2018.

“I actually had a stroke in my retina,” Miller said.

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The stroke left him completely blind.

“I got lost just getting the mail, and it was the winter, and I ended up in my neighbor’s actual driveway,” Miller said.

After months of depression, Miller found VisionCorps, a Lancaster nonprofit that provides free services to people who are blind or visually impaired.

“I actually became employed with VisionCorps,” Miller said, explaining the nonprofit has helped him become more independent than he thought possible.

Through VisionCorps, Miller found Eyedrop — the nonprofit’s annual fundraising event where people rappel down the Holiday Inn in Lancaster. Miller has participated every year since the event started in 2019.

“This will be my fourth repetitive year,” he said.

As his ink spread across Miller’s skin, Anavitate heard that story. He said he appreciated the trust Miller placed in him as an artist, and wanted to do more.

“I feel God don’t put people in your life for no reason,” he said.

On June 9, 2023, the day of EyeDrop, Anavitate is donating all his proceeds to VisionCorps — specifically, to Miller’s fundraising goal.

“I’m a person that I like to give back, because without Jesse, without my customers, without the people, I wouldn’t be here today,” Anavitate said.

The months since Miller first walked through Anavitate’s door have left these two men bonded, certainly by ink.

“It really makes me feel good because it actually shows Christian’s artwork,” Miller said of his new tattoo, which spreads across his chest and down his right arm. “I get a lot of compliments on it.”

Now, they are bonded by much more.

“That was just inspirational and motivational to me that I actually touched someone to help out other people like myself,” Miller said.

Anavitate said meeting Miller has been inspiring to him.

“Even though he went through what he went through, he’s still out here working, pushing, living his life like it never happened and that’s beautiful,” he said.

Beautiful Sin Tattoos will be open until 8 p.m. on June 9 for tattoos.