We met him at a bus stop on the outskirts of Brighton the other day and his appearance immediately caught our attention! The 26-year-old works as a tattoo artist/piercer in Brighton and London and his body is literally a piece of art in progress!
Hi Eli, nice to meet you. Where are you going? I am off to work. I am a tattoo artist in London and Brighton. I have been tattooing for about seven years and I am a body piercer in Brighton full-time.
Tattooists usually have quite a lot of tattoos themselves, but you really stand out. Why did you decide to tattoo your entire face and body in black? I started off with my first tattoo when I was 16 and I haven’t really stopped ever since. I have always been interested in tattoos, especially in big scale pieces. I don’t like the small ones and I thought the more tattoos I would get, the more I would learn myself about how they work basically. But now, I decided to cover it all up because I had a lot of rubbish tattoos when I was younger, like little things over the face, and the older I got, the more I disliked them. So, I decided to do just one big tattoo. I am basically half-finished at the moment, but hopefully, one day, I will get there.
What do you mean by half-finished? Well, the head is half-finished and some other parts of my body as well. I want to get it all black and then I will get white designs on top which should look really cool. And then ten years later, if I don’t like the white design anymore, I can just get another layer of black to cover it up and get new white designs. It will basically work like a chalkboard.
Wow. That sounds really cool. How long have you already been working on it? About ten or twelve years altogether. Every week, I get a little section done.
So, you do it yourself? No. It hurts a lot more when you do it yourself and some places are more tricky than others.
And what about that little plastic plate in your lower lip. Is that just temporary or will you keep that? It took me three years to get it to this size and it will be staying. But maybe not for the rest of my life. You can get it reconstructed. They stitch you back together and after a couple of years you wouldn’t even know you had it. My earlobes are stretched as well.
What diameter have you got for the holes? It’s 65 mm for my ears and 39 mm for my lip.
Was it as painful as it looks? It was very painful, but only for a couple of days. It takes a little while to get used to it because you have to learn how to eat, how to talk… When I got it done, I took a couple of weeks off work so that I could get used to it and it was very swollen the first few days.
And now? Does it disturb you in any way? No, not anymore. It did in the beginning, but it is the same as it is with every piercing. You just get used to it.
Are you planning on getting any other piercings? Not piercings no. But I will definitely continue with the tattoos.
Well, I really hope that, one day, you will have it the way you want it.