Chris Dalzell is a thirty-three-year-old chef who received his first tattoo when he was 16.
But now, he has 600 tattoos, including ones on his face.
The price tag for all the work done? Try 36,000 dollars (or 28k in pounds).
Chris says that one day, he would love to be completely covered in tattoos…including his eyeballs and penis. He has been offered TV work for his look and says that any time he sees a spot of skin in the shower, he schedules a time to cover it in ink and quickly.
But it is not easy having 600+ tattoos. Chris shares that his facial tattoos leave him susceptible to the public and finding work with employers is difficult.
Hailing from Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland – Chris shares:
“I’ve always wanted to be covered in tattoos. I never considered how other people would perceive me. I’m fascinated with the pain of tattoos and the different levels of pain. For example, I got my eyelids tattooed – and I was blind for three days. People are so blatant about [criticising me]. I walk down the street now and they don’t even wait for me to walk past, they’ll just openly say ‘look at the state of his face’. The impression was, if you had tattoos it was gang-related. Especially in Northern Ireland where gangs are associated with terrible violence. Just because I’m covered head to toe in tattoos it doesn’t mean I’m in any way a violent person. Sometimes people will come up and speak to me – by the time we’ve finished they’ll say, ‘I was completely wrong about you.”
Chris believes he has had close to 48 hours of tattooing done but says it was getting his face tattooed that was the ‘turning point.’
“Once you go to the face it does completely change the way you look, but I still feel the same as I did before I had it done. I forget I have the tattoos on my face. I’m the same person inside.”
Chris also shares that he did not expect the intense amount of judgment from strangers when he booked his face tattoos.
“It never even crossed my mind, I didn’t think about how people would react. If I’d sat down and thought about it, I might have done it differently. It was what I wanted to do, I just didn’t think about what other people thought.”
But Chris stands firm when he says he has no regrets over his tattoos.
While Chris shares that he ‘enjoys the pain’ he did admit getting his eyelids tattooed hurt the most and additionally caused him to be temporarily blind.
“I drove to get them done,” Chris shared. “I got out of the tattoo shop and I was completely blind. I walked into a lamp post on the way home. I couldn’t find my way to the car. I was stranded in Belfast for four hours until my partner came to get me. It was scary being blind, putting frozen cucumbers and ice packs on my eyes.”
Despite the drastic eye-experience, Chris admits he thinks the entire process is peaceful.
“My daughter has had health problems. At the time getting tattoos was almost a coping mechanism,” Chris said. “She was going through such pain in hospital. I’d go into the tattoo shop and say, ‘what’s the most painful place to get tattooed?’ and they’d say the face, so I’d say, ‘give me that then’. It sounds silly, but I felt like I was taking a bit of pain away from her because I was inflicting it on myself. It’s not self-harm. I love it – it’s art and when she gets better I’ll go on getting tattoos.”
Chris says he would stop getting tattoos if his kids did not like them. The dad continued:
“As the kids grow up, if my tattoos ever affect their life I’ll get them all laser removed. It’s something I wanted to do for myself but if they didn’t like me doing it I would go to the extreme of getting every single tattoo removed.”
Chris says his two-year-old daughter and son, seven, adore his tattoos – and he hopes in the future, he can get his entire body covered. All of it, to be exact.
“If I want to get my privates done I’ll have to go to England. Here in Northern Ireland, they won’t touch it, he said. “I want to one day look in the mirror and not see any skin.”
To see more photos of Chris’s body, click here.
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