Man Spends £28k Covering Himself In Tattoos And He's Not Finished Yet
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According to recent statistics, 30 percent of Brits aged between 25 and 39 have at least one tattoo, whether it's a classic Magaluf 3am regret job or a well-thought and decent piece, it's fair to say that tattoos are fairly mainstream now.
Having said that, there are still folk who are willing to push the envelope and keep the shock-factor going. Folk like Chris Dalzell, for example, who has spent £28,000 getting most of his body - including his face - inked.
Thirty-three-year-old Chris, a chef, got his first tattoo when he was just 16 and now sports 600 of them, he's even booked in for another six-hour session next week.
Chris, who has been offered TV work for his unique look, says one day he'd like to be completely covered in tattoos, including on his eyeballs and penis, adding that whenever he spots a bare patch of skin in the shower he makes plans to get it covered in ink as soon as possible.
Despite being happy with his tats, Chris admits that his facial ones do leave him open to criticism from members of the public and that, in the past, finding work has been difficult with employers changing their mind after he tells them about his art-work.
Chris, from Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland, said: "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."
Christ reckons he's had about 48 hours of tattooing done and calls getting his face tattooed the 'turning point'.
"Once you go to the face it does completely change the way you look," he said.
"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."
In fact, Chris said he never expected to come in for so much judgement from complete strangers when he booked himself in to get his face done.
"It never even crossed my mind," he said.
"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."
However, he's quick to point that he has no regrets over his inkings.
It goes without saying that being tattooed is painful, but Chris says he 'enjoys the pain'. Fair enough.
But even he's got his limits and says it was his eyelids that caused the most grief, even leaving him unable to see for three days.
"I drove to get them done," Chris explained.
"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."
While all of that would be enough to put most of us off ever getting tattooed, Chris says he finds the whole process quite peaceful.
"My daughter has had health problems. At the time getting tattoos was almost a coping mechanism," he 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."
The dad-of-two says the only thing that would stop his tattoo habit in its tracks would be if his kids didn't like them.
He added: "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."
For now, though, he says his two-year-old daughter and son, seven, love his tattoos.
In the future, Chris wants his whole body covered, soles of his feet, dick, the lot.
"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."