Man Spends £11,000 On Modifications To Look Like A Dragon
Vancouver-based fire-breather and entertainer Joshua Burns has gone all out to achieve his effect, including having scales carved into his arms and tattooing his eyeballs, but he says he wants to go even further than that.
Thirty-year-old Josh, who goes only by his second name, started his journey at the age of 19 when he had his tongue split in two, and has ploughed thousands into his body modification since then.
He's spent thousands on his tattoos, one of which took 51 hours to complete, and had his earlobe cropped and ears modified to appear pointed, dyed his tongue purple, and inserted silicone 'horns' into his forehead.
On top of that, he wants to get ink on his private parts and gums, before he's done.
His girlfriend, 40-year-old Tristan Risk, is completely supportive of his journey.
Burns said: "I want to be 100 percent covered as a dragon, and beat all the world records out there for the most modifications and tattoos. But I also want to look aesthetically pleasing.
"I'm liking where I'm at currently but every time I get another tattoo or another modification, I feel more confident and happier - and it helps with my career."
Burns' obsession with reptiles started as a kid, and continues to this day. As well as his work as a performing artist, he also sells reptiles.
As a teenager, he already fell in with an alternative style, but his parents thought it would be a phase.
They were wrong, it turned out.
After getting a tattoo at 18, he had his tongue split a year later and things escalated from there.
He travelled the USA in a van with his body modification specialist as part of a 'freakshow-themed drag show', and has been learning ever more intriguing and extreme tricks since then.
Then, in 2017, he had the scales carved into his arms with a scalpel.
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Burns explained: "I didn't have any anaesthetic - it was about three times as painful as a tattoo. I livestreamed it so I had to keep it together,
"I've also had my eyeballs tattooed. They injected the purple dye in a little spot, and then it spread around my eyeballs.
"I needed ten shots in total to get it right. I have a different relationship to pain than most people because of my work, so it wasn't too bad for me."
Not everything he's had done has worked out perfectly, though.
"When I had my ear cropped, I wanted a jagged effect, like a dragon," he said.
"But when it healed, the points rounded out, which wasn't quite what I was going for. I might get them tattooed to look more pointed at some point. It's hard to know how the human body is going to react."
Naturally, he attracts a few looks when he is out and about, but that doesn't bother him too much.
He said: "If people make nasty comments, I don't really care about the views of anyone who doesn't respect me. What is important to me is that I'm happy.
"I don't think I'll ever stop getting body modifications - new ones come out all the time, so I don't want to limit myself. But I want them to look good too.
"People in the body modification community are awesome. Some assume we might steal from them because of how we look - but actually we're probably the most likely to help an old lady cross the road.
"We aren't bad people. In fact, we're some of the most genuine people you'll meet, because we aren't afraid to express our true selves."
His girlfriend added: "I've always had a thing for dragons, so I love it.
"Burns' modifications have kind of become invisible to me because I'm so used to them.
"It always strikes me as unusual when people stare if the two of us go out somewhere, and then I have to remind myself. People are just curious, I get that.
"Everyone should have the right to express themselves and make themselves look on the outside the way they feel on the inside.
"As long as they aren't hurting anyone else, they should do what makes them happy."
Featured Image Credit: PA Real Life
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