I’ve spent $127K covering 98% of my body in tattoos — but I’m running out of space


A man who spent $127,000 covering 98 percent of his body in tattoos says he’s running out of skin for more.

Eli Ink, 33, began his tattoo journey at 17 when he had a black spider’s web done on his elbow — which is his only piece that has not yet been fully covered in black ink.

Eli went on to get his body parts tattooed completely black — including on his arms, legs and chest — and has spent thousands of hours under the gun.

UK man Eli Ink has covered 98 percent of his body in tattoos. Courtesy of Eli Ink / SWNS

He has now run out of bare skin — prompting him to explore layers upon layers of ink over the previous designs. 

Eli claims he’s been spat at and even attacked due to the way he looks but it doesn’t put him off getting even more tattoos. 

Eli — who runs Sacred Silence Tattoo in Hove, East Sussex — said: “You have to walk around me to see it all. 

“I’d done myself in awkward areas — if you’ve got the skill to do it, you might as well.

“I’m only running out of visible space and I’ve got nearly four layers of different tattoos on my body.

“With tattooing, once the visible skin is gone, you’ve only got very limited stuff you can put on top.

Inks has spent over $127,000 on tattoos. Courtesy of Eli Ink / SWNS

“I’ve got green and white ink on top of the black — you can layer and layer it. I have completely run out of blank skin but it’s taken on a whole new form.”

Eli says he gets some funny looks from strangers but that hasn’t put him off trying to cover his whole body in ink. 

Eli said: “It’s like putting paint on the walls of a house — you can paint your bedroom wall black and then white, green or yellow on top.

“There’s something beautiful about that.”

Eli said his decision to keep layering his tattoos is “50 percent aesthetic and 50 percent wondering what it’s going to look like 10 years from now.”  

He said: “I wonder what it will look like when those layers need doing again. 

Ink started getting tattoos at 17 years old. Courtesy of Eli Ink / SWNS

“Art and tattoos are evolving so much — it’s getting more interesting as time goes on.

“I’ve had about 10 different faces through my entire life. The mask I’m wearing now is completely different to five years ago.”

Eli has lived across the globe and travelled far and wide to get some of his tattoos — including Russia, Germany and Italy.

He said: “I’ve never thought too much into it — some pieces are meaningful and I’ve thought long and hard before getting them. 

“I’ve gone to Rotterdam to get a 20 minute tattoo and come back, I’ve travelled to Russia, the States, Germany and Italy — nearly all of Europe. 

“I’ll travel there to work in those countries and then when I’m there, I’ll get the tattoos from the artists I want.”

Eli’s tattoo studio opened last May and while decorating the studio he undertook a vow of silence.

He said: “I realized tattooing was all about listening — listening to the customer, the tattoo artist, the machines and your own inner thoughts.

“It’s about listening to your body, both before and after the session and while the tattoo healing.”

Eli prides himself on working solely on hand-drawn and hand-painted designs, and enjoys working on religious imagery, mainly Asian-influenced designs.

Ink runs Sacred Silence Tattoo in Hove, East Sussex. Courtesy of Eli Ink / SWNS

He believes people shouldn’t take tattoos on others too seriously.

He said: “If you buy a dress, you don’t look at the dress and think that has a meaning. 

“You look at it and buy it spontaneously because you think: ‘I need this right now.’

“But 10 years down the line, that dress may become sentimental and have a meaning behind it like a time you wore it. It’s the same with tattoos.

“I’ve been spat at and I’ve been attacked because of the way I look. It’s always been in other countries outside of the UK.”

He added: “When you break any social barrier, you are always going to have groups of people that are being threatened by that. 

“You’re going to have to suffer the consequences for the rest of your life. 

“I’m the first one to admit that I don’t think you should get your face heavily tattooed if you’re not a tattoo artist. 

“It will ruin your life in the sense of jobs and society, but it might benefit you if you like the way you look. 

“If I wasn’t a tattoo artist, I probably would have done my whole entire body but left my face blank.”

Eli also has had black injections into his eyes to make them appear darker and a 3 inch Ethiopian plate in his lower lip.

He has since had reconstructive surgery to repair his lip but added body modification was the next logical step.

He said: “Once you’ve done everything else, where do you go?

“When I’m done with the mods, I’ll probably go onto plastic surgery because everything else has been done. 

“It’s like eating everything on the McDonald’s menu over a 10-year period and then them bringing out a new burger to try. It never ends.”

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