Meet The English Man Who Decides To Tattoo Himself Black

Most people prefer their art on their walls not as a permanent fixture of their bodies. But Eli Ink, a 27-year-old tattoo artist from Brighton, England, sees his body as a walking exhibition of his finest work.
Meet The English Man Who Decides To Tattoo Himself Black

He has spent the last ten years transforming himself. Tattooing most of his skin black with several coats of ink, dying his eyes and implanting stretchers in his nose and under his bottom lip. The process is far from finished, but the result is striking.

Eli’s obsession with body modification started from a young age after his uncle came back from Spain with a huge tribal tattoo.

‘In my opinion, the only person who will only ever understand my transition properly is me. I don’t attempt to describe it to anyone,’ he told MailOnline.

‘I’ve always been blown away by art itself. Picasso is a huge childhood inspiration to me, especially abstract art, but I do like all forms of art. Body art was just the next local step for me growing up.’

You can easily see his obsession with the abstract on his own body. It's a philosophy that guides the choices he makes.
Meet The English Man Who Decides To Tattoo Himself Black

'I wanted to look like an abstract character in one of Picasso’s paintings. I love the abstract look, no thought , just pure expression,' he said.

The inside of his mouth and the white section of his eyes were just part of that process.

Eyeball tattooing involves injecting the ink in-between two layers of the Scleral of the eye and letting it spread out.

Eli admits that this process, like a lot of body modification, can have disastrous results if it goes wrong.

'That’s the risk you take letting anyone near your eyes, even trained surgeons can make mistake. Body modification is a risk taker's lifestyle.'

Dating doesn't seem to be difficult though as he has a girlfriend Holly, who is also part of the body-mod scene and they are madly in love.
Meet The English Man Who Decides To Tattoo Himself Black

Before he got involved in the body modification scene he had his own gardening company and experimented with drawing and painting then moved into full time tattooing.

Body modification is any altering of a person’s physical appearance, including tattoos and in more extreme cases tongue splitting and scarification.

Eli belongs to a sub culture within the broader definition known as Modern Primitives who pay homage to the rites of passage in primitive cultures through their modifications and practices.

In one of his Instagram posts, he wrote:

Note to self. A new chapter has started for me. Tattooing is becoming more of a spiritual experience than I expected. There’s lots of exciting things ahead but with that comes more obstacles and new barriers to climb. I feel limitless in my capacity to leave the inner critic inside of me behind and press forward with the work that needs to be done. I am inspired. We all have bad days, some? Are really bad days? Like today for me has been so shit. But the bad days is where we grow the most so shrug it off, and keep pressing forward. Never give up.

A post shared by Black Cloud (@eliinkpiercer) on


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  1. Must be hard to be an 'artist' with zero skill. You let other people do it to you, you just supplied the canvas, and what did they paint? A shitty black streak.

    Get some skill and a hobby. Im sick of those no-skill support system making each other feel like they created something special. Work for it. This is akin to showing off your haircut and pretending like you know how to cut hair and how artistic you are after you get out of the salon.