Lyalya Lovis has an impressive collection of tattoos that cover much of her torso, arms, legs and face.
But what is truly mind boggling, is that the 23-year-old managed to do almost all of them herself – even the ones on her back.
Lyalya from Moscow, Russia, began getting tattoos as a teenager, and has since stopped counting the number of times she’s been inked, but says the total is more than 100.
She’s think she done around 90 of them herself, including a back piece that must have required some impressive arm-bending skills.
And her most recent tattoo? A little caterpillar on her face that was done roughly 15 minutes before this interview.
‘It didn’t hurt at all,’ she said, ‘it was nice.
‘I can’t count all of the tattoos I have got since I was 13 so I don’t know a number.
‘I would say about 90% of my tattoos I have done by myself. It’s cheaper and more fun.
‘I have a lot of tattoos and a few piercings. I want to do scarification, separate my tongue and get elven ears in the near future.
‘The most painful thing was the tattoo on my nipples. The pain was really bad, but it did not deter me from getting tattoos obviously as I have had more since.’
Lyalya’s first tattoos were a 1D (the One Direction logo) and the number ‘9’ for football player Fernando Torres, which she has on her wrist.
‘It was cute and meaningful at that time and I still love them,’ she said.
As a child, Lyalya would look at her father’s tattoos and long for one of her own.
‘So my dreams came true,’ said Lyalya.
‘I got my first tattoo when I was 13, so I was just a kid who wanted a tattoo.
‘Once I started, and I realised that I would not limit myself to one, I didn’t think then that I would have face tattoos or anything but I knew I’d have ink all over my body.’
Even though people judge her for all the ink on her body, Lyalya says her opinion is the only one that matters.
‘On the streets, people often say something rude, they judge,’ she said. ‘Sometimes someone comes up and says how cool I look and how much they like my tattoos, but there are fewer of them.
‘Everything is simpler on the internet, people are divided into two categories: “you are so cool”, or “you are so dumb”.
‘But that’s okay… one day everything will change, I believe in it and I will leave the house without fear and unnecessary discomfort.
‘I don’t care about good comments as much as I don’t care about bad. It’s just someone’s opinion.
‘My mum doesn’t care. She understands that it’s my choice, my hobby, my therapy.’
To anyone out there thinking of getting tattoos that, no matter what society says, if it makes you happy, Lyalya says you should go for it.
‘Do it,’ she said. ‘Don’t be scared about society’s reaction. It’s your body. Your life. Do it.’
‘When you do something extraordinary people will be confused, and I like that. I often see how people themselves cannot understand whether my appearance attracts or repels. It’s funny.
‘I just want people to understand that tattoos have their own meaning for everyone.
‘My tattoos are my memories, my art. It’s a huge part of my life. It makes me feel alive.’
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