Fernando Franco de Oliveira is almost unrecognizable from how he appeared a decade in the past.
In these ten years, the Brazilian tattoo artist has covered almost each part of his body in ink and undergone surgery to present himself horns, a forked tongue, pointed orc ears and even going as far as to cut off his nose.
De Oliveira, who owns a tattoo studio in the southern Brazil city of Tatui 150 kilomtres west of Sao Paulo, says he’s been primarily impressed by skull imagery and “The Lord of The Rings.”
“In a way, I am like the main attraction of my own studio,” he advised CTVNews.ca in a video interview, including that clients love his appearance and passersby usually stop to snap selfies with him.
“About 70 per cent of people who see me on the street, they need to take photos with me and they discover me interesting,” he mentioned.
While he draws stares from strangers, de Oliveira says family and friends aren’t shocked by his appearance anymore.
“Most of my friends are already used to my appearance,” de Oliveira mentioned, including that his family members took a while to get used to his transformation. “When I first began tattooing myself and doing all these modifications, it was a big shock to them.”
In 2006, he began covering himself, head-to-feet, with tattoos of dragons, clowns, bulldogs and other creatures.
His ink is so extensive that he was recognized in 2014 as the most tattooed person within the country by RankBrasil — a Brazilian organization just like the Guinness Book of World Records, however which only registers and ratifies records and other oddities within the Latin American country.
De Oliveira calls the eight years he spent getting the tattoos “by far probably the most painful experience I’ve gone through.”
However as he inked more and more of his body, he started altering his appearance in different ways too.
De Oliveira started by stretching out his ear lobes; then injecting ink into his eyes turning them black; adding horns to his head; changing his teeth with vampire dentures; and even splitting his tongue in half.
He finally covered his facial tattoos by dying his skin blue and had his ears re-shaped to resemble those of an orc – a race of monstrous humanoids who represent the corrupted versions of elves and men in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”.
“However I would have to say that the most life-impacting, impacting modification I’ve achieved was with my nose,” he mentioned, explaining he had it surgically removed in March and it’s taken several months to heal.
“It is still very painful because once I take a bathe a lot of water goes into my nose.”
As for enduring the pain of people’s judgment, de Oliveira tries not to let it bother him. Many people think he’s either a Satanist or Devil himself, he mentioned, “because I come across as a someone terrifying.”
“However the truth is, I am not. I’ve God in my heart.”
And de Oliveira says his transformation isn’t complete, as he still hopes to narrow his jaw line and get rid of extra skin to extra resemble a skull, and also connect extra horns to his head.
“Everyone — most people in the world — they’re all alike. They’re the same. And I wished to be totally different. I wish to stick out.”