By Aimee Braniff Cree


THIS ZOOKEEPER continues to get tattooed once-a-week spending over £10K on his inkings despite people calling him a criminal and accusing him of being on drugs.

Tobias Müller (33), a zookeeper from Dortmund, Germany has been modifying his body for sixteen years and spent over £10K on over 100 tattoos including his eyeball, a split tongue and subdermal implants and he is currently being tattooed once a week.

He has always loved tattoos even as a young child he found people with tattoos more interesting to look at than people without.

Tobias is a DIY punk and gets some negative responses in Germany for his alternative look.

Tobias started his journey with tattoos at 18, he had originally went to the tattoo shop with his mother at 17 but they wouldn’t tattoo him so he had to settle for getting his ears pierced.

Tobias is happy with his look although he faces some discrimination for it the modifications make him feel comfortable in his own skin.

“My style is a classic D.I.Y. punk style,”  said Tobias

“I have had the most negative experiences here in Germany, sometimes I’m just looked at in a derogatory way, it has happened that parents forbade their children to look at me, or that people changed sides of the street.

“I also regularly get hateful comments on the internet.

“Many of the negative reactions are due to my punk style as punks are very unpopular in Germany.

“We have a very bad reputation here, many people here think that every punk would be unemployed, a criminal and on drugs.

Tobias before he began his modification journey.

“Many people on the streets think that of me too, because they can‘t believe that someone who looks like me with all the face tattoos and piercings could get a job.”

Tobias has always been interested in modification since childhood and at 17 his own journey began.

“I loved the look of tattoos when I was a kid, I loved how extremely tattooed people looked and wanted to get tattoos too,” he said.

“At 17 I went to a tattoo shop with my mum, but the tattoo artist didn‘t want to tattoo me before I turned 18 and my mother said that I would have to wait but I could get earrings.

“I wasn‘t interested in piercings until that moment and just because I couldn’t get a tattoo I said yes to the earrings and got two in one ear, after that moment I was fascinated with piercings.

“One or two months later I got an earring in the other ear and wanted a third in the first ear but the jeweler said that they wouldn’t do a third one there so I got it done by a friend with a safety pin.

“One week after my 18th birthday I got my first tattoo and I was instantly addicted. Every time I had enough money I went to a tattoo artist or a piercer but I did not have much money at that time so I started to tattoo myself with a hand and needle.

“I started with my earrings when I was 17, I’m 33 now so I have been modifying my body for 16 years now and there is no end in sight.

“It has cost me some thousands of course but some years I got my tattoos for free. I think I paid in all the years more than £10,000 but I’m not totally sure, I didn‘t count.

Tobias made sure he did his research before he jumped into the world of modification.

“I searched on the internet for tattoo information and pictures and found more extreme forms of body modification such as the split tongue and implants and I was fascinated by this and wanted them,” he said.

“When I started working and had enough money for what I wanted I got more tattoos, piercings and body modifications, currently I get tattooed about once a week on average, sometimes more often.

“I have tattoos all over my body, several hundred of them and for me the most painful was the tattoo on the side of my lower stomach towards the crotch and also my armpits.

“The most recent session I had was a tattoo I got last Saturday, I had a part of my left shoulder blacked out.”

Tobias said his most extreme modification is his eyeball tattoo and although his parents are supportive of his alternative look they felt getting his eyeball tattooed was too dangerous.

Tobias loves the art of tattoos and gets a new one almost every week.

“My tattooed eyeball is definitely a polarising one, some people love it and are fascinated by it while others can‘t look in my face or say they hope I lose my eyesight because of it,” said Tobias.

“My parents are okay with it now, when I first got it done they thought I was taking too much of a risk, that it was dangerous and I should not endanger my sight but it worked out fine and they are used to it now.

“My friends think that it’s cool and keep asking me when I will have the second one done.”

Tobias does get positive feedback and support on his alternative look.

“The feedback is different. Sometimes people are very positive and interested,” he said.

“On my travels people were mostly rather curious and interested, asking for photos with me and stuff like that.

“The most positive thing was, for example, that I was described as a work of art or when a small child in the city sees me and says to the parents ‘look, he looks cool’”

Tobias has some advice for those considering modifying their own body as the decision should not be taken lightly.

“Think carefully about whether you can handle people staring at you and judging you when it comes to visible things and whether you really want that,” said Tobias.

“If that is okay for you then do it and don’t let anyone stop you. It’s your life, your body, your decision.”