A father-of-two who has covered 99 per cent of his body with tattoos has no regrets.
Brett Cross has spent about 750 hours under the needle to tattoo his body from head to toe – burning a hole of $90,000 in his pocket along the way.
But there is no turning back for the 42-year-old who serves as a reminder to never judge a book by a cover.
The father from Braidwood, in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, said his tattoo addiction started after he got his first one as a romantic gesture for his wife Dorothy.
‘When I was about 25, almost 20 years ago, I wanted my wife’s name on the small of my back and I thought ”I just want one tattoo” but once I got it I wanted another one and another one and then it became an addiction,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
Brett Cross (pictured with seven-month-old Bastien and 12-year-old Anamae) has spent about 750 hours under the needle to tattoo his body from head to toe
‘The tattoo artist said if you’re going to keep getting tattoos go big or go home because you’ll look a bit silly with little tattoos on you.’
‘So we went big.’
There is only one part of his body that remains uncovered – and it’s quite a sensitive and special area.
Mr Cross said he is brave enough to ink the area but is more concerned about how it would affect his friendship with tattoo artist George Siatos who has been tattooing him for 18-years.
‘I do want to get it tattooed but the boss said not yet,’ Mr Cross said.
‘We’re close but not that close,’ he joked.
The addiction started simply for Mr Cross who wanted to get his first tattoo as a romantic gesture for his wife Dorothy
While some would argue the sensitive tattoo would be Mr Cross’ most painful ink yet, he was quick to disagree.
‘I still remember my first tattoo as being my hardest and nowadays I could sit through it,’ he said.
‘They could probably saw my arm off and I’d sit through it.’
Aside from his first tattoo, Mr Cross said his palms caused the most pain.
When asked if Mr Cross regretted any of his tattoos, he responded cheerfully: ‘none, I love them’.
‘I’m sure sometimes it makes people think poorly of me when they see me but when they speak to me it becomes a whole different story,’ he said.
‘They’re like ”oh he’s so good” and I think sometimes I get given a bit more attention then I should.’
‘If I didn’t have tattoos they’d just see me as another normal person on the street.’
When asked if Mr Cross regretted any of his tattoos, he responded cheerfully: ‘none, I love them’
Mr Cross loves the attention his bright and colourful skin brings and wants people to look at his artwork.
‘With people staring at me, I know exactly what they’re staring at and it’s all good and well. I love it,’ he said.
Most recently, Mr Cross tattooed his seven-month-old son’s name, Bastien, on his back, over some background.
Also the father of 12-year-old Anamae, Mr Cross is adamant people don’t judge his role as a father figure because of his ink.
‘I think everyone sees it as cool,’ he said.
Mr Cross said he would respect his children’s choice to join the tattoo club, permitting they didn’t choose anything offensive.
Mr Cross is adamant people don’t judge his role as a father figure because of his ink
‘I wouldn’t mind at all (if his kids were tattooed) as long as they’ve got their life in order,’ he said.
‘I don’t want them tattooing anything offensive.’
Mr Cross has an anime character on his forehead, stars on his nose and flowers on his arms – among a range of vivid designs.
‘I was born in the year of the dragon so I’ve got a few dragons on me,’ he said.
‘I love anime characters so I’ve got a few of them on me as well.’
‘I love anything that’s bright and colourful.’
‘It takes longer under the needle. Because you’re basically doing it black and grey and then you’re going over it with colour so it takes sometimes two or three times longer.’