They say prison changes a person – and that can certainly be said for Jerry Lee, who was totally unrecognisable upon his release.
He had spent 49 months in a maximum security federal prison after being caught trying to rob a bank.
The 42-year-old was freed earlier this month but looked completely different after tattooing his own face – all from his cell.
Lee endured the excruciating pain to ink himself with a skull representing death.
And he was so pleased with the outcome that he now dreams of opening his own tattoo shop.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Star, Lee said: “I burned vegetable oil and mixed the soot with alcohol for the ink and used a pen spring for the needle.
“I did it all in the mirror in my cell. It’s a skull representing death broken open with my inner demons looking out.”
The body art took a week to complete and included the unthinkable agony caused by tattooing in his own eyelids.
Lee, now based in North Carolina, served his time at the United States Penitentiary Big Sandy.
And he said his tatt was inspired by spending time in segregation after a stabbing incident.
At the time he received a heartbreaking letter from his son which left him feeling helpless.
He explained: “I couldn’t call him because I was in disciplinary segregation. A part of me died that time not being able to be there for him.
“When I got back to population this is what came out. I did it to myself as a daily reminder of that time, a time in my life I will never want to forget."
He added: "The other prisoners and guards for the most part liked it too.
“I’m very happy with it and I will continue to work on it.”
Lee, who said he had no side effects from the work, posted snaps of his face on social media and received an overwhelming response.
One person accused it of being makeup while another commenter wrote: “If only Halloween was all year.”
Someone else added: “OMG. You did this by yourself without someone’s help? Oh man, that's awesome.”
Others mocked Lee and said the tattoo was gross.
But Lee told the Daily Star: “The reaction of others has been very good and supportive mainly but I don’t let the opinions of others bother me.
“I now want to become a great tattoo artist and travel on the tattoo convention circuit.
"My hopes for the future are to open a family tattoo shop.”
Source: Read Full Article