Woman with 30 tattoos on her face say they helped her overcome her shyness

A woman with 30 tattoos on her face and head says her addiction makes her feel less shy.

Sabrina Dieck, 36, had just three tiny inkings on her spine before moving from Germany to Doncaster – where she started getting tattooed monthly.

Now she has lost count and plans to cover her entire body by the time she’s 40 – although she fears completing the painful inkings on her feet.

Sabrina, who moved back to Berlin last year after spending six years in the north of England, admitted: “I must say it’s addictive. I now have no idea how many I have got.”

But undeterred, she vowed: “I want to cover everywhere except my eyeballs. The tattoos have helped with my confidence.

“Before them, I was shy. Now I feel so beautiful and different. I can’t even say how much they’ve helped.”

Sabrina, who has been single for four years, does not dwell long on her tattoo decisions.

She decided to get her first face tattoo in 2018 on impulse – and made up her mind during a cigarette break to think it over.

And she said: “None of my tattoos have taken that much thinking about. Normally I decide on the day. One minute I know I want it done, an hour later I’m lying on someone’s couch.”

Growing up Soltau in Germany, Sabrina first decided she wanted tattoos as a young child when she saw singers with inkings in music videos and loved how unique they looked.

“They looked so different and like no one else and I loved that,” she said.

“Back then, you didn’t see many people around with tattoos and I thought it was amazing.

“I imagined getting one tattoo – maybe a rose or skull or dolphin – but never this many!”

But she had to wait to have her first tattoo – a Chinese symbol she chose because she loved the shape of it – thanks to her mum.

She said: “It was just a couple of weeks after my 18th birthday as my mum made me wait for the legal age.

“I was so pleased with it. It’s a Chinese symbol on my back that means love. Well, at least I hope it means that.

“I then got two more Chinese symbols down my spine a few months later. I think they mean dream and angel. Who knows?”

After her first flurry of ink, Sabrina took a break from getting tattooed and landed a job in retail, as a clothes shop assistant and then manager.

However, after she started working as a sales administrator for tattoo equipment supplier Barber DTS and moved from Germany to Doncaster in 2015, she began again in earnest.

She explained: “It was when I started working in the industry that it really became a lot. I get tattooed every month or so.”

Before long, Sabrina had tattoos across her chest, breasts, bottom, back, hands, arms and legs.

She has two revolvers on her chest and a number of portraits on her legs, by her friend and tattoo artist Steve Upton – including former porn star Christy Mack on her right shin, rapper Drake on her right thigh, Will Smith on her right calf and rapper Snoop Dogg on her left calf.

But, even for someone so experienced in getting inked, her first face tattoo – of the word ‘loyalty’ above her left eyebrow – made her pause for thought, at least for a few minutes.

Sabrina recalled: “I was at the Liverpool Tattoo Convention in 2018. The tattoo artist drew the outline of the tattoo onto my eyebrow using a black Sharpie, so I could have changed my mind at that stage.

“I went for a cigarette to think it over. It was a five-minute decision.

“In that time, I knew I would do it.”

After that first face inking, Sabrina has gone on to have 75 per cent of her scalp covered and around 20 more facial tattoos, including a line under her chin and a knife on her cheek by her best friend and tattoo artist Rachel Grace.

She said: “At that point I had one face tattoo, so why not get more?”

While she insists most inkings are not painful, she admitted: “I had to tap out when I was having spiderwebs on the top of my feet.

“The lines are all there, but the shading isn’t. I don’t know if I’ll have the guts to go back and get it done.

“I’m happy to lay down for 10 hours getting anywhere else done. But not my feet.”

She also admits that her love of tattoos does not come cheap.

While she does not know exactly how much her artwork has cost, Sabrina guesses she must spend around £1,000 a year, while also applying for competitions to win free tattoos.

In total, she reckons she has spent around £10,000 on her tattoos so far.

Sabrina said: “I work in the industry, and I know how expensive everything is. It isn’t a cheap addiction but it’s all worth it.”

Now working towards her goal of being fully covered, she said: “People stare at me everywhere I go.

“No one really says anything negative, though just this week someone told me I need Jesus in my life.

“I don’t mind. I’m not a rude person. If someone stares for too long, I’ll just ask them if they want a picture and they move on.”

In fact, Sabrina feels more confident now than she ever has.

She said: “I used to not show off my body. I would never wear short skirts. I would only wear long trousers and I would never imagine wearing a bikini at the pool.

“Now I’m like, ‘Here I am!’ I love wearing shorter skirts, dresses or just wear an oversized t-shirt so my legs are out.

“And I’m so proud to show off my body in my underwear too.

“I feel so much more myself with these tattoos. It’s a real confidence boost.”

Having moved back to Germany for work a year ago, Sabrina says there are differences in how she is treated in public.

She explained: “People stare everywhere but they’re more accepting in the UK than in Germany.

“In the UK, people would have a look and then be done. But here they’re staring for ages! Not that I care.”

Sabrina says there is only one tattoo that she regrets – a 30cm inking of her ex boyfriend’s name in black ink on her stomach that she’s hoping to cover up with other tattoos.

Despite that misstep, she is looking forward to continuing towards her goal of full coverage and says happily: “I will keep going until I run out of skin. I feel so beautiful.”

Sabrina, who moved back to Berlin last year after spending six years in the north of England, admitted: “I must say it’s addictive. I now have no idea how many I have got.”

But undeterred, she vowed: “I want to cover everywhere except my eyeballs. The tattoos have helped with my confidence.

“Before them, I was shy. Now I feel so beautiful and different. I can’t even say how much they’ve helped.”