I was born in Brazil and I immigrated to Portugal when I was 22. After that I went to Spain and then I got in the Netherlands. And in the Netherlands, I have been living for 16 years. I lived also in Sweden for one winter, but it’s too cold there.


I got my first tattoo when I was fourteen years old. A friend of mine bought his own machine, we started tattooing and he tattooed me and another friend at the same day. After few days my father saw the tattoo. We had a fight and in the end he kicked me out of the house. I needed to go somewhere else, so I lived with my friends and never went back again. From there on I started to get more and more tattoos because I was independent (laughs). And I love tattoos.


My life story is on my skin.  I’m almost full, 80% or 90% of my body is full of tattoos.

In Brazil I lived in favelas, the slums of Brazil. The guys there have their own rules. If you see some things you shouldn’t see, you have to be quiet. Anything you see, keep it to yourself. Lots of people there are normal people but poor so they just live there because it’s cheap. If you do nothing, nothing happens. If you make something wrong, they can kill you.


They have all the different ways to kill and torture. Sometimes they cut off your leg or head, sometimes they cut off your tongue or hand. It depends on what you do. If you see someone without a hand it’s because he stole something. They cut off your head or tongue because you talked to police, this kind of stuff. They put it somewhere people to see.

I did my shin/calf tattoo in Indonesia when I was in Bali. I met this one cool guy there and he was doing tattoos with bamboo style by hand. I decided to get a tattoo from him. The tattoo took like 13 hours in one session. For all the time, when I put my foot down it was like an elephant foot covered with blood, so I needed to keep my foot up most of the time. But yeah, in the end, it was good (laughs).

I have my nose tattooed too. I tattooed it in Thailand during my first real backpacking trip. Before that I had traveled a lot but only in Europe with a band I used to play in. For my first backpacking adventure I went to Asia in 2005.  I went to Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia for the first time. I met this one guy there. And yeah, we had a really good connection so I decided to get my nose tattooed by him. But it took like three-four meetings because he really didn’t want to tattoo my nose. Lots of people go crazy like, heyy, I want a tattoo here (on my face) but most of the tattooers don’t want to tattoo the face. But after three times I visited there and convinced him that I’m sure, he did it. And I really like it, I really enjoy it. It’s my souvenir from Thailand. From my first real backpacking trip.


One tattoo on my belly is the Mexican Rain God. A friend of mine from Mexico did it. He drew it himself, he is a nice, good tattoo artist. I said I really like it and I want to have it, so he did it for me.

On the middle of the Cleverson chest, you can see his Expansion tattoo symbolizing growth. He is pointing the God of Rain tattoo

I never go to a shop to get a tattoo from someone I don’t really know. I like to have a connection with somebody. I prefer to meet people in person. If I really like them, if I have a nice connection, okay, I ask about the price but most of the time if I make a nice connection, people always make good price…. (laughs)

It’s quite funny by the way, this leg that I have this skull on. The tattooist is a friend of mine and I paid him a ticket to come from Brazil to Amsterdam to tattoo me. I met him in southern Brazil at the beach and he mentioned he is a tattoo artist. We had so good connection we were like brothers. I said I want you to come to Amsterdam. I paid his ticket, he flew to Amsterdam and it was supposed to be just one month but he stayed almost three months in my house. He tattooed all this, half a leg all the way to my ass and everything. So yeah, it was really cool. And we have stayed really good friends. After I went back to Brazil, I was staying in his house and I met all of his family


The hand tattoo is like a tribal, it symbolizes family and freedom. A friend of mine did this. He was living on some islands between New Zealand and Australia with Polynesians and he learned the meaning of the tattoos there. He did these tattoos for me in Amsterdam. And he liked the tattoos so much that he asked if he could make the same tattoos for himself to his hand, haha!

The most of the people judge me, they think I’m a bad person just because how I look. I’m actually vegetarian, I don’t use drugs or alcohol and I don’t smoke. I do sports five times a week when I’m home at Amsterdam. Most of the people get really surprised when they hear this!

Photos: Pinja
Interview: Cleverson