New Zealand-based airbrush artist Benjamin Lloyd has plans to lend his impressive art skills to Starship Children’s Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand, temporarily inking sick kids with beautiful spray-on tattoos – all for free. Lloyd’s idea is a new spin on the sudden influx we’ve seen of tattoo artists around the world who have been donating their services for good causes, including the Australian artist who offered free tattoos to cover up self-harm scars, and the many artists who have donated tattoos to women with cancer who had to undergo double mastectomies.
As for Lloyd, the artist first began “tattooing” kids a few years ago, following the sudden death of his stepson, Lincoln, and has given kids of all ages gorgeous temporary tattoos, to their incredible delight. He uses an airbrush and custom stencils to create unique temporary tattoo designs, ranging from butterflies to sunsets and skulls. One five-year-old boy opted for an impressive black and gray skull and roses sleeve design that extended from his shoulder nearly all the way down his arm, and down his ribcage, all the way to his hip.
“[Doing the airbrushed tattoos] just made me realize how much it makes children happy and boosts their confidence, so I thought, ‘why not go to Starship [Children’s Hospital]?’” Lloyd brought his idea to Facebook over the weekend, posting a message reading, “Nothing brings me more joy than boosting a kids confidence with a custom tattoo 50 likes and ill (sic.) go to starship hospital and tat all the kids up.” Lloyd was hoping for enough likes to generate a bit of interest in his cause, but the public’s reaction to his temporary tattoo idea far exceeded his expectations, and his post gained more than 400,000 likes overnight.
Now Lloyd and Starship just have to get in touch with one another and iron out the details, and the sick kids at the hospital will soon be covered in awesome temporary tattoos. For those of you who are concerned about the safety of Lloyd airbrushing tattoos on children, there’s no need to worry. He uses an organic non-toxic ink that is made up of a water-based black pigment and is completely safe for kids. As for the parents of the kids Lloyd has inked in the past, even they aren’t concerned about the tattoos, which will wash off when they get in the shower later that day. According to Lloyd, “The only bad thing is that they don’t want to take a shower afterwards.”