Benjamin Lloyd, an airbrush artist from Auckland, New Zealand, brings tattoos and smiles to the children at Starship Hospital. With stencils and a non-toxic temporary ink, he can create beautiful airbrushed tattoos in just nine minutes. That way, he has enough time to tattoo every kid who wanted one.
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Kids with Tattoos: a heart-warming story
How it began
In theory, it began when Lloyd made the following Facebook post:
Suddenly, the post had over 400,000 likes and 11,000 comments. Safe to say, he was going to Starship. 😉
However, the true inspiration for Lloyd was his stepson, Lincoln, who passed away three years ago at the age of seven. He had airbrushed Lincoln and now wanted to share that gift with other kids.
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Furthermore, bullied as a child for a burn he had on his hand, Lloyd was aware of how appearance can affect self-esteem.
“I was teased every day at school and so I would draw over my hand and up my sleeve,” he said. “I just got better and better, eventually I had a line up of people wanting me to draw on them, I was doing deals with kids swapping cards and marbles.”
For him, providing kids with tattoos served two important purposes: helping the kids with their self-image and taking their minds off of their illness. The results were beautiful.
“It’s just illuminating in their face. They’re blown away.” he said.
“It really made just made me realise how much it makes children happy and boosts their confidence,” he said.
The airbrushing brings so much joy to both Lloyd and the kids. According to Lloyd, “The only bad thing is that they don’t want to take a shower afterwards.” 🙂
Lloyd’s first visit to the hospital was over a year ago. However, Lloyd continues to make bring joy with his volunteer work, including fundraising events for patients. You can see more of his work here.