Remember those transfer tattoos found in goody bags or snack packets? As a kid, nothing made you feel cooler than sporting one of those.
And regardless of whether or not we actually went through with the real thing as adults, many of us dreamed about getting tattoos as kids.
New Zealand artist Benjamin Lloyd knows that, so he’s giving kids at Auckland’s Starship Children’s Hospital something to smile about – by giving them badass airbrushed temporary tattoos.
Lloyd has been airbrushing art for over a decade, but only just lately started painting tattoos on adults for fun, according to Mashable Australia. Then he began giving kids tattoos – and it had an incredible reaction.
The artist shared photos of his ‘clients’ on Facebook, saying if the post got 50 likes, he would give patients at the children’s hospital free airbrushed ink – it now has more than 462,000 likes and over 255,000 shares.
Lloyd told Mashable Australia: “It’s just amazing watching their confidence and their ego boost up. The only bad thing is that they don’t want to take a shower afterwards.”
Each tattoo takes around nine minutes to paint, which Lloyd describes as ‘a real challenge as you need to be quite fast’ – they’re also drawn on using organic non-toxic ink.
And while the unusual public service is causing some controversy, it’s also gaining a lot of praise.
Great idea to help sick kids feel individual. NZ artist Benjamin Lloyd gives sick kids non-toxic tattoos https://t.co/RlF0eVCnEa
— Sandra E Brown (@ExcusesVsLife) May 25, 2016
Tattoo artist tattooing sick kids for free. TEMPORARY ones! . I LOVE people like this in the world. https://t.co/CxZtvRI8k7
— BulliesKeepOut LLC (@BulliesKeepOut) May 26, 2016
According to Stuff NZ, Lloyd was inspired to use his talent to boost children’s confidence through his own experience as a child.
When I was two years old I had quite a bad burn on my hand and had a skin graft with my bum skin on my hand. I had a big complex about it.
I was teased every day at school and so I would draw over my hand and up my sleeve. 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.
It seems like it’s all worked out well – the smiles on the kid’s faces says it all.