A great Chinese philosopher once said that “kindness in giving creates love”. For Benjamin Lyold, a New Zealand-based artist, these may be words to live by as he embarks on a journey to ‘ink’ and put a smile on sick children.
Don’t worry, the artist is not actually tattooing kids with needles. In truth, the tats are temporary artworks created with stencils.
He sprays fake body ink on hospitalised children using non-toxic ink. The tattoos would disappear after they take a shower.
About two months ago, Lyold posted an image on his social media that went viral almost overnight. The post was an image of himself airbrushing skulls and roses designs on a little boy’s arm.
He stated that if the image received 50 likes, he’d temporarily ink every patient admitted to the Auckland’s Starship Children Hospital.
His Facebook post eventually garnered over 450,000 likes in less than a week! Lyold kept his promise, to which he said: “Well, it looks like I’m off to Starship.”
Lyold has been practicing the art of airbrush for over 10 years, spraying his art on murals and city walls. But his life changed after the sudden death of his seven-year-old stepson two years ago.
By giving children fake tattoos, Lyold hopes that it’ll boost their confidence and help them fight against the disease. “The art’s temporary but they will speak of it forever,” he said.
He is now raising funds for a new project that involves spreading his advocacy to different parts of the world. As of writing, he has raised over AUS$1,478 (US$1,127) on his YouCaring Compassionate Crowdfunding page.