Ben Shaw is a licensed tattoo artist of over 22 years.

With a passion for tattooing, Ben Shaw works to promote prosperity within his industry through public speaking, education, and charity. He is the Owner of Archetype Tattoo in Albuquerque, the former Chairman of the New Mexico Board of Body Art Practitioners, and an industry advocate fighting against over-regulation.

 

Beginnings

From a childhood full of drawing and the influence of his father’s biker lifestyle, Ben knew at an early age what he wanted for his career. So at age 16, he got his first professional tattoo and honed in on his artistic talents. By age 20, he started his first apprenticeship.

Since then, Ben’s body is now 70% covered with body art and his tattoo style includes a little bit of everything, like any seasoned professional’s portfolio should.  He specializes in large-scale black and gray realism and Japanese tattooing. His goal? To build an evolution within the tattoo industry.

 

Mentorship

Undoubtedly, a mentoring and entrepreneurial spirit has been the cornerstone of Ben’s career. His work with Toastmasters laid the foundation for him to be a voice within his community. Now, he uses the power of public speaking to further his advocacy work for safe tattooing practices. For young aspiring artists, Ben helps them find optimal apprenticeship programs to ensure they’re in the tattoo trade for the right reasons. In turn, he encourages them to build their own clientele with what they’ve learned skill-wise and ethics-wise.

Above all, tattoos are an important form of expression. The integrity of their artists is just as vital.

 

Advocacy

A major milestone of Ben’s career was spearheading the state-approved Board of Body Art Practitioners through Senate Bill 275. In fact, Shaw sat on the NM Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists as the only tattoo artist and recognized the immense need for proper regulation specific to the tattoo industry. As a result, the Board of Body Art Practitioners was founded. The Board monitors the licensure of tattoo artists, guiding expectations of cleanliness and professionalism within the tattoo industry. Ben retired from his position as Chairman for the Board of Body Art Practitioners in 2019, but currently sits on the Board rules committee.

Additionally, what started as a simple, cooperative venture expanded into a lasting impact in his community: The Guild of Ethical Tattooists. As a Co-Founder, Ben oversaw a union of artists and advocated for the much-needed regulation of ethical tattooing practices. Ben was also a host for Art Fusion for a Cause founded by his own studio, Archetype Tattoo. The art event brought local artists and the community together to raise thousands of dollars for non-profit organizations.

Ben is now active with the Tattoo Smart platform, Launchpad. Ultimately, he is becoming a Tattoo industry advocate, helping artists from around the country navigate tattoo regulations, as well as be a voice to stop over-regulation.