In my opinion, visual artists are predominantly introverted. Sequestering themselves within their work, distancing themselves when in creation mode. I’ve spent the majority of my younger years in blissful solitude while creating art, but as i grew into a tattoo artist it forced me to put my art on other people’s bodies. This required a positive “bed side” manner when putting these living canvases through the trauma of tattooing. I had found that being a born introvert made it difficult to truly convey myself concisely. I developed a “spiel” that got me through the first decade of tattooing, but when I became a tattoo shop owner a whole new skill set was needed. This is where fate had brought me to toastmasters..
Toastmasters is a 90 year old public speaking and leadership organization (toastmasters.org) that has given me the wings to take flight toward my evolving dreams. It is learning the skill of oration that has allowed me the courage to take on challenges I would’ve shied away from before. Fear of public speaking kept me from reaching my next level of potential.
Overcoming it gave me the tools needed to go to middle, high, and charter schools, health fairs, and outreach programs to teach about body art health and safety. Urging our youth to avoid body art until adulthood.
During the 2015 legislative session I was honored to address our state’s senate and house of representatives to ultimately pass senate bill 275. This created a regulation board called the Board of Body Art Practitioners within the NM Regulation and Licensing Department. This board is much better suited to effectively license body artists in New Mexico.
After the creation of the Board of Body Art Practitioners I was then appointed by our governor to be the chairman. I have become an advocate for professional licensing teaching the proper ways to obtain and maintain a license for all those wishing to become a legitimate working artist.
Recently I have been speaking from different platforms like Creative Mornings(website), the Morning Show(video?), the Brew(video?), Impact and Coffee, the Entrepreneur Hour, and others. As a body art health and safety advocate I am working to teach our community the difference between a professional body artist and one who may put their client’s health at risk. With the explosion of tattooing and body art worldwide many are giving unsafe tattoos, piercings, etc. This has many different regulatory bodies moving toward a standard in regulation for our industry. In my opinion body artists must educate themselves and their clients about safe practices for the sake of prosperity within the industry… Public speaking is helping me expand this vision.
Ben Shaw Speaks is a section of this site to share the part of my life that has recently blossomed, or is still in the process of maturing. I have gone from a babbling idiot in front of a crowd to actually impacting them. I feel invigorated when speaking publicly and want to share my hidden talent with you. If there is a speaking platform you represent, or have an opportunity for me to share about anything above mentioned please contact me. I am an entrepreneur at heart and am always looking to build bridges that were thought impossible. If you're opening your mind and heart to a new possibility that you feel I could help you with, lets touch base.