This man will get whatever you want tattooed on his back for a good cause

Nov 11 2017, 3:56 am

A Vancouver artist has agreed to have his entire back tattooed with whatever you want, to raise money to support vulnerable children across the region.

Josh Spence is fundraising to help non-profit Youth Unlimited, which runs innovative drop-in programs on topics like arts, sports, meals, and parenting for vulnerable youth.

As well, the Christian group offers support for kids in foster care, prisons and gangs, as well as those struggling with mental illness, bullying, homelessness and isolation.

Spence’s #gotyourback campaign is aiming to raise $10,000 before the organization’s main fundraiser The Art of Art: A West Coast Formal.

That event on November 18, will see a descendent of Vincent van Gogh participate in a night of live art, tattooing, and food tasting alongside other local artists and chefs.

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If Spence raises the $10,000, the most popular image suggested by those making donations will be permanently tattooed on his back live at The Art of Art event.

In a release, Spence said he is taking on the challenge because he believes in the work Youth Unlimited to do support vulnerable kids in Metro Vancouver.

“I believe in them and in what they do and I believe in the kids so strongly that I am offering my back … to the highest bidder,” said Spence.

“I’m willing to make a permanent decision regardless of how ridiculous that decision could be.”

The body art will be provided by sought-after tattoo artist Dave Phelps at Adrenaline Studios, who is donating his time and resources to the campaign.

“I grew up disadvantaged and at-risk. I fell into the usual traps, and that cycle was ongoing well into adulthood. I always found solace in art and creating,” said Phelps.

“Life came full circle and I started tattooing. If there had been these opportunities when I was at the age of discovering the world, I would have jumped at it.

“If we can raise awareness and funds to help one kid, it’s worth it. If I can give back, I will.”

Suggestions already made for Spence’s new tattoo include French fries, a pepperoni pizza, a Subway foot-long, unicorns, a California sushi roll, and Spence’s own face.

To donate and vote for your favourite tattoo idea, or suggest your own, check here: Every dollar gives you one vote.

The Art of Art: A West Coast Formal

When: Saturday, November 18

Time: 7 pm to 11 pm

Where: The Pipe Shop – 115 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver

Tickets: On Eventbrite, early bird tickets $50 until November 8, early bird 4-pack $160 until November 17; regular tickets $60 online or $75 on the door.

Jenni SheppardJenni Sheppard

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