Yay once again for being booked by the HK Youth Arts Foundation to lead their artist team at this fantastic sporting (and costume) event, the HK Rugby 7’s! It’s an awful lot of work; I have to sort out (via a stock list from them) what to order from UK face & body art suppliers to last the team for the entire 3 day event (and for other events that year), then get it shipped out or packed to go with me.
As soon as I arrive in HK, I have to sort and clean the old kits and refill/ make the new ones. New stencil sets of the main logos and motifs for all the countries and their teams have to be cut for each artist. New photo/ design sheets for each artists and signs the public are made, and a training day is held for the actual painters.
This year they also wanted a workshop for school-kids who would be painting 100’s of other children for a Circus-themed Mardi- Gras event YAF were running later that year. Yuk, clowns, they scare me But the kids did really well.
And of course I was stuffing down as much of my favourite local foods as I could- salty fish-and-pork fried rice, dim sum… I almost cried as my favourite sushi bar had closed though:(
I also had to squeeze in some glitter art on people who couldn’t make it to the stadium early enough to be painted by me before the queuing started – they came to my hotel and I stuck their donations into the charity boxes next day. They wanted to have ‘patches’ of glitter to match their animal themed costumes, on their shoulders and necks and face, mainly – frog, reptile and giraffe I think it was.
Meeting the crew early at the staff entrance to the stadium is always interesting, as there are so many different things to see. This year I saw all the chinese lion/ dragon dance teams setting up. They looked amazing on the pitch for the opening and closing ceremonies.
After the scandal a paper created a couple of years back I have stuck to the promo bodypaint being on a guy or a girl with a top on. This year, last minute, they nabbed me a student of YAf’s called Max who spent a quick hour stood on a chair whilst I did a fast dragon on him. The horns are just folded paper but look effective for a last minute thing! Boy with the dragon tattoo!
Lots of painting…
We painted the usual team faces, mash-ups and pretty/ scary things…
…. but the strangest request I have EVER had goes to this man who got passed along the painters to me! He wanted a Ninja round-housing a boxing dinosaur. I did it!
I finally me Karen Yiu who I have sent some clients to after I left HK as she is based there. She very kindly took me out for dim sum and gave me some amazing moon cakes too! Thank you!
We were allowed to pack away to watch the finals (also because our stands take up prime viewing spots the public needed).
So I finally get to see the costumes. We did NOT paint the smurfs here – note the bad quality paint has just vanished leaving a stain!
And aren’t these carved safety helmets amazing? The Welsh guys had asked the people they were working with (in Africa?) to do them as that’s how local miners etc decorated theirs! Sadly I recognised a lady with the strange spotty sunburn as one of the bunch I had glitter-tattoo’d on Friday night – she forgot the glitter acts like sunblock and got a bit toasted in the rugby stands!
We did well in the media again, lots of filming and a nice big piece in the SCMP, the huge English paper there. Gareth, my avatar from about 4 years ago, finally got to be a published model!
Thanks to everyone for a fab week!
At the beautiful Lansdown Club in London, the lovely Siobhan and Chris Ridley (yes the fab photographer I nabbed for the Butterfly Bling shoot in HK) invited wedding guests to a masked ball.
I turned up with all my kit to realise I had left my posh dress, shoes and mask at home in Norfolk so had a quick emergency shop (thank goodness for Monsoon!) and a spare mask with me in my kit to decorate in the ladies.
Not bad if I say so myself, considering it took me ALL DAY in Norwich to find a dress I even remotely liked and could work in the 1st time round. OK so this 1 cost more (rats) but how jammy I found it AND shoes in the 50 minutes I had spare!!! And much as I loved the shoes (surprisingly – the lovely lady in Monsoon was right) they were NOT comfy to work in so I was mainly barefoot. I have never tried to glitter tattoo my own chest before (jewellery left behind with original dress of course) so that was messy!
The NeoClassical/ Vintage/ Steampunk wedding was GORGEOUS as expected from 2 such creatives, check out the official photos. The wedding cake was tiers of beautifully lit unusual jellies!
Their blog on it (more stunning photos) is here.
I was then lucky enough to get to decorate a lot of the guests, mainly with glitter body tattoos, to match their outfits.
Lovely people lovely event – thanks so much for letting me be part of it!
So glad I could make it to this, as I had been face-painting daily for 2 months and wasn’t sure I could get the time off! This year it was again held in Wales in Candleston, the stunning woodland valley often used as a LARP site. It has a wooden fort and even a real ruined castle as well as beach near the woods – not that I got to see any of it unless when taking photos of models against it.
Round 1:’In the Beginning’
I thought many would do evolution, the big bang, god, etc, so tried to think laterally. And recalled a favourite author of my brother and I, Terry Pratchett.
Many of his Discworld novels start with ‘in the beginning, there was nothing, which exploded’. And his great space turtle, A Tuin, swims by with the 4 elephants holding the flat world on its back.
So, that was the front design; on the back her bottom was a healthy pink brain, beginning all shiney and fizzing with ideas, rising to a diseased Alzheimers holey brain, which sadly Terry Pratchett (as well as my late Great Aunt) has.
As well as Nick Parry, the official photographer, the amazing Adrian of Frames Photography came down for the competition days to document my (and others!) artwork especially against outside scenery – thanks so much!
Anyway, thanks to all models, painters, organisers – fab event, check out welshfestival.webs.com for more pics too.
And yes my wee Finley decided to start painting people too…..
This was an interesting one….all designs were discussed and Ok’d in advance. I had made stencils of the small logos (french icons – it was partly to celebrate Le French May) and the lettering, as the client wanted 3 models painted in 3 hours which means NOT a lot of details were possible. Especially as the fabric they wore was awful to paint on.
But the surroundings…well, we started with my paints sat on an empty beer barrel, in an open alley which security used to walk between bars along the street!
It was too dark for even my head torch, so the bar gave us some red lights. As I was painting the 1st body red, that was not very useful and was eventually changed. The client changed his mind several times and wanted the 1st body repainted which was not possible in the time allowed, but eventually I managed to adapt it and they were happy.
The 3 girls had to walk through the crowded bars and back and then I had to sit and paint the rest of the 4th & final girl in public following ideas from the crowd.
These included Deep water Bay and a chinese junk…. Then they had to pose with the public for pics.
This was for a party in Discovery bay, on Lantau Island in HK.
I was able to borrow Gareth’s (the Rugby 7’s avatar) skirt, wig & jewellery for my client, who went on to the party with his wife (who was the Mad Hatter from the new Tim Burton film). The host was so impressed he started a fancy dress comp, which, of course, Mr Avatar won!
DB is a car-less town, only golf buggies allowed, so we looked very odd as they whizzed me back to get my ferry home to HK Island! (Photo lost after facebook deleted me sadly).
I was asked to paint promoters, dancers and models for a Belvedere Vodka promo in an HK nightclub. I nearly didn’t make it due to an incredible rainstorm that had my bus stuck in the Aberdeen tunnel for over an hour!
In UV paint, which in daylight is dayglo, but in blacklight, really only the red, yellow and green show. White and blue or purple are a bit dull in all the brands of bodypaint available. Also it is NOT easy to work with – it doesn’t blend as well as other colours, so subtle shading is out.
Anyway designs were finally agreed on and I made a stencil of the lettering. On the night the tree logo had changed yet again so I did a freehand interpretation to match the amazing glowing/ flashing Tshirts they all wore.
I caught a little of Lorna’s UV flow-stick exhibition from above her, it looked fab…
Then I painted the guests for the rest of the night.
April 2nd 2010
I’d been flat out painting most of March and had been contacted by Andrew Dasz’s twin, Steven, to see if I could paint him when he was over working in HK.
Luckily with them being identical, I recognised him as we waited outside the photography studio. He’d wanted something snake-like as that was his star-sign animal, but due to time constraints I only had about an hour. He also had a new sword (katana?) he wanted to use, so I did a snake up his arm.
It was painted with the 3 new metallic colours of Diamond FX paints which had arrived the day before, and was based on a royal python.
Steven, like his brother, amazed me by leaping about for an hour for photos, including mid-air splits and then sitting on the ground in the splits. Ouch. Wow.
So after a long day of painting fans faces/ bodies too, I was on at the Rugby Village across the road from the stadium, UV night club painting, each night.
And here it is in normal flash light.
The bar had stunning displays of the sparkling LED colour changing beer-mugs and champagne glasses they were serving drinks in, that gave most of the light in the place!
And just to show how UV Paints look – this is my table (with my own kits and the paint set out for customers to DIY too) set up under a very strong UV cannon light. Note that yellow/ green/ orange are brightest whilst blue/ purple hardly show- and white is blah! 3 o the top brands here; I prefer Kryolan for bases/ brightness and Wolfe/ Diamond FX for linework.
The usual – I arrived early to start bodypainting my regulars and some new clients who all booked in in advance by email.
They pay a fee directly into the charity box and I have approx 1 hour to decorate them. Chris & co wanted to be RED Avatar aliens this year, with HK white flowers on them to support their country.
Gareth was my blue Avatar; he’d gone all out, dyeing his shoes and shorts blue, and making a leather ‘skirt’.
What was funny was when we were emailing back and forth, I mentioned he’d probably want to make some ethnic leather & feather jewellery to go, and that I had some braided thongs (as in necklaces) I was making for the other avatars if he need them. He thought I meant a butt thong as the aliens wore in the film!
Gareth looked perfect, and was mobbed all day – he said he hardly saw his girlfriend and didn’t want to smoke as he had kids following him in awe. On the plus side he was let into the ‘closed’ South stand as a TV crew there wanted to interview him!