Yay once again for being booked by the HK Youth Arts Foundationto 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!
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.
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!
Mainly a day of painting faces, of course, but I had been asked to do a shoot for ‘The List’, a magazine in HK. Luckily the Rugby organisers also wanted me to demo for a bunch of Press, PR & VIPs, so my boss Pat was persuaded to pose for it.
As this was all last minute she hadn’t had time to buy some cheap bikini tops I could paint over, but luckily I still had a pair of latex boob covers in my chair from a booking the week before. We popped them on in the ladies, (body glue – so actually sfaer than a bikini top – can’t gape or be untied) and once I had a quick coat of colour onto her, went back to our stall to keep painting.
As usual people were fascinated, and kids kept coming up to ask what it felt like and if they could touch it/ her.
I did a fairly fast (with interruptions for posed shots, VIP’s to pretend to paint, etc) on a feathery theme seeing as the boob covers were sort of swirly.
The List’s photographer couldn’t get into the stadium so after I painted Pat inside, we nipped out to meet him on our very late lunch break.
Interesting reactions as we walked round – some fans didn’t notice, others did total double takes. I think its as the breast covers meant there were no strings/ straps and some people thought she was naked. With deformed boobs, I would imagine!
So we were furious, the next morning, to discover one of the journalists who had stayed for the entire paint, asking lots of questions (and repeating rude ones and ones about money – we all work at charity rate for the rugby AND YAF is a charity AND all the money taken on the days goes directly into Rugby charity boxes) had published photos and an article in the main chinese paper ranting about a naked woman at the event. As you can see Pat was in huge shorts… AND the journo had kept asking about the boob covers and even touched them. Sigh.
The List magazine was published a month or so later – a page on ‘how to be…a bodypainter’. Cool!
Very blury video of Pat organising the queue in my stall…