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…
Well this all began from an idea I had in November ’09, when I decided that the small freehand designs I occasionally offered (mainly at adult events) could and should be MUCH BIGGER.
And would be great for performers/ models on show for a long time as its waterproof and won’t smudge like paint does.
I met the lovely Symone of www.poleparadisestudio.com at a networking event in HK, who she said she’d love to be a guinea pig for me. And she had her own dance studio, which we could use to paint and shoot in. I fixed a date with a photographer and off we went.
Painting with cosmetic glue IS harder than with paints; it gums up your brushes (and they seem to die quicker), it blobs and drips and is harder to correct. But as soon as I started brushing off the cosmetic glitters to reveal the coated designs underneath – whoooo! Symone and I were both grinning like idiots and loving the sparkle.
I’m afraid the photos, amazing as they are, really can’t catch the shimmer, but there is a video below that shows some of it (though the colours aren’t true!). This was a vaguely peacock feather design for my test shoot.A new addiction – I mean form of bodyart – for me!