Pashur - USA (artist)
A1 & A2. In 1996 I used to be a freelance illustrator and wanted to do something that set myself apart from other artists. I had some airbrush make up and thought, "What if I body paint a person with this airbrush make up in a theatrical environment?" I proceeded to build a makeshift sci-fi set out of pegboards and cooking oil lids. It was amateur looking, but I had to start somewhere. I then painted a pregnant model like a cyborg incubating a cyborg baby in a glass casing and called it "Motherboard". I was instantly hooked. When I showed my body painting portfolio to potential clients, it blew their minds as they had not seen anything like it at the time.
A4. Mardi Gras is probably the biggest event I have body painted at which has about 1.4 million people. Second would be Summerfest in Milwaukee which has 900,000. Tied for third place is the Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas and Sturgis which both have around 500,000 attendees each. Fifth place would be Lollapalooza at 400,000. My favorite though would probably be Fantasy Fest which has about 70,000 attendees.
A5. On average a full body paint design can take up to 4-6 hours. A true masterpiece can take even longer, so allotting yourself plenty of time allows you to not rush the art and the creative process. Artists tend be perfectionists, and perfection takes time, especially when you are your own worst critic!
A7.b I love all body painting, but there are some styles that are not my favorite… Three that come to mind are:
1) I would like to see the trend of painting a collage of faces go away. It shows technical skill but not much else. Please do something creative and not a copy of something we have all now seen 1000 times. Art is all about discovery and pushing the boundaries, replication does not achieve this.
2) Headpieces that overshadow the body painting. Your headpiece should complement your body art, not the other way around. Also make sure your headpiece matches your design. If you have a body paint design of a steampunk robot and your headpiece is jewels, flowers, leaves and feathers - it does not match. It' a design FAIL! This is an accessory, not the main event.
3) A model that has on so many props and accessories that there is only about 10% of the body painting showing. The piece might look amazing and still be a cool artistic creation, but it is not a body painting piece at that point anymore. If it is for a magazine ad there is a lot more leeway in the amount of costuming involved, however if it is for a "body paint" contest it should be about…you know…. the body
A8. I use the "Monster Pasties" brand of pasties for the breasts and the Shibue disposable strapless panties when applicable.
A9. Obviously so many factors here.
How comfortable is the model in their own skin? What is legal in the painting establishment and/or city? Can the model be nude, or do they have to have on modesty covers? Do I need clothing or props to cover up tattoos? How much time do I have to paint the model? Will airbrush be faster? What products will give the desired effect? If I do not have a lot of time to paint the model, perhaps I have the model wear tall boots and long gloves. What type of underwear should they have? Should it match the model's skin tone and not absorb the paint changing its color or should I use a different color, so I do not have to paint it at all. Should I use airbrush on the design, or should I have paint everything because of the hassle of getting the airbrush equipment on a plane? Will the clothing/props distract? Will the eyelashes, nails and headpiece add to the design or make the design look cheesy? What color footwear should they have on, if any. So many more factors.
A10. Plan out your piece and then jump in! Just make sure you use safe products and materials, there are a lot of Instagram and YouTube videos the produce cool results, but not safe ones. And most importantly, do not get discouraged, even Picasso had to start somewhere.