What It’s Like To Be A Body Painter
In a world where people rarely understand each other in any other aspect, it is so wonderful to have a medium that transcends most of the things that divide us as people. For myself, coming to the US with minimal English skills made it very hard to communicate and form bonds, leading to misguided acting out that made me seem like a trouble-making class-clown, but art is such an effective medium to have for expressing yourself, from your shallowest thought to the subconscious songs of your very heart. Art has given me a voice and I intend to never take it for granted.
Bodypainting is specifically very important to me because I love the human body and feel everyone should be more aware and in love with their own bodies; I get the necessity for clothes but it has come to the point where people value the clothes they drape on themselves more than they care about the individual within the material things. We came to this world naked because that is all that is absolutely vital to us, our naked bodies.
The human body is the most perfect original art provided to us and I hate seeing anybody ashamed of their gift; it brings me joy to remind people how beautiful their body has always been despite the clouds of conformity we all have to wade through on a daily basis.
How My Interest In Body Painting Started
I was always trying to hold onto everything I learned in painting class back in High School, then one day my eyes were introduced to Skin Wars on Netflix and I was baffled to see all the places paint could go, both literally and figuratively. It was a competition between body painters and I fell in love with the limitless art pieces they could create to tell any story prompted by the judges.
But simply wanting to make the move from a regular canvas to God’s on canvas was not enough, I was lucky enough to have my friend Megan at the time, who was comfortable enough with her body for the both of us, taking away my fear of messing up my first time putting brush to body. The Venom painting on my Instagram gallery was the very first actual attempt at bodypainting.
Does Having A Background In Photography Help?
My background as a photographer has come in handy for my bodypainting in two key ways: First and foremost, it helps cut out the middleman when capturing certain visions that I have carefully curated. Certain messages and emotions can’t afford to be altered in the portrayal process.
Second, photography has made it second nature to envision models in any desired setting, thereby allowing me to inversely picture how best to portray a scene on a model.
Does Body Painting Require A Lot Of Artistic Ability?
Consider how difficult it already is to paint on canvas, now add depths (3D body) that you have to now counteract with your own depth from shading and blending. It’s definitely harder but that just opens up the door to a whole new world of perspective depth, which is what really makes body painting stand out.
Challenges When Painting On A Body Compared To A Canvass
Other than the battle of depths that I mentioned earlier, models are a bit more animated than regular canvases; I usually have to go over areas multiple times to retouch cracked or smudged paint, but honestly that’s just a small price to pay for the potential masterpiece I see in my head every time.
Typical Process Of A Body Painting Session
Oh it’s a whole mess. My process involves choosing some random picture I think looks vivid, then I change my mind about 20 times, research any other artists who might have done the same idea so I can put a new twist on it, then I stare at the picture for a long while to see if it fits on a body in a clever way.
So far I’ve mainly relied on my classic paint brushes and skin-safe acrylics, but I am currently developing my skills with an airbrusher so I’ll be incorporating that into my projects when I’m comfortable enough for it not to disrupt my painting process, which on average, takes about 2-3 hours (First time it took me five hours, felt eyes glaring down on me as I painted past the four hour mark, you live and learn.).
Christian Chick – Male photographer and bodypainter, born in Cameroon, based in Los Angeles. Other passion other than art and media, sports, specifically soccer. Ex-mechanical engineering major. degree in Japanese, 6ft tall, Sagittarius.
Follow Christian Chick on
Upcoming group bodypainting shoot on January 25th, 2021 on Baldwin Park rooftop
Images from Christian Chick
Like to be featured on SimplySxy? Drop us an email at editorial@SimplySxy.com!