In 2014 Living Brush brought Greensboro a whole new look at art. Body paint FRONT AND CENTER. By this time most everyone in my community knew of,had seen or had been painted. It was an art form close to all our hearts. It was also one that received negativity across social media platforms such as Facebook.
So how do you still bring art to people when they don’t understand it? How do you make it more accepted? I believe one way is to open up the world to them and invite them to walk into it…interact in it AND with it.
Living Brush is the amazing duo of Scott Fray and Madelyn Greco,5 time world champions of body paint. I am blessed to have such people in my life.
I volunteered,through suggestion of Madelyn, to model for the event. At the time I didn’t really know what I was doing. I thought I was going to be painted at an event. I didn’t realize it was a competition…with a runway…and judges…and…yea. So after I was paired with my artist, Orly Faya Snir,nerves may have hit me for just a moment. I had never walked a runway before…
I urged my friend,Michelle,to apply to be a model because they were still in need. I remember texting her at work and getting her response that she had indeed sent in her application. It was so exciting! A few days later we found out she had been accepted and I was thrilled. I think she was “oh my gah oh my gah oh my gah” hehe. We didn’t exactly know what we were getting ourselves into. I only knew what it was like to be painted for 6 or more hours,nothing past that! After being painted I usually got photos done and then washed it off,sadly.
We were about to embark upon an adventure!!
I was living in Blowing Rock at the time so I drove down the night before the event. Michelle had booked a room near to downtown since the competition started bright and early that Sunday morning. Michelle brought snacks! Haha. The bathroom seems stocked with an incredible MASSIVE shower that you can sit in and plenty of washing supplies. This is important!!
Have wolf,will travel 🙂
The next morning we headed downtown to The Elm Street Center.I can’t remember the time specifics but this was a morning till night event. The painting portion of the competition itself was to be six hours.
We met up with our artists and then ran out for a while to a brief session on walking the runway later. Still nervous about that! This is when me and Michelle found out we were in two different categories and probably wouldn’t be seeing each other much after painting.
It’s now time to get stripped down into our pasties and whatever underwear our artist has requested. At the last-minute though they came around with what reminded me of like the thinnest panty liner on Earth that just stuck onto you like a sticker. It could be painted over. Intriguing. Yes please,I’ll take that! At this point we haven’t started so we aren’t thinking about restroom breaks or anything like that haha.
So many artists! So much art!
This part lasts six hours….
But let me tell you about time….it goes by SO fast! They had volunteers bring around fruits,snacks and water to the models and artists. There was also a table of foods set up for any necessary breaks. They take good care of us!
Finishing touches and selfies 🙂 The last hour of painting was open to the public. It was super fun to interact with them while being painted! YES,the most common question is ALWAYS…. “Does it tickle??” And No,it really doesn’t for me!
Michelle’s eyes looked wild like this the whole entire event. I thought she was terrified and she may have been BUT looking at it now…I think it’s because everything but the whites of her eyes was painted red haha.
My artist,Orly,made that beautiful headdress! I am covered in wildlife!
More us posing because we rock,making friends with people that it will be difficult to find on facebook later because we will all look SO different than right now haha 🙂
Nextttt we went to judging. It actually was quite fun since the judges were friends of mine hehe. My job was easy at this point, I got to stand there and be pretty while my artist,Orly,explained her vision of the theme, A Day In The Life. Her paining on me was A Day In The Life Of…The Queen Of The Forest. Well in my mind that’s what it was because that’s what I felt like!
While waiting to be judged there was professional photos taken of each model. These photos are by Sandee Johnson.
Then it was meet and greet time! The meet and greet was a separate ticket purchased that allowed guests to get up close and mingle with the artists and models. There were great photo ops here as well.
By this time we are well into evening. Keep in mind the models can’t really sit down. We have been standing since morning,most of us. We have been interacting with lots of people,modeling for photos,being judged. It takes a lot of energy and stamina!
It’s time for the part I was least sure about…It’s time for Moonkitty to go be a runway model. For my runway attempt I have my boyfriends walking stick and as the bad ass fire staff spinner that I am…I guess I am going to spin it on stage for everyone. I’m lucky because I am a barefoot forest spirit 🙂
LET’S DO THIS THANG!!!
Oh dear lord let my sticky panty liner thingy stay in place…oh please oh please oh please….
Andddd it did. Thank you,Bonnie for capturing these photos! You have no idea how dear they are to me.
Ok,that’s over! Me and Michelle were in separate categories so I still haven’t seen her at all. I wanted to watch her walk the runway but I was in line up back stage to walk back through again for the second time.
These are like the only “group” photos that exist of the 2014 Body Paint Competition in Greensboro haha. It was incredible to be so deeply immersed in many different styles of body paint. I was surrounded by friendly,creative and genuinely happy people. It was uplifting and soul restoring.
I think right about now is when I realized how tired I was…while waiting. We walked first because our artists were in the advanced category. We had to wait backstage for the emerging artists models to walk and then walk again and then wait for judging to be done. I can use the bathroom now though because my judging is over. The crotch sticker was amazing. Again I am so glad I am barefoot. Some girls were in platforms. Bless them.
I found wild-eyed Michelle at this point backstage and we talked excitedly about the adventures of the day! We decided we were not going to the after party…that Bojangles,showers,bad t.v. and bed at the hotel sounded like HEAVEN. No shame in that game!
We joined the audience for the announcement of the winners. It all had a very family like atmosphere about it. I think most people there were long time supporters of Living Brush and of body paint and were just so thrilled that it had a Greensboro home now!
When they called Lacie Bailey as the winner in the emerging artists category for her painting on Michelle …A Day In The Life Of …Mental Illness…I cried like a baby. I probably lost most of my face paint then. Hugs were the happiest. This was such a great moment. I don’t think I could imagine a better one 🙂
Her painting is inspired by the monsters of mental illness,and this is a cause close to many of us.
So…the Bojangles was great ,even if they didn’t have no wangs (inside joke),and the shower was heaven. I crashed out hard with my Wolfie. I had to get up early the next morning and head back up the mountain to work. When I opened the door to leave I saw the newest copy of News And Record laying at our doorstep. AND look who was on the cover….none other than my friend currently knock out a few feet from where I stood. I put it on the bed so she would see it first thing. Sweet dreams and memories!
Art mission accomplished. Front page story…in full glory…my magical friend. I was and am still so very proud of you!
Coffee was amazing that morning as I left Greensboro and headed back to the sleepy little town of Blowing Rock. I got more Bojangles on my way,got lost once…finally made it back. I sat on a stool in a little shop and no one was the wiser.They couldn’t know that just yesterday I had been walking around covered in magnificent art. That I had been in front of cameras non stopped… that I ROCKED a runway.
Nope..it was all just silence,fantastic memories and an aching body.
Thanks Orly for having me as your model,thanks Michelle for taking this magic carpet ride with me and thank you Living Brush for bringing me into such a world.
Life in paint is great 🙂