The Body Painting Of JZino
The Body Painting Of JZino
How did you get interested in body painting?
I’ve always been a very art-centric person. When my friend from high school contacted me about a project, I was already a canvas painter. She wanted to do a themed set for a college photography project and wanted to get me in the studio. This was probably January of ‘08.
I wasn’t crazy for the idea, I’m a very shy person! Haha! One of the first models I worked with was Lauren WK, we were all just starting out at that point though. There was definitely a light-hearted atmosphere and we were all interested, primarily, in making good images.
So in the beginning, I painted three models for the gal who would become known as Serena Star and I thought I did just lousy. I really didn’t see this going anywhere and I thought that the models must’ve perceived me as a giant creeper! Haha!
Serena pulled up the images of our work that she had posted on DeviantART and OMP at the time and said, “ Look! People like it and you should do more!” It was Serena and Lauren that convinced me to get on Model Mayhem and the rest is history.
So after all that I guess I’m trying to say, Body Art chose me.
What special considerations and techniques are necessary when using the human body as canvas?
There are a ton! It doesn’t seem like much until I really think about where I started and the learning curve that followed. As far as the models go, right off the bat I need to know if they have any allergies. It also helps to know if they’ve ever done nudes before. This helps me to gauge what type of design and coverage they’ll be comfortable posing with. Sometimes you can tell instantly from the model’s body language or personality whether she’s shy or an exhibitionist.
I try to keep a cache of designs that are sketched up and ready to go but I like to take photographer/model ideas and run with them on set. You have to really take into consideration the shape of the human body when you’re planning or totally free-styling a design. I highly recommend the study of anatomy or life drawing to any prospective body painter. Something that looks great on paper may not necessarily translate well to the living canvas.
The great thing about having a traditional art background is all the techniques that I have picked up! Some of them are great for body painting (i.e. gilding, chiaroscuro, relief painting, etc) and I think it really gives you a leg up in the industry.
I definitely went through a bit of an adjustment period, not being able to hold my canvas a couple inches from my face haha! I also used to have a serious issue with having spectators. I just had to grow out of the discomfort of having people watch me work. Today it doesn’t faze me.
What is the experience like for the person being painted?
I always try to bring something for the model to lie on and I do most of my work with the model lying down. Almost unanimously, models have said the process is really relaxing and I think I’ve even had one or two doze off! I haven’t worked with many ticklish girls and when that does happen, we just work through it. Holding your breath seems to be a good trick!
After they’ve been painted, they all say, “I feel like I’m wearing clothes!”
How long does the paint last and is it difficult to remove?
If you are mindful (and with a good setting spray), the artwork will last all day. Usually the set is over within an hour and the models shower when they get home. A couple of times, girls have gone out clubbing with it though haha!
The professional makeup-grade paint that I use comes off very easily with soap and water. I recommend warm water to open the pores.
What occasions do people get painted for?
Aside from photo-sessions for modeling, there are also maternity sessions (belly painting!), promotional work for events, even proms and weddings! I’d love to have the opportunity to do a nice back piece on a girl with an open-backed dress for a prom or special occasion. It would be a nice family-rated gig to give my work a friendlier light.
I’ve had many inquiries for live painting at fetish events as well.
What has been your favorite creation?
That’s an incredibly tough question. It’s like asking, “Which is your favorite child?” I’m going to have to go with “Liquid Sunshine” also known as “That melting flower girl” haha! I have received some of my favorite compliments from that image plus I worked with a great team! That was a fun day.
What is your formal arts background like?
I have no formal arts training…Isn’t that awesome :D
Seriously though, I had the amazing opportunity to attend specialized visual art classes offered through our county Vo-Tech while I attended high school. When I graduated I received two diplomas (one from each school) and I’ve been running with it ever since. Yay for keeping arts in public school!
I did attend the Bodyssey: Body Art Convention in Toronto during April of ’09 where I took a couple of classes. The face painting and business-oriented classes were a HUGE help!
What other creative mediums do you work in?
Whenever I feel like I need to go back to my roots, I go to graphite. It all started with a pencil. Charcoal, Acrylic, and Oil painting are the runner-ups. Of course I still have pen & ink, lino cutting, and watercolor supplies. ;) I want to remain a well-rounded artist. I also sew and do quite a bit of writing these days.
Lately I have picked up Makeup and I have begun learning Special Effects as well. :D
What else do you like to do for fun?
There are the typical video games and board games. I’m in the Crokinole league at The Comic Book Store. Haha, I’m such a nerd! When I really want to relieve some stress, I reach for my hand drum (djembe)! I’m also a medieval reenact-or. Oh yeah, I get geekier. Every summer I attend an event called Pennsic where I am free to be a history nut AND lug around my body paint. Good times! :D
See more of Jzino:
I'm also on FetLife as JZinoBodyArt!
Photographers-Brian Neumann, Ian Gattie, Ray Sopczuk, Serena Star
Models- Taylor, Cat Hedlund, "Artistic Physique", Illianna Dahl, Rachel Stephanie, Tirzah, Shronda