Today we have a chat with Jeanne-Mare about her truly awesome artistry as a body painter, enjoy!
Who is Jeanne-Mare and what do you do?
I’m an artist living in Cape Town, and travelling the world as often as I can. I work in film, theatre and events as a special effects make up artist and production designer. So I’m for the most part making stages, creating characters, designing shows etc. Although most of my work can be considered art in some way, the form of art I am most passionate about creating and sharing is my bodypainting work.
How would you define your style or art?
A fellow painter friend of mine once said, ‘Bodypaint, by its very definition, is ephemeral’. This, I think is what makes it so special. Sure it can be captured on film, but I think some of its magic is lost if you don’t actually experience it in front of you! Its kind of like a flash mob, cool to watch on YouTube but so much more special if you were actually there! What defines my style in terms of paint technique is a difficult question to answer as I use a lot of different products, brushes, tools – a combination of prosthetics, airbrush and brush sponge. However when it comes to style of design does most often reflect certain elements. Because I prefer my creations to end up as moving pieces or performances I think my designs tend to be quite character driven. I often have a bit of a history or back story in my mind behind each design which often results in lots of the finer details coming out in my work. Given the choice I really like to think things through! I work also often reflects a bit of an African flair in a way, whether its the colouring or hints in design shapes etc. There are so few bodypainters in South Africa in comparison to the rest of the world so I think bringing in subtle bits of African flavour is what gives my work its edge 🙂
What inspires your work?
So many things! Each and every bodypainting is inspired by something else, and I tend to do a lot of research to design a bodypainting, so there’s no limit as to what may inspire me to create something. Because I come from a film and theatre background, I tend to visualize my art as a moving performing piece, and often I’m inspired to create something based on a piece of music I heard, or by a performance piece etc. A lot of times I’m even inspired to create something based on a model, because of a certain performance skill they can do, or a particular pose they can accomplish. Whether its for a show, or stills, its pretty much a guarantee I’ve designed an entire production around each character in my head! In terms of what my interests are that often tend to influence my art: ancient history, the surreal and fantastical, and vaudevillian and cirque culture often play a big role in the end product.
What are you currently working on?
Well I’m very blessed when it comes to my work, in that I always seem to be busy with something that I think is awesome! My biggest project every year, which I work on all year round whenever I find time, is creating props and pieces for my designs I create for the World Bodypainting competition, held in Austria. Every June/July I head up to a town called Portscach, just south of Vienna to paint with hundreds of the best bodypainters from around the world! As much of a family reunion as it is, it IS a competition so I spend a great deal of time designing the art and constructing props etc for this event. For me, this is the ultimate chance to showcase exactly what I do, and why I love what I do. After months of preperation, hours of painting on the day, more hours of being judged, interviewed and photographed, the end result is a performance piece of your model bringing your creation to life on a huge stage in front of thousands of people. It just doesn’t get any better than that!
What advice would you give young creatives looking to do what you do?
I’m specifically referring to the industry work here.. but I find that a humble approach to your work will take you far. If you adopt an attitude that you’ve got to start somewhere, there’s always room to learn, and that no job too small, (combined with the obvious hard work and potentially long hours) then you will go places.. there’s been many a job that I’ve done, that’s been a lower profile job than others, where I’ve met someone which has resulted in me getting a huge project from. In this industry, the more you’re willing to do, the more you’ll get! It is a difficult business to be in sometimes though so you really need to be passionate about it and love what you do!
Where can our readers follow your work?
also feel free to drop me a mail on my contact page in my portfolio if you have any enquiries, or might want to offer yourself up as a canvas for a project 🙂