Category: body painting

Living Art America 2017 – 3rd Place at North American Bodypainting Championships

 

Heal the body, heal the world” was the theme for the 2017 North American Bodypainting Championships, hosted by Living Art America. On October 14, 2017, U.S. and international body painters converged on Greensboro, NC to present our interpretations of the theme. We had 6.5 hours to complete our pieces and this year I was assisted by my friend and body painting colleague, Anja Yamaji. I’m so pleased to share that we were awarded with 3rd place in the professional category!

In preparation for this piece, I spent hours researching and brainstorming and eventually, a personal story emerged.  The final result became an illustration of my experiences from the past year. During the presentation to the judges and audience, I gave the following explanation as our model, Emma Dubin, walked the runway:

“This piece is about the analogy of a seed for healing our bodies and healing the world.

“Individual seeds need nourishment and care. Last year, I was dealing with anxiety about climate change and the planet and my body and brain were suffering for it. Friends around me noticed, and encouraged me to go back to basics with nourishing foods for my body. Next, I reconnected with nature through gardening and rediscovered the childhood joys of watching a seed grow. Like a seed, my roots were developing and I found that there were others around me who were concerned about climate. I participated in marches and saw the phrase, ‘They tried to bury us, but they didn’t know we were seeds.’ We may feel buried by stressors, but we’re still growing. I joined an organization that empowers citizens to reach out to their representatives in Congress about climate. I went to Washington D.C. with them in June and I’ll never forget the moment when over a thousand of us walked in front of the U.S. Capitol building on our way to meetings with our members of Congress. We were like a swarm of seeds, coming together, and lifting each other up by reaching out and supporting those around us.

“While I was in D.C., I also learned about Our Children’s Trust (represented in the faces on the front of the torso). It’s a group of young people from across the United States who have brought a lawsuit against the U.S. government to secure the legal right to a safe climate and a healthy atmosphere for all present and future generations.  Their efforts send a message that the next generation of seeds is rising up, changing the landscape, and actively seeking to heal the world.”

Scroll down to my photo gallery for more images and a peek at my sketches. The Greensboro News & Record’s photo gallery captured some behind-the-scenes of the event too.

Thank you to the 2017 judges: Craig Tracy, Robin Slonina, Jinny Houle, and Alex Barendregt. And thank you to Scott Fray and Madelyn Greco for organizing such a wonderful event!

Connect with me on FacebookInstagramTumblr, and Twitter.

The caption with our names is incorrect. View the full photo gallery here: http://www.greensboro.com/gallery/all_galleries/bodypainting-championship/collection_587259b7-04f3-5600-9e36-873fd7c38db0.html#3

Living Art America 2016 – North American Bodypainting Championships

Living Art America 2016 - Bodypaint by Breanna CookeOn September 24th, I was one of many U.S. and international body painters who converged on Greensboro, NC for Living Art America’s 2016 North American Bodypainting Championships. This was my first time in the professional category and there were some phenomenal competitors. We had 6.5 hours to complete our pieces and many artists worked with an assistant (I’ll be looking for an assistant next time!). The theme for the event was “Face of Change” and my piece is about changing the face of climate change.

I care deeply about the environment and my initial research and design was focused on so many of the negative images of climate change. I was being dragged down into despair each time I worked on the piece. However, a week before Living Art America, I attended the National Drive Electric Week event in Dallas and my spirits were lifted. I met so many inspiring people who are passionate and vocal about renewable energy and promoting change. After attending that event, I revamped my design with only a few days left before heading to Living Art America. I turned the focus from the negative and focused on the positive scientific discoveries and renewable options that already exist. A friend shared a research study from the University of Illinois at Chicago about artificial leaves that can turn CO2 into fuel and I made that story the main focus of the design (Read the full article here). Keep in mind, my design is just my artistic interpretation of their research, it’s not what the artificial leaves look like.

Presentation to Judges

Below is the description that I presented to the judges of Living Art America:

Living Art America 2016 - Breanna Cooke

“Carbon dioxide, the invisible yet leading factor in global warming, has caused some of the most sensitive organisms on our planet to become the face of climate change. Events such as widespread coral bleaching from warming oceans (seen on her shoulders), have become the saddening images we associate with climate change. On her forearms and lower legs, we have bioluminescent plankton, that light up when they’re disturbed. Her hands and feet are covered in them to represent our human impact and disturbance of nature.

“However, in order to slow the prevalence of these images and events, scientific discovery will be, and must be, the new face of climate change. In July this year, engineers created a new kind of artificial leaf (shown on her stomach) that efficiently converts atmospheric CO2 into a burnable fuel, and it only uses sunlight for energy (shown on her chest).  It is essentially doing photosynthesis, like plants. So instead of producing energy in an unsustainable one-way route from fossil fuels to greenhouse gas, we must reverse the process, remove excess CO2 and find ways to fuel greener, more sustainable cities (seen on her thighs).

Living Art America 2016 - Bodypaint by Breanna Cooke“But until we can implement new discoveries like this on a wide scale, we must actively cut our carbon emissions. This means embracing the renewable energy sources that already exist, such as energy from wind and solar (seen on her back and sides).

Our world has already changed with rising temperatures and sea levels (shown in the waves encroaching on our cities), but with science, we can go forward.”

Stage Presentation

After judging, the models have an opportunity to present the work on stage. I chose the song “Save Our Planet Earth” by Jimmy Cliff since it has a powerful yet upbeat message about protecting our planet.

Awards Gala

At the Living Art America Awards Gala, I received a Special Judges’ Award from judge Robin Slonina (Skin Wars’ Judge, Owner of Skin City Bodypaint), in recognition of the message and design I had chosen. I was absolutely thrilled by the award and left feeling inspired to keep sharing the message to #saveourplanet.

 

For more photos, connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter.

UPDATED: 10/19/2016 – Correction to “University of Illinois at Chicago,” instead of “University of Chicago”.

NYC Bodypainting Day 2015

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Photo by Leif Atman

Bodypainting Day 2015 was a spectacular celebration of art! What better way to bring art to life than to paint it on a human body.

We started out the day at Daj Hammerskjold Plaza at noon.

A photo posted by breannacooke (@breannacooke) on

We spent the afternoon painting our models, meeting other artists, and answering questions from spectators. The theme of this year’s event was “What the world needs now…”. It was intentionally vague to give the artists lots of room for expression. My interpretation of the theme is: “What the world needs now is…clean water.”

A photo posted by breannacooke (@breannacooke) on

After painting, we paraded to the United Nations, boarded double-decker buses, and drove around New York City, sharing our art. We stopped at a few locations for group photos and had an incredible response from people on the street.

 

A photo posted by breannacooke (@breannacooke) on

 

For more photos, check out these articles and links:

Bodypainting Day website: http://bodypaintingday.org/

Photos by Leif Atman: https://flic.kr/s/aHskgzmBSD

Photos by Dez Santana: http://www.dezsantana.com/bpd

Gothamist – NSFW Photos: 100 Fully Naked People Get Bodies Painted, Then Head Over To The U.N.- http://gothamist.com/2015/07/19/nsfw_photos_100_fully_naked_people.php#photo-7

NY Observer – Naked in NY: Why more of us are taking it all off http://observer.com/2015/07/naked-in-new-york-why-more-of-us-are-taking-it-all-off/

NY Post – See everyone who ‘hung out’ at national nude bodypainting day http://nypost.com/video/see-everyone-who-hung-out-at-national-nude-bodypainting-day/

Mashable – Bodypainting Day used naked people to expose New Yorkers to art http://mashable.com/2015/07/22/bodypainting-day-2015/

Newsweek – Get to Know the Naked Models of NYC Bodypainting Day

http://www.newsweek.com/get-know-naked-models-nyc-bodypainting-day-nsfw-355359

NY Daily News – Naked models in New York City serve as the canvas for artists on National Bodypainting Day http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/naked-models-nyc-painted-national-bodypainting-day-article-1.2296858

TimeOut NY – See stunning photos from NYC Bodypainting Day http://www.timeout.com/newyork/things-to-do/see-stunning-photos-from-nyc-bodypainting-day

Village Voice – BODYPAINTING DAY TRANSFORMS NUDE FORMS INTO ART (NSFW) http://www.villagevoice.com/slideshow/bodypainting-day-transforms-nude-forms-into-art-nsfw-7393283?utm_content=buffer8e149

The Co-Ed Topless Pulp Fiction Appreciation Society blog – Painted Ladies (And Gentlemen) https://coedtoplesspulpfiction.wordpress.com/2015/07/19/painted-ladies-and-gentlemen/

Der Tagesspiegel (in German): http://video.tagesspiegel.de/nackte-kunst-body-painting-day-in-new-york.html

Art Leggings are Ready to Order!

Art Leggings by Breanna Cooke

My costume, bodypainting, and graphic design worlds are colliding! I’ve created designs based on my past work and they’re now available printed on leggings. Check them out in my Shop.  All orders are processed, manufactured, and shipped through Redbubble.com so they’re only made when you order them. Don’t forget to sign up for the RedBubble mailing list and you’ll save 10% on your first order.

If you’re familiar with my costumes, you may recognize the art from my Fiery Phoenix costume, my Green Dragon costume inspired by Ysera, and my Tribute to Voyager at the 2014 North American Bodypainting Championships. I’m working on more designs too, so stay tuned to Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter OR sign up for my email updates.

P.S. Send me photos of your leggings in action or tag them on social media with #breannacooke!

Art Leggings Coming Soon!

Breanna Cooke - Fiery Phoenix Leggings

Breanna Cooke Fiery Phoenix Leggings ArtMy costume, bodypainting, and graphic design worlds are colliding. I’ve been creating designs based on my past costumes and those designs will soon be available printed on leggings! I also have some new ideas in the works too! You may recognize the design in my test pair (pictured above) from my Fiery Phoenix costume from a few years ago. Now that I’ve seen a test pair I just need to finish a few minor tweaks to the artwork and we’ll be rollin’!

If you’re interested in ordering a pair, stay tuned to Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, or Twitter OR sign up for my email updates .

I’ll be sharing the ordering links for these leggings (and some other designs) very soon!

Making a Maleficent Collar and Cloak

Breanna Cooke Maleficent costume - Photo by Alan Tijerina Photography
Photo by Alan Tijerina Photography

Last Friday I won the Saturday ticket giveaway from the Irving Convention Center for Dallas Comic Con Fan Days! I was so excited, but I didn’t have a new costume finished…and how could I go to Fan Days without dressing up?!  I already had Maleficent horns from a previous project, so I took on the challenge of making a Maleficent collar and cloak in one night. Below are some of my behind-the-scenes photos of my late night crafting.

Collar

Breanna Cooke Maleficent costume collar DIY I got some great ideas from this DIY Maleficent tutorial by Pins and Things. She used cardboard and wire to hold the collar upright. I opted for craft foam, hot glue and wire as the core for my collar. I sandwiched the wire between a layer of craft foam. Then I sewed fabric sleeves for each section, pulled it over the craft foam, and sewed up the open end.

Attaching the Collar

Breanna Cooke Maleficent costume collar DIYThe robe for my costume wasn’t going to support the weight of the collar, so I made a base from EVA foam (you can use those interlocking anti-fatigue floor mats, visit my Resources page for where to buy it). Now the whole collar would be a solid, removable piece from the robe. I shaped the EVA foam with a heat gun and made a fabric sleeve for it in the same way I made the collar sleeves. I hot glued and sewed the individual collar pieces to this foam/fabric base, then loosely stitched it to the robe.

Enhancing the Collar

Breanna Cooke Maleficent costume collar DIYIn the recent Maleficent movie, she has a cloak with the iconic pointy collar and a cloak with a feather collar. I took the best of both and added the feathers to mine. I used a section of black hackle feather trim (check Michael’s or Hobby Lobby) and glued it to the collar base with hot glue.

Cloak

Breanna Cooke Maleficent costume cloak DIYI never thought I’d find a use for my graduation gown, but tada! It provided a great base for the Maleficent robe. I purchased 4 yards of black polyester, cut a hole in the middle, and draped it over the robe like a poncho. I sewed the sides of the fabric “poncho” and left room for armholes, then cut open the front and stitched the fabric to the collar of the gown. If I’d had more time, I would have loved to make a really elegant cloak from scratch. Maybe next time!

Horns

Breanna Cooke Maleficent horns DIY with craft foam and electrical tapeAnd don’t forget the horns! Check out my other post with details about how I made my Maleficent horns. They’re made with reticulated foam, craft foam and electrical tape!  

Face

Breanna Cooke Maleficent makeupI used a variety of products to create the Maleficent face. I love the purple accents in the cartoon version of Maleficent, so my makeup was a mashup of both Maleficent looks.

  • Eyes: light and dark purple eye shadow (shown on my hand in the photo)
  • Eyebrows: Wolfe FX Hydrocolor cake in black
  • Face: Airbrushed with European Body Art Endura airbrush paint in white and black. Contours with grey eye shadow.
  • Lips: Vincent Longo lipstick in “Lust” (not shown)


Dragon Costume Photoshoot with Ken Pearson

 

Last year, I did a photoshoot in my green dragon costume with Ken Pearson Photography. Needless to say, he made me look amazing! Below are some of the photos from the shoot.

Connect with Ken and see more of his work here:
http://kenpearson.zenfolio.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kenpearsonphotography
https://www.flickr.com/photos/kenpearson/

Green dragon costume inspired by Ysera - by Breanna Cooke - Photo by Ken Pearson

Green dragon costume inspired by Ysera - by Breanna Cooke - Photo by Ken Pearson

Green dragon costume inspired by Ysera - by Breanna Cooke - Photo by Ken Pearson

Interested in seeing how this costume was created? Check out my blog post: Green Dragon Costume

The Wicked Witch and Flying Monkey Team Up

 

When I made my Flying Monkey costume, I never dreamed that I would meet a Wicked Witch of the West! Chelphie Cosplay is the creator and wearer of this fantastic witch costume and she has a pretty spectacular cackle too — just ask! Our dynamic duo has been spotted at a few events and we even placed 2nd in the 2013 Dallas SciFi Expo Costume Contest. Check out some of the photos:

Wicked Witch of the West and Flying Monkey by Ken Pearson
Photo by Ken Pearson Photography

 

Wicked Witch of the West and Flying Monkey costumes
Photo by Vodka Photos

 

Wicked Witch and Flying Monkey at Dallas Fan Days 2013 - Photo by Last Ryghtz
Photo by Last Ryghtz

 

Wicked Witch and Flying Monkey at Dallas Fan Days 2013
Photo by Alan Tijerina

Read my Flying Monkey Costume blog post to see more behind-the-scenes photos for my monkey costume.

Flying Monkey Costume from Wizard of Oz

Breanna Cooke Flying Monkey at Dallas Museum of Art Late Night

When the Dallas Museum of Art hosted a Wizard of Oz-themed Late Night event, I couldn’t resist making a Flying Monkey costume with my own twist! I already had the black feathered wings, so I just needed to make the outfit. Below are some behind-the-scenes photos of how I put it all together:

1. Hat

Flying Monkey Hat from Wizard of Oz by Breanna Cooke

The hat is made from a Laughing Cow Cheese container, craft foam, and cotton fabric. Unfortunately I didn’t document it well while I was working on it. The side of the hat is craft foam covered in fabric. I used spray glue (Super 77) to glue the fabric to the craft foam. I drew the zigzag design on paper, then traced it on the red, white, and black fabric, and made each one slightly larger than the last. The zigzag pieces of fabric were also glued with spray glue. I also added a chin strap with thin elastic, like the elastic on party hats.

Materials:

  • Laughing Cow Cheese container (empty)
  • Craft foam
  • Cotton Fabric: light blue, red, white, black
  • Spray Glue (Super 77)

2. Wig

Flying Monkey Wig from Wizard of Oz by Breanna Cooke

The wig started out as a weird Moses/Zeus wig from Party City. I didn’t have enough time to order anything online, so I used what I could buy locally. Armed with scissors, I slowly cut away at it to give it the signature widow’s peak of the monkeys (and most simians) in the 1939 edition of Wizard of Oz. I had my doubts at first but I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

Materials:

  • Grey wig
  • Scissors
  • Head form

3. Jacket

Flying Monkey Jacket from Wizard of Oz by Breanna Cooke

I created a paper pattern for the jacket based on reference photos and an existing fleece vest I own. Using plain cotton fabric in light blue, red, white, and black, I cut out all the layers to create the zigzag pattern and jacket base. I glued the zigzag layers together with spray glue (Super 77), attached it to the blue part of the jacket, and added interfacing to give the whole jacket the structured shape. I also added slits in the back of the jacket (not shown) for my wings to poke out.

Materials:

  • Cotton Fabric: Light blue, red, white, black – measure the amount you need based on your paper patterns and don’t forget about the hat!
  • Interfacing

4. Bodysuit

Flying Monkey from Wizard of Oz - Bodysuit - by Breanna Cooke

This costume, like my dragon costume, features a hand-dyed and painted bodysuit. I first tested the dye on a scrap of Lycra (1st image). I used Jacquard’s Dye-na-flow black, watered it down, added a few drops of Jacquard’s AirFix, and brushed the dye onto the bodysuit. Once it was dry, I painted on the fur with Jacquard’s Neopaque and Lumiere fabric paints.

Materials:

  • 1 white Bal Togs body suit
  • 1 bottle Jacquard Dye-na-flow black
  • 1 bottle Jacquard AirFix
  • Jacquard Fabric Paints: Black and White (Neopaque), Pewter and Pearlescent Blue (Lumiere)
  • Paint brushes

5. Feet

Flying Monkey from Wizard of Oz - Feet - by Breanna Cooke

I wanted to look like I was barefoot without actually being barefoot! Using some white socks (synthetic fabric), I stuffed them with polyfill, then dyed and painted them with fabric paints (same as used on bodysuit). I applied Zombie Skin (a creamy latex) to the toes to reinforce the toe area. I pulled the stuffing out of the socks, added some foam insoles, then cut out holes for each my toes. When I wear the costume, I paint my toes with same blue bodypaint I use for the face (see #7).

Materials:

  • White Socks (synthetic fabric, like liner socks)
  • Zombie Skin (latex)
  • Polyfill (or rags to stuff inside)
  • Fabric paints and dyes (see #4 Bodysuit)

6. Wings

Flying Monkey from Wizard of Oz - wings - by Breanna Cooke

I made these wings a few years ago for my Harpy costume but they worked well for my monkey costume too. The frame was commissioned from Danielle Hurley and she does amazing work! I used chicken wire as the frame for the wings and hot-glued it to black canvas. I hot-glued approximately 350 black turkey feathers for the wings and used down from a black feather boa for the top. Needless to say, these wings are a tad heavy but they are definitely sturdy!

Materials (for the wings, not the frame):

  • Black canvas fabric
  • Chicken wire
  • Gloves and wire cutters
  • Black turkey feathers
  • Black feather boa

7. Face

Flying Monkey from Wizard of Oz - face - by Breanna Cooke

I followed reference photos from the movie so I could capture the big smirk of the monkeys. Since I wasn’t using any prosthetics, I also needed to give the illusion of monkey features with makeup. I painted my nostrils black to make them look wider and added accent lines to widen my nose and mouth. I used professional water-based bodypaint to paint my face, hands, and toes and red lipstick on my lips.

Bodypaints (all water-activated cakes):

  • light blue (Kryolan)
  • light grey (Kryolan)
  • storm grey (Mehron Paradise AQ)
  • red (Mehron Paradise AQ)
  • white (WolfeFx)
  • black (WolfeFX)

And there you have it!

Flying Monkey - Photo by Ken Pearson Photography
Photo by Ken Pearson Photography

I’ve also been known to hang around with a certain Wicked Witch of the West (Chelphie Cosplay) at various events. Have a look at photos of our dynamic Oz duo.

Living Art America 2014

 

Photography: Atlanta Event Photography
Photography: Atlanta Event Photography

I’m so thrilled and honored to have taken part in Living Art America’s North American Bodypainting Championships in Atlanta, GA. My presentation took 1st place in the Emerging Artist category!

About the art:

Event Theme: Future Vision
This piece is a tribute to Voyager 1 — the first human-made object to travel outside our solar system. Contained on Voyager is a golden record with music and images of life on Earth (DNA, human figures, trees, plants) to hopefully be discovered by beings somewhere in the universe. The headpiece takes inspiration from H.R. Giger’s biomechanical female aliens and hints at the idea of an alien discovering the record and incorporating into her body. Voyager 1 and 2 also gave us the first hi-res images of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and beyond. So order to gain a clear vision of our future, we must reach forward through the solar system and light years, but also look back at the past, to see where Voyager is taking us.

About the event:

IMG_8523Artists have 6.5 hours to paint a model (with the help of an assistant if you have one). Then we each have 1.5 minutes to present our creations to a panel of judges. After the judging, there is opportunity for photos and then an evening runway show. Artists can select music and prepare a statement to be read by the MC while their model walks/dances/twirls down the runway for 2 minutes. It’s the most amazing spectacle of art!

About the paint and props:

All the paint is professional grade body paint and artists can do a combo of brush/sponge or airbrush. I only used brush and sponge for my piece. Models must also wear some sort of thong and pasties. I created the headpiece ahead of time with EVA foam (anti-fatigue mats), craft foam, and pipe insulation. The record was a real record (Barry Manilow to be exact) and was painted gold. The shoes were also created ahead of time and are heel-less shoes with craft foam vines/plants built on top.

Photography: Atlanta Event Photography
Photography: Walt Weiss
Photography: Walt Weiss
Photography: Atlanta Event Photography
Photography: David Leo Photography
Photography: David Leo Photography
Photography: Atlanta Event Photography