Using art to inspire others to take action on climate.

Photo by Breanna Cooke.

Wear Your Activism

This body paint piece combined with apparel is Breanna’s final vision for her Glowing Gone coral reef project.

The Glowing Glowing Gone campaign was developed by The Ocean Agency during the filming of the Netflix documentary, Chasing Coral. Coral reefs are on the frontline of climate change and in a desperate bid to protect themselves from ocean heatwaves, some corals glow in fluorescent purple, yellow, and blue colors.

Working with Pantone and Adobe, The Ocean Agency turned these warning colors into the Glowing campaign colors and invited all artists to use them to inspire action.

Breanna teamed up with the Glowing campaign and combined her passion for climate advocacy with her body paint experience to create a vibrant staghorn coral-inspired design for apparel. Her hope is that the eye-catching design helps spur conversation about climate change; Conversation can prompt action and from action comes hope.

Read the backstory of the project that culminated with this body paint photoshoot in Maui, Hawaii.

Model: Anja Yamaji

Body Painter & Photographer: Breanna Cooke

To order pieces from the coral reef collection, visit the online store:


Anja Yamaji modeling coral reef body paint and apparel on rocky beach in Maui.

From Action Comes Hope

The phrase “From action comes hope” is my takeaway from listening to the Our Warm Regards episode “Apocalyptic Narratives, Climate Data, and Hope with Zeke Hausfather and Diego Arguedas Ortiz” hosted by Jacquelyn Gill, a paleoecologist at the University of Maine, and Ramesh Laungani, a biologist at Doane University. I took the vibrant Glowing Gone colors to illustrate this phrase and use my voice about taking action on climate.

The phrase made me think of the pollinator garden I planted in my backyard in 2016 to provide a Monarch waystation to assuage some of my climate anxiety. Climate change has been impacting Monarch migration and the milkweed they eat, and Monarchs happen to migrate right through my area in North Texas. This past summer (2020), I was filled with joy when I spotted Monarchs in my garden for the first time. My small action gave me glimmers of hope in the climate crisis.

From action comes hope!

This piece was painted for the Color Voice Expo, hosted by Bodypaint America.

Model: Anja Yamaji

Body Painter: Breanna Cooke

Color Voice Body Painting by Breanna Cooke

FIBOPA 2020 Breanna Cooke's body painting piece about fires in South America

“…Humans should take a cue from the monkeys he studies. “We are told that individual action is the answer. Individual recycling, individual cutting back on consumption. But the cumulative effect of individual actions is a lie. You’ll never see a monkey defending a tree on its own. Male and female monkeys band together to defend it in groups. Collective action is the identifying characteristic of primates. They’re more cooperative than egotistical.”

‘Total destruction’: why fires are tearing across South America
by Uki Goñi, Sam Cowie, and William Costa.

Don’t Be Alone, Be Part of a Movement

This was painted for FIBOPA, the International Bodypainting Festival in Argentina. The theme was “ARDE – Fires in Latin America”  and focused on all the various climate, agriculture, and real estate development factors that have contributed to intense forest fires in South America in 2020.

As I researched the fires in South America, I read an article in the Guardian: ‘Total destruction’: why fires are tearing across South America by Uki Goñi, Sam Cowie, and William Costa. I learned the sad news that fires in the Gran Chaco forest in Argentina have devastated the family groups of caraya monkeys (black-and-gold howlers) that Primatologist, Martin Kowalewski, studies. 

A closing paragraph from Kowalewski in the article stood out to me about how the monkeys band together in groups to survive and how we humans could learn from them. It reminded me of Jane Fonda’s advice to climate activists during her interview on The Daily Show: “Don’t be alone, be part of a movement.”

In 2016 I was alone in my climate advocacy.  Then I joined Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteers and learned that the true power of the individual is in the group.

Model: Anja Yamaji

Body Painter: Breanna Cooke

Glowing Gone greeting card, Act On Climate postcards, and kraft paper stickers.

Glowing Gone Campaign: Coral Reef Climate Action

The colors on these cards are the colors of Glowing, a global campaign using color and creativity to accelerate ocean protection and climate action to save coral reefs. Breanna has teamed up as an artist with the Glowing campaign, along with other designers and brands, to shed light on climate action before our reefs are glowing, glowing, gone.

The Glowing campaign was inspired from the filming of the Netflix Original Documentary, Chasing Coral and developed by The Ocean Agency in collaboration with the UN Environment Program. Corals are glowing in vibrant colors in a desperate bid to survive climate change. It’s a warning going unnoticed that everyone needs to see. Learn more at Glowing.org.


Be A Seed

This piece was for Living Art America’s North American Bodypainting Championships in 2017.  It’s about the analogy of a seed and how even when we feel buried, if we reach out, we’ll find there are lots of other seeds supporting each other with their roots. When they all bloom at once, they can change the landscape.

The front was about my first year after joining Citizens’ Climate Lobby and how we were like this swarm of seeds, coming together as climate advocates in Washington DC. You can see the Capitol building in the background on her stomach.

The faces are some of the teens involved with Our Children’s Trust. It was a group of youth from across the U.S. who brought a lawsuit against the US government to secure the legal right to a safe climate and a healthy atmosphere for all present and future generations.

Body Paint: Breanna Cooke assisted by Anja Yamaji

Model: Emma Dubin

Photo: Bonnie Stanley Photography

Face of Change: Climate Solutions 

This piece was for Living Art America’s North American Bodypainting Championships in 2016. It’s about changing the “face” or images of climate change from polar bears on icebergs, to innovation and solutions to address it. We can do this by supporting scientific discovery of solutions to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide, while also embracing existing solutions (like wind and solar) to power greener cities.

Body Painter: Breanna Cooke

Model: Imani Kimbrough

Photo: Craig Shaffer

What the world needs now is: clean water

The theme of New York City Bodypainting Day in 2015 was “What the world needs now…”

My interpretation of the theme is: “What the world needs now is…clean water.” This was an outdoor and fast-paced event, so my design was intentionally simple and bold. The front focuses on the positives of clean water, while the back shows the negatives.

NYC Bodypainting Day 2015