Makeup and body paint are used everyday around the world to create unique standout looks that get people noticed. U.S.-based artist Shannon Holt uses body paint in a rather unique way. Holt turns humans into elegant animals using body paint.
With a diverse artistic background Holt has painted on wood, paper, metal, and flesh canvases. In fact, she enjoys finding new canvas surfaces to work with. It was this desire to try new things that drew Holt to body painting in the first place.
After the 2009 economic crash Holt decided to make body painting her full time job, sounds crazy right… but it actually worked! Check out her wildly awesome artwork here and see how she masterfully turns humans into animals with body paint.
Holt was greatly impacted by the economic crash in 2009. At the time she was managing an art gallery in Ormond Beach and working as a mural painter when suddenly Holt found herself without any clients. Holt had many artistic skills she had honed at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University, but she didn’t fall back on any of these. Instead she fell back on something she had only tried two times before: body painting.
Holt had her doubts, she recalls: “I wondered if I was crazy to even consider doing that for a living. I thought, ‘Well, who needs body painting? Well, naked people. Well, who’s naked? People at a nudist resort.’ ”
The Caliente Resort in Tampa took her in with open arms. In fact, when Holt arrived for work she couldn’t believe all of the naked bodies waiting to be painted. After making $800 in four short hours Holt was hooked and knew this was her new career path. Holt still considers body painting to be her main source of “bread and butter.”
Monday through Thursday Holt works on canvas art, and she dedicates her weekends to body painting. Holt says her clients do not have to be nude; it’s whatever the client is comfortable with. Holt is also a featured artist at the Fantasy Fest in Key West, Florida each year. Here she paints “body after body after body” for up to 18-hours a day.
She has painted eagles on biker dudes during Bike Week, bellies of pregnant mommies, and women living it up at bachelorette parties. There’s nothing this talented artist hasn’t seen, then again when painting nude people there are always fresh surprises!
Multiple bodies, one powerfully painted fox…
Pricing varies, for some events she charges $100 an hour, and for larger painting parties where everyone gets a coat of paint, she typically charges between $350 and $500.
Human body transformed into a fox, yet in certain angles it looks like the fox is galloping across the human figure.
Holt still recalls certain body painting works with great enthusiasm, making us wonder how she feels about her hard work being washed down the drain in 24-hours or less. In an interview with the Daytone Beach News-Journal the creative soul said of this unavoidable element of body painting:
“That my body painting is ephemeral, that is the beautiful part about it. You hear a song once live — you have that one beautiful experience and then you have the remembrance of it with a recording. Body painting is the same. It’s probably the closest art form to music there is. It’s here and then it’s gone. It’s kind of like ourselves — we’re here on the Earth and then we’re gone, and it’s beautiful.”