Body painting is colourful, visually eye-catching and a fantastic tool to use in commercial context. Events, videos, performances and adverts really benefit from using body painting - it always catches people's attention and thus gets loads of exposure and makes the amount of social media shares skyrocket.
But body painting has another kind of quality to it too. Something that is purely magical and transformational. This side of body painting affects the person who comes under the brush.
Body painting empowers you.
Body painting is liberating.
It increases your self-acceptance.
It makes you feel good in your own skin.
It helps you see your body and yourself in a more positive light.
It's fun and even relaxing. Perfect way to tune out stress.
Being body painted can be a life-changing experience. It's very personal and even emotional. Many say it's an eye-opener to your own inner self. It connects you with your body and at the same time you become something else, a living piece of art that breathes through you. The painting elevates you and it also covers you. It's a feeling like no other.
I asked people on my Facebook page what they thought the magic behind body painting was. Three common responses were trust, acceptance and honesty. Being seen as a canvas through artist's eyes and being touched in a non-sexual way, the whole process builds your confidence, shows you are accepted just as you are. The connection with the artist and the approving looks from the viewers can ultimately transform the way you see yourself.
"...My body can be/become anything. My body is exactly what I consider it to be." (Sonya H)
Here are some inspiring stories and quotes from the people I've painted. When I can make someone feel like this, it's the greatest feeling in the world. <3
"A wonderful and relaxing experience with a magical result... Initially I thought the painting on the body would be the most empowering thing. In the end the face turned out to be more important to me. I realised how much the looks affect you. That painting is amazing, wonderful and incredibly natural. "
"Today I did something I will remember the rest of my life. After years of low self-esteem, ednos and bodyhate, I stood half-naked in front of my class as a model for amazing @riinabodyart. It was the most difficult and the scariest thing I've ever done and all I could think about was how I looked. Was my belly flat enough? Were my breasts round enough? Were my hips too wide or shoulders too squarish? When we were done and the painting was ready, I wanted to cry. Not because of shame or fear, but because I felt free. And look at me. I'm perfectly beautiful, my body is strong and gorgeous.
I wanted to share this because I'm so freaking proud of myself. Because I'm beautiful and because I know there are tons of people like me, struggling with themselves. I just wanted to say it really is possible to learn to love yourself.
So thank you one more time @riinabodyart ❤️ you have no idea how empowering and meaningful this was to me. "
"Many memories and emotions were awakened by this experience. I recommend this with all my heart to everyone, who wants to connect with their inner self, celebrate their body and get an amazing image of themselves as a keepsake seen through artist's eyes.
I recommend this particularly to those who fight with shame. Shame has been my loyal friend for a year, when I've become more visible than ever through my books and writings. Therefore these photos are very meaningful to me. I won't agree to being invisible, even if my ego keeps warning me about other people's opinions and mockery, worthlessness and incompetence.
I get to be me, as vivacous, loud, colourful and happy, and as deep, quiet, moody and low as I happen to be at that moment. Free to experience depth and surface."
"Thank you for the wonderful eagle. It is probably the best gift I have received in my life. I've stared at it the whole evening and bragged about it to everyone!"
"I was happy when I was chosen to take part in Wonder Women - the WAU Project. I took body painting as a challenge as I was shy with how my body looks like, but after the painting I felt so confident - no matter the shape or size all women are beautiful in their own special way. I feel I accepted myself as I am, I love me and how I am. I can't be you and you can't be me, so be who you are."
"As being painted and my experience so far, I`d like to see myself as a path towards the final work of art. Nobody is there to judge how I look when wearing almost nothing in front of people and nobody seems to see it that way, that`s not the point. Like I`m just a canvas which comes alive differently when covered in paint. It`s not about me somehow but the final result that exists and reflects something meaningful. Of course, If the painting is designed for you only, like the belly painting, that could be very personal and empowering experience...There is something very magical that comes alive when painted. The art gives us a freedom to let go something we might not have used to!"
"My every cooperation with Riina has gone "under my skin". The closest feeling how I could describe it with, is the experience of being loved: 'somebody sees me, somebody paints me alive'."
In my experience, after trying it once, 99% of people would like to be painted again.
Riina's world of body painting
My latest news and behind-the-scenes stories. New projects and ideas. Just everything body painting related you (or I) can think of!