Let's imagine there was a company specializing in vegetable food products and they wanted to promote them. How would they advertise something as generic as vegetables?
Well first they could come up with a good slogan. something that encourages people to eat more veggies. It could be something like "More vegetables one day a week means 52 better days in a year." That's very good.
But how would they make their ad stand out from the crowds of tomatoes, salads and peppers that are the seen in vegetable commercials? They know good copy isn't enough. So what do they do to catch people's attention visually?
They choose body painting.
APETIT is the company we just imagined. They trusted the idea of their marketing partner Hasan & Partners and took a step in creating something totally different to what you are used to seeing in TV commercials, let alone in vegetable promotions. And I'm so happy and proud all of them trusted me to be the creator for the challenging body painting illusions.
I was contacted by the director Aleksi Koskinen from Hasan & Partners right in the beginning of the project. I stepped in from the beginning of the design phase which was essential, as my knowledge on body painting and it's possibilities helped in mapping out the final visual goal. The vegetables to be created were our design choices and naturally then approved by the client.
I was commissioned to create the designs and sketches for the paintings. After the actual painting days I also got to view the final images and film and give my proof on the edits. I really love it that the client respected my wish to keep the paintings as natural as possible with minimum edits - the beauty of body painting lies in it's authenticity.
I also used my contact network and booked the most suitable models for this project. All of them were dancers and former athletes who are used to working with their bodies and have strength to hold poses that look easy, but in real life feel totally opposite.
My personal challenge in this was to create multi-body illusions which are one of the most difficult forms of body painting. At the same time I wanted to create something that would blow everyone's mind away and meet (preferably exceed) my client's expectations. I never do less than what I can, instead I always try to give more. I'm so grateful for this project, and it feels so amazing to get this feedback afterwards:
We were impressed by Riina´s professional commitment to achieve excellent artwork and at the same time commitment to reach our commercial communication targets. The end result was absolutely stunning.
To produce the videos and still images for this campaign, this was needed:
This campaign has definitely been noticed. Apetit has hundreds of thousands of views for the videos on their YouTube channels. The film runs on TV and also on cinema (I learnt that from my hairdresser yesterday). The digital screens at underground stations showed these veggies to passer-bys. And just on my own social media channels, the images have got thousands of views and hundreds of comments - 99% praising ones.
This approach to advertising is surprising, creative, brave, effective and still new. Or what do you think of these few quotes from the comments I've seen?
"Wonderful ad! Really makes you think - you are what you eat."
"This caught my eyes with those geniously painted human vegetables! Absolutely amazing work!"
"I saw this and immediately thought, that for once there is a different kind of ad that attracts positive attention."
"I've seen and admired this a few times now! This is the first ad that's interesting to watch and makes you smile."
"I was in the kitchen when my 3-year-old son shouted from the lounge "I want to watch more human vegetables!" I was like whaaat, as I hadn't sen the ad. Later when my son got to choose what he wanted to watch on telly, he replied "Them human veggies!" :D Amazing work! I hope my son's vegetable excitement shows at the dinner table now too!"
"Every time I've seen this I've watched even more carefully. Really cool and different idea, well executed. Congratulations to the whole team! The message is inspiring: one veggie day a week doesn't require much, and it becomes 52 days a year... 2 days would be 104 days a year...you are the one to benefit from that!"
"My 2 year-old daughter saw the ad: 'I want to be a cawwot too, give me cawwot pleaseplease!"' :D So it must be an effective ad!"
Body painting artist & design: Riina Laine
Assistants: Minja Konttori & Mari Pylkkänen
Director & photography: Aleksi Koskinen
Production & concept: hasan & partners
Client: Apetit Oyj
Links about the campaign:
Oh my god, this is going to be so fab! That was my first thought when producer Taina Sirola called me and asked me to join the team for a TV commercial for Veikkaus. I was so excited to hear the stars of the film and my models would be horses! I had never painted horses before, but I was up for the challenge.
I knew we'd have to work on the horses' terms and do everything the way that would be the nicest for them. I asked a little advice from my German collegue who had painted a horse before and got some good tips from her. It was good we also had a test day before the actual shooting days to see how the horses liked us and the whole idea of being painted. I was a little bit nervous in advance, but for no reason. Our furry friends were totally relaxed!
The designs were discussed and planned with the Creative Director and the Film Director. However, I was given a lot of freedom to use my body painting expertise to create the wow effect. I am so happy my views were appreciated and I was trusted to come up with something big.
The paints we used were watersoluble cosmetics and meant for skin so they were safe to be applied on the horses too.
Making-of video of this huge production.
We had two long days and altogether we painted 6 different horses. They were all well behaved and such lovely characters. Some of them couldn't care less we around, some were more curious and some almost fell asleep under the brush. <3 At the end of the day they got a bit restless because the trotting scenes of course got their adrenaline rolling. But they were still absolute stars and for us the two days were pure animal therapy. <3
This was one of the memorable projects I've ever worked for and I'm so excited it's got a lot of attention in the media too. Here are two articles about the project, for the first one I was interviewed and got to share the artist's view.
Iltasanomat: Taiteilija maalasi hevoset kauttaaltaan hohtaviksi tv-tähdiksi: ”Barbie on varsinainen missi”.
M & M: Veikkaus lähti uudistamaan ravipelaamisen brändiä: "On tuotu mukaan vähän rock-henkeä" .
Here is the killer final TV commercial we created.
I think we are all so proud of this outcome. This was the best way to finish the year 2017.
Horse paintings: Riina Laine
Painting assistants: Minja Konttori & Mari Pylkkänen
Creative director & Agency:
Tuomas Kotialho / Miller & Lean
Director: Mari Mantela
Producer: Taina Sirola
DoP: Jean-Noël Mustonen
Music: Erkka Lempiäinen
I'm so happy this happened - I got my body painting on the cover of a magazine! And actually it is one of the first (if not the first) Finnish magazines to have body painting on the cover. And what's even better, is thatSeura is not a fashion or design publication, but a magazine with stories of interesting people, societal issues and of course with a TV guide and crosswords puzzle, and aimed for an audience of 50+.
BUT, how cool is this magazine to have body painting on actress-singer Maria Ylipää, who they interviewed - such a brave and open-minded take on their normally very traditional style. Love it! I've worked as a make-up artist for Seura for years and I knew this was coming at some point. We were all waiting for the right time and the right person to model for it. So I think Maria was perfect for this! So powerful, as were the pictures in the end.
What do you think? The feature story was about the seven deadly sins. Can you guess which one(s) she was portraying?
Seura (issue 47/ 2017): "Näyttelijä Maria Ylipää: Alastomuuden pitää olla perusteltua."
Body painting, make-up & hair: Riina Laine
Photos: Tommi Tuomi/ Otavamedia
MAKING OF PHOTOS: Pia Karapää
Watch the making-of video below
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!