Body painting is a vibrant and eye-catching art form, perfect for drawing attention in any commercial context. It’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser for events, videos, performances, and advertisements, known to dramatically increase social media engagement and shares.
Yet, there’s a more enchanting side to body painting that goes beyond its visual appeal. This aspect touches the individual being painted, invoking a profound transformation.
The empowering stroke of the brush
Body painting is an empowering and liberating experience. It’s about letting your protective armour down and embracing a new level of self-acceptance. This art form encourages you to feel comfortable and joyful in your own skin, and many find it a fun and relaxing way to release stress. This transformative power of body painting is not only therapeutic but also a celebration of individuality.
Being painted can be an eye-opening encounter. It’s a deeply personal and emotional journey that can change the way you connect with your body and your inner self. As you become a living piece of art, there is a unique sense of elevation and protection that comes with it – you become visible as you truly are, and at the same time the paint covers you. It’s an experience unlike any other.
I asked my community what they believe is the magic of body painting. The responses often included trust, acceptance, and honesty. Being seen as a canvas through an artist’s eyes, and being touched in a way that respects your dignity, builds confidence and self-respect. This connection with the artist and the positive regard from onlookers can profoundly transform self-image.
“…My body can be/become anything. My body is exactly what I consider it to be.” – Sonya H.
Real stories, real impact
Here are some heartfelt thoughts from those I have had the pleasure of painting. 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. That painting is amazing, wonderful, and incredibly natural.” -M
“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.“
“Our bodies and faces are works of art and Riina wants to respect everyone’s unique and natural beauty and personality. The body carries our story with us and body painting is one way to start accepting one’s story, accepting oneself, one’s body and one’s life.
The experience evoked a lot of memories and feelings,.. I wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone who wants to face themselves from deep within, celebrate their body from the surface, and have a stunning image seen through the eyes of the artist.
I especially recommend this to those wrestling with shame. Shame has been my faithful friend all year as I have become more visible than ever through my books and writings. This picture is therefore very relevant to me. I refuse to be invisible, no matter how the ego warns me through shame about other people’s opinions and ridicule, worthlessness and incompetence.
I AM ALLOWED TO BE ME, so crackling, loud, colorful and happy, and as profound, quiet, gloomy and low as I happen to be at that very moment. Free to experience depth and surface.
“Body painting simply as an experience is really empowering, you don’t realise it until you experience it. Riina did a really good and high-quality job, from processing of the idea to implementing it. We had only talked about the painting via email and phone, but the end-result was simply more than I could have even thought of!”
– Antti P.
“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 about 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.”
“A couple of years ago, I was being painted by Riina, and I still fondly reflect on that moment. The painting process was relaxing, grounding in the present, and I felt stress-free, even though I was nearly naked.
Riina had an amazing ability to intuitively choose just the right colors and color combinations to support my emotional state, making the painting so personal and perfect for me at that moment. Furthermore, her professionalism shone through, because Riina can paint just about anything!
That body painting continues to bring joy to me even years later, even though the artwork itself was washed off the same evening. The feeling that you get from your own body when the painting is complete (especially if your relationship with your body has been challenging) is indescribable and, in my opinion, something you must experience for yourself!”
“My every cooperation with Riina has gone ‘under my skin’. The closest feeling how I could describe it, is the experience of being loved: ‘somebody sees me, somebody paints me alive’.” – Metsälintu Pahkinen
“Thank you, Riina. ❤️ It was an incredible experience, a deep journey to somewhere where I’ve never been. I believe that journey is a healer and I recommend this from the bottom of my heart, to yourself or as a gift to someone. You definitely get more than any material things could ever give you!❤️”
– Outi Mäenpää
The brush, the paint, the skin — all intertwine to create something far greater than the sum of their parts. It’s a narrative of empowerment, a visual dialogue between the artist and the canvas, and an intimate dance of self-discovery.
This is body painting — where every color tells a story, every brushstroke is a declaration of self, and every artwork is a journey home. Nearly everyone (in my experience, it’s 99 %), who is painted once, is eager to do it again.
So why not you? Dare to be painted, and you’ll unveil chapters of your soul you never knew existed.