Since starting out in my freelance body painting career in 2004 I’ve worked on some amazing assignments in some beautiful locations. Some of these jobs have had very tight schedules and it’s literally been fly in, paint, and fly out! But luckily, most of the long haul destination jobs have included some spare time to get out and about for some sightseeing, trying the local food and of course buying some local souvenirs! That definitely makes the jet lag worth it. Although my husband might disagree as he sees yet another coconut shell drinking cup, raffia hat and heavily embroidered stuffed animal emerge from my suitcase!
I’m very lucky to have worked with clients in Hong Kong, New York, Las Vegas, Chicago, Atlanta, New Orleans, Orlando, Cape Town, Thailand, South Korea, The Dominican Republic, Mumbai, Paris, Holland, Belgium, Austria, Berlin, Alicante, Rome, Gran Canaria, Latvia, Nuremberg, Monaco and Malta. A lot of my work comes in with reasonably short notice and some of these destinations have required visas. So it’s usually a race against time and an anxious wait to get all the paper work approved in time for me to fly out!
Below are some of my favourite assignments.
I’ve been very lucky to visit Las Vegas 3 times and this is definitely one of my very favourite destinations. The first visit was incredibly memorable. I was invited to teach at the 2011 Face Painting and Body Art Convention by the organiser the lovely Karen Owens. At the end of a long flight seeing the outline of the skyscrapers of the Las Vegas strip peeping out from the desert as the plane approached the airport was a surreal experience. Once I had collected my suitcase from baggage I was met by a chauffeur and whisked off in a white stretch limousine, courtesy of Karen, to the beautiful Flamingo Hotel. So it was definitely a ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ moment! The convention was brilliant with so many friendly people and I returned to teach again the following year. My third visit was in 2015 when I painted at a make-up artist trade show representing the ‘Olivares Haus of Glam’.
Another very beautiful location was South Africa where I’ve worked on 2 assignments in Cape Town. The first one was in 2009 when I was body painting for a series of fine art prints for Storm Thorgerson, including ‘The Beach Catalogue’ and ‘The Outback Catalogue’. In between the painting there was plenty of free time for getting out and about sightseeing and visiting the local markets. The second trip was in 2010 when I was commissioned by H2 Films to camouflage a model into various locations for an advertisement for ‘The Irish National Lottery’. Cape Town is amazing I loved the scenery and the culture and it’s definitely on my list of places to re-visit purely as a tourist without a paint brush in my hand!
On New Year’s Day in 2012 I escaped the British winter weather and travelled to India with the great team from Acrobat Productions. I was commissioned to do the face and body art for the performers who would be working at a prestigious wedding in Mumbai. We stayed at the beautiful Trident Hotel and after the job we all had a few days to relax and see more of this fascinating city before we flew back to London. I loved India and it’s definitely a country that I would like to return to sometime in the future.
The Dominican Republic
Back in 2012 there was another memorable campaign that I had the pleasure of working on. It was a television advertisement for the Belgian travel agency ‘Neckermann’. The idyllic location for the filming was The Dominican Republic in the Caribbean. Our long-haul destination involved planes trains and automobiles before we reached our hotel, which was the base for the filming. My job was to camouflage several models into tropical looking backdrops so I took along my Getmadeup team mate Emily Dowdeswell to help with the painting. We had a fantastic week working with the models and managed to fit in some shopping in our free time…. yet more souvenirs in the suitcase!
I’ve visited ‘The Big Apple’ 3 times and it’s always a pleasure! I’ve demonstrated make-up and body painting at various industry trade shows in this great city! In 2008 I represented Mehron at ‘The Make-up Show’. In 2011 I painted for AOFM at ‘IMATS’ NYC and my last visit was in 2015 when I was commissioned to paint for ‘Olivares Haus of Glam’. There’s usually been enough spare time for me to get out and about in between the painting to shop until I drop!