This series took place in the 2020 Covid pandemic. It was a time in my life where I was not feeling very creative and I wanted to push myself back into making the kind of art that I love. For this series I based the looks off the acronym HALLOWEEN (each look is based off one of the letters). I designed, made headpieces and props, styled wigs, applied makeup, modeled, filmed, and edited this entire series by myself. It was absolutely a ton of work, but I am so pleased with the results and proud of myself for pushing my boundaries.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
O. Other Worldly
Cultural Body Paint Series
This series took place while I was going to school at the Tom Savini Special Makeup Effects School in 2019 as my Senior project. I wanted to take my love of travel, and my curiosity of other cultures traditions and history, and combine it with my love of art and body painting. I posted online to different modeling websites and asked if any model would like to represent their respective cultures through body paint. Eventually, I had enough models reach out to me that I had 12 different cultures to research. I found something that I personally found interesting about the respective culture and tried to translate that aspect into a body paint. From there I designed the looks and made all of the costumes and headpieces along with scheduling the models and then painting 10 of the cultures.
I spent around 150 hours on this project in total, and I could not be more pleased with how it turned out!
Italian- The Infiorata Festival
Every year, throughout May and June, the streets of Italian towns transform into beautiful, colorful pageants of flowers. The “infiorata” festival means “decorated with flowers,” and it is during this time that you can explore exquisite works of art created by only what Mother Nature provides. The streets are carpeted with flower petals in displays of incredible artistry. This breathtaking custom began in the 13th century, but the version that still graces the streets today began in the 17th century. The tradition goes back to the day of Saint Peter and Saint Paul’s feast in 1625. This year, on the 29th of June, the head florist of the Basilica, Benedetto Drei, created mosaics of flower petals at the Basilica. Today the festival lives on and is just as breathtaking as it was then.
Irish- The Battle Between Traditional Folklore and the Christian Faith
For this piece I tried to express the battle between the traditionalists of the Irish culture and their oral story telling in the early settlings against the invasion of the Christian faith in its attempts to eradicate the vocalizing of the old legends like the legend of the Banshee. The banshee roams the countryside and can be heard wailing when she predicts a death. The word banshee comes from the Irish bean sí (pronounced ban-shee) which translates as woman of the fairy mounds. In my rendition I have staged a battle between the Banshee which represents the old folklore against the solider of the Christian faith in a very impactful skirmish.
Chinese- Chinese Opera
The history of Chinese opera can be traced back to the Three Kingdoms Period (A.D. 220–265), when a form of opera called Canjun was popular among the general public. Chinese opera became more formalized during the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618–907), under Emperor Li Longji (reigned A.D. 712–756). Emperor Li Longji founded the first known opera troupe in China — the "Pear Garden" — and today's opera professionals are still referred to as "Disciples of the Pear Garden". Personally, I loved studying the Chinese Opera Masks in an activity in one of my classes at the Savini program, that I decided that I wanted to dive deeper into it. Coming from a theatre background, I love all of the minute intricacies that the Chinese put into every stitch of the productions.
African- Tribal Body Painting
Tribal or Cultural Face Painting has been used for many motives. For hunting, religious reasons, and military reasons (mainly as a method of camouflaging) or to scare ones enemy. Several tribal fighting techniques were calculated to strike terror. Some warriors entered battle naked except for a loin cloth, but their bodies were streaked in bizarre examples in white, red and black paint. Decorating one's face in various patterns and shapes has been a part of the cultural make-up of many societies since the beginning of time. Personally, I loved learning about the roots of where the more modelers version of body painting stemmed from, and am so grateful to those pioneers that led the way to my passion today. (I truly spent a ridiculous amount of time researching this one.)
South Korean- Traditional Korean Art Symbols
For this piece I wanted to showcase one of my favorite styes of art, which is traditional Asian art. I specifically liked the repeating symbols found in traditional South Korea so I focused on those. One of these symbols was the tiger; a most popular motif in Korean folk painting, likely originating from the mythical "white tiger" guardian spirit of the east, and so the animal is seen as a protector. The tiger is usually depicted as comical and friendly, even a stupid animal, and as such, it is a symbol for driving away evil and therefore bringing luck. Another symbol I made sure I represented was the crane for its "happiness". Cranes stand for good fortune and longevity because of its fabled life span of a thousand years. The Japanese refer to the crane as “the bird of happiness”
Filipino- MassKara Festival- Festival of Smiles
The name MassKara Festival is taken from the words ‘mass’ which means crowd, and ‘kara’ which means for face, so MassKara means crowded for face or masks for many faces. MassKara was conceived by the Art Association of Bacolod with the intention to creatively organize a street dance parade thus getting away from a “meaningless” civic-military parade. It was also meant to hide the tears and sorrows brought about by the sugar crisis and the MV Don Juan sea mishap. I loved the different colors and styles of not only the masks, but also the different costumes that can be found in the festival. I combined those
different elements with some traditional Filipino art as well.
Mexican- Dia De Los Muertos- Day of the Dead Festival
The Day of the Dead (el Día de los Muertos), is a Mexican holiday where families welcome back the souls of their deceased relatives for a brief reunion that includes food, drink and celebration. A blend of Mesoamerican ritual, European religion and Spanish culture, the holiday is celebrated each year from October 31- November 2. I personally have had friends that I celebrate Dia De Los Muertos with every year and absolutely adore the intentions behind the holiday and what it represents for life after death and the strength of family ties. I also adore the art that is ever so present in the decorations of this holiday.
Native American- Traditions and Symbols
For this particular culture I wanted to represent a multitude of different symbols, traditions and even styles of hair. I personally find Native American culture so intriguing and underrepresent in modern America and I just can't stand how a culture so strong could be in the background of history.Some of the elements I wanted to focus one was the face painting that was used for artistic expression, ward off enemies, bring fertility and luck, and so many other fascinating reasons. I also wanted to represent traditional tattoo styles and the absolute genius of the teepees and how they represent the adoration of the land and how to live efficiently.
Hungarian- Traditional Embroidery
The love for embroidery of the Hungarian people goes far back in history. In Arabian and other foreign chronicles it has been written, that the Hungarians liked to dress in richly decorated and embroidered clothing and their surroundings were pompous. In Hungary there have been weaving and embroidery schools as early as the eleventh century. Embroidery has always been an important part in the upbringing of every girl, whether she lived in the royal palace, or a peasant hut. I found that fact very intriguing , in that every female had to study a form of art art every level in society from a young age. I loved that it was not just a way of expressing wealth but rather a n expression of pride in tradition.
Scottish- Blue Men of the Minch Folklore
The Outer Hebrides, also known as the Western Isles is an island chain made up of 200 islands in a 130 mile archipelago off the north west coast of mainland Scotland. They form part of the Hebrides, separated from the Scottish mainland and from the Inner Hebrides by the waters of the Minch, the Little Minch and the Sea of the Hebrides. Legend tells that the Minch is home to a clan of mythical blue men. Most of the time “The Blue Men Of Minch” swim the seas, but sometimes sleep in underwater caves. While the Blue Men slept the weather could be fine and the seas calm. However, when awake they could conjure up storms whenever they wanted. These creatures, that are the size and shape of humans, are very strong and can be seen swimming and diving with pleasure when the seas are rough. Following the boats that are navigating the waters of the area they can be friendly towards humans, but this can be dependant upon their mood and if they are treated with respect.