Design Splat | Interviews with Awesome Designers and Creatives


Posted July 14th by Design Splat in Artists, Body Artist, Body Painter, MUA's

The fourteenth feature on the Design Blog is John Davis who is an excellent Body Artist from the Maesteg Area – South Wales. John’s work has en-tranced me from the first time I saw his work around a year ago. In this interview we find out how he became a body artist, some examples of his work and some free advice for those who want to be a body painter.


Hello and Welcome to the Design Blog John!

Tell us abit about what you do:

Quite simply I paint people, I make prosthetics and props as well, so I suppose it could be said I am in the imagination business, yours or mine I don’t mind I just love bringing ideas to life.

How did you get into Body Painting/Body Art?

It was a progression from facepainting I suppose, I liked the idea of a larger canvas to work on and more of the interaction you get from working with a model and watching them bring your ideas to life.

Where do the images come from that you paint?

Normally from a camera, but on a serious note, from all over idea can come from anywhere , the strangest of places and the strangest of things, sometimes the source of an idea may be something mundane other times it takes a lot of research, it is very much much all according to what needs to be achieved.

What is your inspiration for these images/characters you create?

Drugs, alcohol (not really getting to old for that) mostly from lots of cheese just before bedtime, a lot of the characters start as a drawing on a page and then evolve during the painting process , the models colouring and body shape can make quite a difference to a design. One of the designs started out life as a collaboration between myself and Simon Wyatt a comic book artist the end result is Toxica hopefully, soon to be in a new style of comic.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Hopefully alive, which would be a great bonus, but in reality I hope to be bodypainting for as long as I can, at the moment I travel around the country bodypainting also lecturing and demonstrating and teaching it, maybe within the next 5 years to get good enough to widen my horizons to the Americas and Europe maybe the antipodes as well, who knows?

What drives you/gives you the ‘go’ to keep at it and do everything?

That one day I could maybe produce something that would become an iconic image, the need to improve, to do something just that little bit better, to keep learning and turn out things that others may enjoy on a regular basis. But in reality the need to earn a living helps as I find the idea of starving for the sake of art a little worrying.

Can you recall the first body paint that you created that made you go WOW!?

I can recall several bodypaintings that have made me go WOW! And this list is constantly being added to, there are some fantastic artists out there and as more people take up the art of bodypainting so the bar is going to be raised and a lot more images are going to be added to the list, I honestly hope that even in years to come when I sit in my nursing home dribbling quietly and contentedly that there will still be artist creating images with a WOW! Factor.

What is the most memorable body paint that you have done and why?

There are so many, for a variety of reasons, so many firsts, first ever bodypaint, first time seeing my work in print, first time trying something new, first time painting in public, first ever airbrush body, first paid job, first collaboration, first time a client went WOW!! So many first time working with some of the models I have been lucky enough to work with, So no short answer I am afraid many are memorable for lots of reasons, the fun we had, the difficulties we had others just because senility hasn’t taken over yet.

Tell us about your first body painting experience:

At the time I had my own studio and a young model named Tammy came up and I painted her as a sort of ancient Celt I wasn’t happy but the photographer was and the upshot of the day was that I have painted Tammy on a lot of occasions since and worked with the photographer a lot since so it couldn’t have been all that bad

Does fame attract you?

Fame attracts me more than infamy would, becoming well known in the industry yes, be known enough to get enough work yes, but apart from that I am quite happy for others to bask in the limelight.

How do you rate yourself as a body artist?

Worse than some, better than some, and hopefully improving all the time. I let others judge me and my work, as on a personal level I am far too critical of myself and my work

What makes a good body artist?

Someone that can produce what they say they can, that puts their needs and ego’s well below that of their client, photographer and model. Someone that wouldn’t take on a job or a project if they knew they didn’t have the skills available to do the job, and someone that must bring something to day

Do you paint anything else apart from people?

Apart from walls etc that my wife insists on , I have started to dabble on paper and canvas and I am looking to expand into more inanimate things to paint but unfortunately there arnt enough hours in the day and I don’t have my own studio anymore.

Do you ever feel upset that once a body paint is done and after images are taken it’s all going to be washed off and you have nothing to show for your hard work apart from some images?

Bodypainting is the realm of the masochist, if you paint on a canvas or wall and notice a mistake it can be corrected at anytime in the future , with bodypainting the only thing because it is such a transient art form that is left are the photographs and in those are your mistakes there to haunt you forever. And no I never get upset about it its part of the fun.

Three words to describe yourself?

Really tried cant

Hobbies and other interests?

Family, music, art, and making things

Favourite body artist?

Far too many to list all for different reasons

Any Tips and tricks you want to share with aspiring body artists?

Equip yourself with the right tools and the right products for the job, and most importantly equip yourself with the skill sets to carry them out, get along to competitions , jams, training days, it’s a strange world the bodypainting one and most that are in it are willing to share if in doubt contact me and I will point you in the right direction.

Tools of the trade?

Brushes, sponges, airbrushes, and most importantly, SKIN SAFE COSMETIC GRADE PRODUCTS, NON TOXIC DOESN’T MEAN ITS SAFE FOR THE SKIN

Best and worst painting you have done?

The best is yet to come (he hopes), worst as if I would say!!!!!!

Want to be painted by John? Want to find out more about Body Art? Then contact him on the following:

Website for the Welsh International Face and Body Painting Festival:


Facebook Profile Link:

Contact Number:


Model Mayhem:

Mayhem #180761



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2 comments to... “JOHN DAVIS – BODYARTIST”

Wow amazing work!

[…] Today we are having a catch up with John Davis who has been previously featured on Design Splat here! He is an extremely talented bodypainter with a strong creative mind! Check out his new images, new […]

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