Today we’d like to introduce you to Audra Marie.
Audra, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I started face painting at Six Flags Astroworld in 1999 after living in Southern California for a year. I needed a job because it was close to Spring Break and I thought face painting would be easy. And it was not. I stayed there for four years until leaving to paint on my own terms. I did festivals and a few parties for awhile until Vonetta Berry hired me to paint at the Downtown Aquarium in 2005. From there I continued painting at other theme parks such as the Kemah Boardwalk, and the Galveston Pier. While working at Kemah, my curiosity got the best of me, and I found myself doing my very first body painting in 2012 thanks to the photographer Kelly O’Neil. It wasn’t as bad as I thought and I slowly started to learn that body painting doesn’t have to be sexual, but it is Art. Texas is apart of the Bible Belt, so we have been slow to embrace body painting but the word is getting out, and I want to help, not only by showing it’s true art form but to also get the message out that such artistry can’t be achieved by simply going to Michaels or Hobby Lobby for craft paint. True professional body artists and face painters use FDA compliant makeup, cosmetic grade glitter, and supplies that are made for the skin.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I’m a face painter first and a body artist second. I have always enjoyed art in many forms as I have a B.A. in Dance and a violinist. With the face painting, I mainly do festivals, big and small, such as Mardi Gras Galveston and the MLK Parade. As for the body painting I enjoy doing art shows such as the Pancakes n Booze Show, Chocolate and Arts, and the Orange Gala. Also with the body painting, I will often paint clients for Halloween, baby showers, and any other occasion. I’m able to do produce my work with FDA compliant makeup, sometimes airbrushing but often brush and sponge. I’m one of the few face painters that also airbrush face paints. The airbrushing gives a very neat finish along with the ability to give more depth and blending technique in a faster way. I have various designs and themes when it comes to my face painting and body painting. It seems every year I have a year-round theme for body painting such as Naughty Disney (what does the Disney Princesses wear under their dresses), African American superheroes (What if Superman were black?), animal prints, etc.
The sterotype of a starving artist scares away many potentially talented artists from pursuing art – any advice or thoughts about how to deal with the financial concerns an aspiring artist might be concerned about?
A face painter or body painter’s career isn’t an easy one. Most people assume we are rolling in money because of our rates. The truth is that we must buy our paint, brushes, airbrush equipment, insurance, and signage along with paying our bills, rent, car note, etc. Be prepared to have weekends where you don’t make any money but above anything be prepared for rejection as well. But when you do get a gig it can be the most rewarding feeling because not only with the client be appreciative of you but everyone in attendance as well. We are lucky in that when we do a gig; it’s not only the client that we are working for. We are also working for potential clients in the process, so be great in everything you do because you never know who is watching and want to hire you for their event.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Most of my work can be seen on my facebook page at facebook.com/artisticaudra and facebook.com/audratheartist as well as on Instagram @beyondvisuals. People can support my work by following me on Instagram where I announce what art show I will be attending as a body artist.
- Website: www.beyondvisuals.net
- Phone: (832)308-0316
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @beyondvisuals
- Facebook: facebook.com/artisticaudra
Photographers: Kevin Bussey, Simon Suen, Roberto Vigo, Richard Priest
Models: Alicia R, Aleah Hurst, Mark Edwards, Emilia Kobina, Hannah Adkins