A few weeks ago, I was called by a lady called Katy from RBP Agency looking for a body painter for a concept they had relating to a biker awareness campaign for one of their clients Minster Law.
Katy explained the background story of the campaign and I really wanted to be involved. Accidents involving motorcylces and the "I just didn't see them" are all too common these days and tbh I've even been surprised myself a couple of times when a motorcycle seems to appear from nowhere!
My two young boys are getting into motorcross and I definitely want them to be safe on the roads in the future!
The idea revolved around the fact that drivers "look but don't see". They wanted to hire me to do a "camouflage" body paint on a model riding a motorcycle - make the rider disappear!
Great! I thought.....sounds awesome! Count me in! I love painting the naked body and love camouflage ideas!
Days later they threw in a curveball......because the campaign was about driver awareness, they also needed to portray rider safety...so the model was going to be fully clothed in biker gear, head to toe - helmet and all! (Oh and the model was in fact a rider who had been directly affected by the concept, a gentleman called Graham who wasn't seen when a tractor pulled out in front of him causing serious injury to him)!
Errr......ok...this is definitely something I had never done before, I didn't know if my paint would work on clothing but I was happy to give it a go and the clients were happy for me to try! I even painted my leather sofa at home with my airbrush paints to see if they would "stick" and thankfully they did! However, they then decided they wanted to dress Graham in the textile biker gear - ummm... ok.... not sure how that will work but let's try it!!
I practiced at home for the next week and bought additional paint (ProAir Hybrid) on next day delivery from The Face Painting Shop as I was worried I wouldn't have enough to cover the absorbent clothing as well - I exchanged numerous emails/calls with the client to make sure everything I/they needed was discussed and agreed - they then confirmed that the ad campaign would also appear in National Press....EEEEEK!!! How exciting/daunting is that?!
I must admit, the few days up to the shoot I was super nervous, I'm never nervous! This was such a big deal for not only me but the client and I wanted to deliver, I wanted to get it right - the main thing was the painting on clothing.. would it work? Will my paint be ok? Arghhh!
I booked myself a hotel around the corner from the shoot (a deluxe super king suite which included a double bath, two sinks, king size bed, huge TV) for the night before! I needed luxury and comfort to calm my nerves! haha!
One Tuesday 22nd March, it was D-Day (or P-Day in my world - Paint Day) I met the team in the morning, which included two representatives from RBP Agency, a rep from Minster Law, model Graham, our photographer James from Double-Red Photography and two guys who would be filming me throughout the day.
I scoped out the backdrop, mixed my colours and briefed Graham on what to expect. We made sure the screen (hooked up to the camera) was working and in place (as this is what I would be working from), got my airbrush up and running, paints out and I was ready to go!
Three hours in and we had a short break for lunch, Graham got to stretch his legs and I got to refresh and check it was going ok (the paint was working on the clothing - Woooop!)...thankfully the clients and team were super happy with progress too, Graham was "disappearing" as per the screen so I could totally relax after that! Even the camera crew being in my face and filming me all the time didn't phase me - I was in the zone!
Another three hours passed and finally the end had come, I probably could've carried on another hour or so just adjusting bits here and there, but that's the creative in me..
The final shot was taken by James (after many to get the right lighting etc) and we checked it out on the screen.... I could see something not quite lining up so we took a few more shots until everyone was happy with final picture. James the photographer was great to work with and had a fab eye for detail picking out bits in the photo that weren't right / needed adjusting so that not only the client but I was happy with it.
That was it - We'd done it!! As they say in film "That's a wrap"
I was really happy with the outcome, the client and team were commending me on the job I had just done (and that they had to sit and watch unfold for 6 HOURS) and all was happy! We had managed to stay to the time limits for the day, the final shot was great and it was still light outside!
I have to say a HUGE thank you to the whole team, everyone made me feel super welcome and comfortable, they kept me topped up with coffee and food throughout the day and it was a pleasure to work with such a fantastic team.
An even bigger THANKYOU to my model Graham who despite having a fused ankle from his injuries, who had never sat for so long before, never been painted, was calm throughout and was an overall superstar! We even "High Fived" for such a fab job done!
Check out the biker awareness campaign here #canyouseemenow
Also - watch the time lapse video of the whole day (and a cracking view of my butt)! hahahahahah!!!!!
Mistair Airbrush and primary colour paints (mixed to match backdrop)
ProAir Hybrid Airbrush "zombie" paints
Diamond FX black, white & Skin Tone Pallette