What is it like to paint on Kate Upton's nude body? Only one person can truly answer this question and her name is Joanne Gair, a New Zealand-born makeup artist who has worked on the SI Swimsuit issue for 14 years. Though she still handles many traditional makeup jobs, Gair has carved a niche as the premier bodypainter in the industry. New York Magazine recently spoke with Gair about her career and painting SI's cover model in the buff. The interview is well worth reading and here are a few of the more interesting quotes:
How the models prepare for a bodypainting session:
I need all the hair follicles removed as best they can, otherwise it gets done on the day. Hair follicles only show when you start airbrushing. Even if you think you have none, as soon as you blow air on skin, the follicles stand up and you can see them because they get coated with color. So you need to make sure that’s not there, because with high definition you’re going to see everything — and I mean everything.
How the models handle being painted in sensitive areas:
I make a prosthetic piece that is put on during the painting process, toward the end, and I blend it in. If the pose and the pattern are more friendly, and more busy down there, and if the model is comfortable, then nothing is applied, and it’s just paint. It’s an option the models have. There’s a lot of trust. We’re all here to make the picture fabulous, and they know that. So there’s a comfort zone, and it’s very professional.
What it's like working with Kate Upton:
I first met Kate when she was 18, and she was so excited. I know a lot of people say this, but it's true — she is completely comfortable in her own skin. She brings a great deal of life to the moment. She knows how to calm down and go into a zen state and relax, but she finds humor in all of it, and really keeps morale up. It's very enjoyable working with a live canvas that has so much personality. She also has gorgeous skin.