A trained artist & science teacher, Cat discovered face-painting in 2006. She started a part-time business, won UK Pro Painter of the Year, (& 5th in the World Face Awards), then decided to quit science. Assisting Bibi Freeman at the World Body Paint Championships in 2007 introduced her to body art …and Cat was hooked.
Face-painting is Cat’s bread & butter, and helps stop her growing too old as she’s usually dressed as some sort of fairy for it. In the UK she is ‘retained’ weekends & holidays by the beautiful Bewilderwood adventure forest, where she creates wildlife and magical creatures on faces inside her special Twiggle Tree House.
Cat works freelance, and enjoys big ‘scary’ events the most. E.g. since 2006, (with the Youth Arts Foundation) Cat paints at the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens, all profits going to charity. She trains and leads teams of artists for 16-hour days decorating 40,000 fans. She also body-paints fans (in less than an hour each) as its really one huge costume party.
HK7′s etc has made Cat fairly bomb-proof at loud, busy events, and lets her enjoy her favourite creative release – body-painting at body-art events and photo shoots (which are usually noisy, crowded and stressful too!). Figuring out a flowing design when given a set theme and rules is a puzzle Cat loves, although she is likely to turn up and paint off-the-cuff, based on the models’ looks and likes. She thinks painting surrounded by other creative people is the best work environment ever, and ‘jams’ or competitions are about the only time she gets to choose what to paint and then spend a decent amount of time on it.
Cat says “My main passion is turning people into something they aren’t, or disguising them in some way. I love it when the minds under the paint really get into their new ‘skin’ and start acting to suit the artwork; it seems to be transforming for them and very freeing. And when the audience get captured by the paintwork and don’t notice the nearly naked body under it – fabulous!
Freehand glitter tattoos are great too – I do them a lot for performers. No matter how simple the pattern, as you brush off the loose glitter to reveal the ‘stuck’ pattern beneath, myself & most of the people around squeal at the sheer magical sparkliness of it.
All body art really has to be seen live to appreciate what a fun and artistic expression it is. Even my toddler bodypaints (not always where or when we’d like him to) so please get away from the slightly rude idea some people have of this and really look – it makes everyone involved happy.”
Cat Finlayson BodyPaintingbyCat.co.uk