Jen Seidel is a multi-hyphenate artist who works in oil painting, fashion design and makeup. But the medium for which she’s best known is body paint. As a body painter, her work has appeared at events and in commercials and other ad campaigns online, on TV and in print. Seidel is dedicated to eliminating the taboo of body painting and bringing it into the mainstream. “Being a body painter to me is still being an artist in every way,” Seidel has said. “The majority of the people in the beginning heard the words ‘body painting’ and automatically are trained to think of nudity, naked people and taboo. From the beginning, I viewed body painting as a way of art expression.”
In a recent social/artistic experiment, Seidel wanted to see if one of her painted models (pictured hair standing between Seidel and Seidel’s daughter) could get away with walking around undetected while nearly nude in public. It would require a convincing painted-on outfit.
“My daughter and I painted this model for about three hours to make a nice fall outfit,” Seidel wrote. “Besides pasties, a thong, and a hat/scarf, she’s basically naked.” The body paint is pretty convincing at a glance, but would people notice it in a public setting?
“We walked through the mall to see whether people would react,” Seidel wrote. “It got pretty interesting.” That’s an understatement. Whether people knew they were looking at body paint or just the tightest pair of destroyed jeans they’d ever seen in their lives, Seidel’s work drew plenty of bewildered stares.
The sitting guy’s reaction is priceless, but what’s with the hoodie guy in the background? Is he taking pictures of her ass? Don’t worry; it wasn’t like that, according to Seidel. “The ‘creepy’ guy in red is actually on our team,” she said. “He was filming an Instagram story for us.”
Seidel is exacting with her body paint, and deliberate about her choice of materials. "I use water based paints and paint brushes," she says. "I do not use airbrushes or any other tools. I cut my own stencils when I need to for specific logos."
Seidel also frequently paints her own body. And she says she treats all her models' bodies the same way she treats her own: "I do not use materials on the models or clients I work with that is harmful to them or their skin. ... If I cannot use it on myself, I will not use it on others."
Seidel isn't just a perfectionist about her materials, but of course about the work itself too. "There is never enough time to paint everything perfectly the way you want," she said. "Walking away from a design knowing you want to spend another 2 hours on it but cannot, is my biggest challenge."
Seidel began her career as a licensed makeup artist: "I started out in the cosmetic field as a licensed Aesthetician and a trained rehabilitation makeup artist working with my mother Linda Seidel, covering burns, scars, birthmarks, etc. I am an artist, a painter, so I knew there was something else, something different and creative that I was supposed to be doing in addition to my makeup skills."
Seidel says her career in body paint began almost accidentally: "Body painting was a fluke. Being that I am an artist and Halloween is my favorite day of the year, I decided to paint myself as a cheetah which is how it all began. I wanted to be different and unique and I spent 10 hours painting myself."
There's lots more of Seidel's work to be found on her Instagram page, @jenthebodypainter. She's not infrequently her own model. You'll also see other models painted as characters from pop culture, classic works of fine art, and plenty more.
If you like Seidel's work, there's good news: She plans on making lots more videos. "My team and I make videos every week of models painted in all sorts of fun designs," Seidel said. "I’ve always wanted to share my art with the world, so seeing all of you enjoy these video projects has been incredible."
But to make more content, Seidel needs help from her fans. "Unfortunately for my team, this is still an expensive and time-consuming side job that they do because they believe in my work," Seidel said. "If you like what we do, then supporting our projects will help us get bigger and better ideas than ever before." You can support Seidel's work by contributing on her Patreon page.
15. Does She Get Kicked Out?!
Want to see more of Luciotti walking around the mall showing off her painted booty? Yeah, of course you do. You're not stupid. Watch the video in its entirety right here.