Giovedì 25 Feb 2021
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Interview to Elena Tagliapietra by Karala B.


How long have you worked with body art?

I actually start quite few time ago, in 2004. I did a make up course in Venice and the teacher told me that I was talented for make up. Then I begun to assist him, and one day he had an event of body painting, during the while , with my big surprise, he gave me a brush and ask me to help him to paint. So I begin with body painting by chance. In the next event I tried to do a my own work, and I enjoy so much that I decided to continue to experimented this original kind of art, so coloured , creative and positive.

Only two years later I was called as guest at the italian body painting festival, and the next year I competed winning the first place. From the 2007 I am in the jury and from last year I am the artistic director with Fiorella Scatena and Flavio Bosco, two important italian body painters.


What other areas of work do you do?

I am a professional make up artist so I work for fashion, editorial, advertising, cinema, television programmes, catwalks and events. Very often I am called as make up artist specialized in body painting and some times also to doing basic special effects. In fact in the world of make up artist there aren’t so many professionist that have all these 3 high specializations toghether; probably in Italy there are more people that is specialized in sfx rather than in body painting, especially with brush and sponge.


What are the differences between normal fashion make up and combining body art with fashion?

The line is very near sometimes. Usually when you combining body painting with beauty make up, you used more vivid colors and bigger lines, forms or pictures.   For sure you can use aquacolor in fashion make up , but it is very very difficult to do the contrary : a body painting only with the powders of fashion make up is not quite simple to do! Much of the others colors products are in commons like pencils, glitter, false eye lashes.

Other times the differences are very clear because if it is needed a false tatoo, or a completly black coloured skin, for example, you are doing pure body painting. The thing more important on my opinion is the final result: you have to decide the painting with the photographer, the stylist and sometimes, also with the designer and the creative director. Of corse you have a big rule, because when there is a body painting in a fashion shooting it means that there is a special project and you have to see that will be perfect done, perfect matching with the body and the face of the model, with the mood, the lights, the clothes, the location.. and so on. More big is the painting, in a fashion body painting work, more you have to pay attention to do something that is well designed.


What are the differences between fashion body art and fine art body art?

Fashion body art is links to a client that want to show a product, usually a clothes or an accessory. To do this usually are used very beautiful models, make up and hair styiling that go on the trend of the moment; so also body painting in fashion is used to communicate particolars mood, or linkness to particolar cultures or period of history and so on. But the final goal is always to show as best as can the brand or the product that the client need to sell.

In the fine art body art the artist is free to express himself freely. He can paint everything he wants and do it researching to realize something beautiful, or original, or strange, or innovative. He has the added value to explore this very special and unique canvas, every time different and special. As in every artwork, the artist communicate his emotions or his idea, and offer this to the observers.


When you create a fashion body art image, what message do you want to give people?

It depends from every specific work, and of corse the message is always different. Very often I want to give people the amazement of illusion, like when I paint clothes and tatoo that seems real. Other times is needed an ethnical o tribal painting, so emotions, cultures , and anscient traditions come out in a deep link to the present. When I do an artistic make up or paint abstrac lines and figures, the message is more esthetic and direct, may want call attention to the colours of the clothes or to the graphic of the brand, for example. For sure you know that when you paint the skin the message is strong and visibile, so you can’t not communicate something.


Have you worked together with designers, who?

In fashion you work in stricty contact with the designer only in case of catwalk. I do mostly fashion shooting and in this case usually you decide the work of make up, hair styling and body painting in team, a group composed by the photographer, the fashion stylist, the creative director, the account, the make up artist, and/or the hair stylist, and/or the body painter. The main idea comes from the creative director, but sometimes also from the fashion stylist or the photographer . The most intersting works that I did in this manner is the campain of the eye-glasses X-ide and the video and shooting for the swimming-suite Jaked.

The important is that everybody understand the mood and the goal of the project to set every action and be sure that all will be done in the same direction. In every moment, if I have some suggestion, or a new idea to improve the final result, it will be appreciate because all are searching for perfection. If I’m working for an advertising I know that there is an advertising agency that worked a lot to create a specific image and designed for this purpose a particolar lay-out; there are infact many pofessional figures dedicated to this part of the work, as the copy-writer and the creative director; they search for the right manner to present the product after specific marketing researches like   studies of the market, of the competitors, of the potential customers, and so on. They will explain the whole idea and discuss it with me, to understand particolars neededs or intersting suggestions that my professionality can offer.


If you have a contracted job combined with clothing and/or accessories, how do you design the paint and make up for the final image?

In advertising the main goal is make remember the product. So I create my project being carefull to give importance to this point. I listen the project and I make questions to understand better as possibile the aim of the client. In fashion editorial you are searching for a mood, so the final pics have to be coordinated and have sense togheter, is a real artistic work, where all the elements must be combined in a new manner, searching for create new trend and different visions of the world. In both case I work by ispiration. I listen all the ideas , I see the models, the products, the locations, the lights and every details possibile. I also have to know who will see the pics, where the pics will be displayes, how was the past presentations of this brand. When I have all the informations I can design something original.