Halloween is definitely one of my favorite times of the year and a very busy time of the month for me as a body painter. I am often commissioned to paint some extreme themes. I have one particular client who also takes Halloween seriously and goes the extra mile to transform into a different costume each year using my body painting services. I anxiously look forward to each year knowing I get to paint freely creating my own version of whatever I am asked to paint.
I am booked a year in advance by Nate Shivers, a local resident from Maryland, whom had presently heard me live on the radio and decided to go all the way and be fully body painted. His first year with me, he wanted to be painted like my Mr. Anatomy which I had already previously completed for the Body Worlds II exhibit at The Maryland Science Center. I painted him from head to toe and we did a professional photo shoot with 80 West Studios. This painting session took me 8 hours to complete.
This year Nate asked me to paint him as Venom, the Marvel villain. Venom, or the Venom Symbiote, is a fictional character appearing in books published by Marvel Comics, usually those featuring Spider-Man. The character is a Symbiote, a sentient alien, with a gooey, almost liquid-like form that requires a host, usually human, to bond with for its survival, as with real world symbiotes, and to whom it endows enhanced powers. When the Venom Symbiote bonds with a human, that new dual-life form refers to itself as Venom.
The Symbiote’s first known host was Spider-Man, who eventually separated himself from the creature when he discovered its true nature. The Symbiote went on to merge with other hosts, most notably Eddie Brock, its second and most infamous host, with whom it first became Venom and one of Spider-Man’s archenemies.
Comics journalist and historian Mike Conroy writes of the character: “What started out as a replacement costume for Spider-Man turned into one of the Marvel web-slinger’s greatest nightmares.Venom was ranked as the 22nd Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time in IGN’s list of the top 100 comic villains, and 33rd on Empire Magazine‘s 50 Greatest Comic Book Characters.
Body Painting Venom took me 5 – 6 hours but the time flew by as I had fun creating the frightening character. I used printed images of the animated character as a guide and we watched as Nate was transformed into the Marvel villain each step of the way. Once the painting was completed we spent another 2 hours on location in Baltimore, MD with 80 West Studios for the professional photo shoot which ended up being a collection of several masterful images. To end the photo session, 80 West Studios had Nate lift me above his head to bring the work day to a close and off he went to an evening of showing off what we all had worked so hard to accomplish. All I can say is I love what I can do and I am blessed to be doing it.