Body Painting at its best! I am so excited to show off my friend Paul Roustan’s wet suit video. Paul and I met about two years ago, in a very unusual way.
I was in the hospital, recovering from a surgery, around three a.m. a cute guy by the name of Patrick came to my room to do an ultra sound on my leg. He glanced over at my table and saw a book I was reading called “Blogging for Dummies.”
In spite of all the drugs, I remember him saying “You need to meet my buddy Paul, he’s an amazing body painter… I think he can help you.” I took Paul’s contact information and soon after my return home, I called Paul and we became friends.
Paul is without a doubt, one of the best artists I know. Besides talent, he is humble and caring. I love this guy! What a lucky wife he has.
L: Painting naked girls is a guy’s dream job – tell us how you got here?
P: I’ve always had a passion for drawing people since as early as I could remember. I never cared much for landscapes or backgrounds. As an early teen, I would sit at libraries and look for books that had pictures of naked people (Biology books, fine art books, etc). I would copy the pictures as drawings, and then change the drawings to look like faces so I wouldn’t get in trouble for drawing naked people.
Fast forward to age 25, I was working for an adult magazine as an editorial illustrator and I was also airbrushing t-shirts on the side. It was a dream to be paid doing what I had always loved, drawing naked people.
I ran the idea past the editors of body painting one of the models for the magazine’s photo spreads. They said, “Let’s give it a shot!” After that first effort, I was hooked. It was like I had found what I was meant to do. And I haven’t stopped since, now twelve years later.
L: I’m sure I have a lot of readers who would like to work with women – what would you say is the biggest lesson you have learned about women?
P: I have tremendous respect for women. Raised predominantly by my sister and mother, and now married with two daughters, I am more comfortable around women. I am a feminist for sure.
I paint people of all shapes, sizes, genders, ethnicities. I’ve seen it all. But, regarding women, some viewers of my work occasionally hate on the model’s look: “She’s too fat!”, “She’s too Skinny!”, “Her boobs are too small!”, “That’s not what a real woman looks like!”, “Why don’t you paint more ‘REAL’ looking models?” etc.
Some of the “flawless” models I collaborate with work extremely hard to look like they do. And they are often condemned for not being a “real representation of women”. But they ARE real women, not objects. They have feelings.
With every type of model, this is who they are, what they look like, and I celebrate all of them in my work. After spending hours painting them, in such a unique intimate setting, each model ultimately becomes a friend. The negative criticism they receive affects me personally.
I’ve learned that women endure a lot based on their looks. People need to judge less and appreciate more. They are mothers, daughters, sisters. I’ve painted artists, teachers, philanthropists, scientists, CEOs, and more. They represent every facet of life. They create life. They are important, and should be valued as such. They put themselves out there, for fun, for art, for empowerment, not to be shamed. They have more “balls” than most men any day. I LOVE women and I appreciate the hell out of ’em.
L: What is one thing a guy who works with women should never do?
P: Don’t disrespect women. Treat them like you would treat your mother, with the utmost respect. Make sure they are always as comfortable as possible. In my business, just because a model gets naked does not mean they are looking to hook up. Be professional and stop looking at things as an opportunity for sex. That’s arrogant, and that’s fuckin’ amateur 🙂
L: Where do you want to be a year from now?
P: I would like to have a solid known brand with representation in more high profile galleries.
L: Do you give lessons? Sell books? Photos? What do you offer your fans?
My hardcover book, a compendium of 10 years of my work can be found at http://www.BodyArt.ninja
I sell various limited edition prints. but, they are generally available at live shows. Sometimes they are made available on my instagram @roustan. That’s currently the best place to see all my latest stuff. I can always be emailed for info about specific images email@example.com