Wakefield artist sets sights on international bodypaint competition

John Jones.
John Jones.

An award-winning body painter is seeking help from the public in an attempt to achieve his dream of reaching the World Bodypaint Festival in Austria this July.

Once homeless and jobless, John Jones has since turned his life around and gone on to gain recognition in the field of body art - where artwork is painted directly onto the human skin.

John said: “When I first arrived in Leeds in 1992, I was living on my wits. I spent about 4 months living rough but eventually had some luck and managed to find a space sharing a room with three other people to get back on my feet.

“Since then, I got back into education and employment and proved to myself how you can go from nothing to something you can be proud of if you work hard at it. Now, during the week, I am an event organiser at Leeds City College, but in my own time, I do something a bit different!”

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John’s life took on a new direction four years ago when he took up face painting for his daughter’s first birthday and soon realised he had a talent for the medium. John wanted to explore this kind of art further, so he began to paint his own arm and put the images on social media.

John, from Carlton in Wakefield, added: “After these pictures became popular, I was noticed by other artists and was invited to join a group of body painters called The Midlands Bodypaint Project. I became one of their regular artists attending events such as Comic-Cons, Sci-Fi weekenders, and other conventions around the country.”

Since taking up the craft, John has painted bodies all over the UK, in Melbourne Australia, and even became the “people’s choice” winning artist and competition runner up at the famous Gibraltar Face & Bodypainting Festival in 2018.

Several years ago, John teamed up with a fellow artist, Wayne Goldson, who makes fantastical props to adorn the living canvases John paints. The next step is for the duo to attend the Austrian competition for body-painting specialists, but additional funding is still needed to cover model expenses.

John 45, said: “After creating some exciting pieces together, Wayne and I would love to test our skills at the World Bodypaint Festival and pitch ourselves against some of the best artists in the world. The festival has been going for 20 years and seen some incredible works of art, and this is the biggest stage we can get on.”

A fundraising page set up has now reached half of its goal to cover the model costs required for the competition.

Support can be made by donating to: www.gofundme.com/f/help-me-go-to-the-world-bodypainting-festival
You can follow John on Instagram & Facebook, @JohnJonesArt