“The mind is like an iceberg, it floats with one seventh of its bulk above the water. ” – Sigmund Freud
Emma Fay is a concept body artist, globally working in TV, campaigns, festivals, theatre and workshops. Originating from inspirational words Fay’s work becomes an exaggerated and playful expression, in most cases using the body as a canvas. In this interview Emma Fay talks about how she has come to success in the world of freelancing and what many projects she has been working on.
Words by Mel Fletcher
MF: Tell me about your upcoming projects.
EF: I’ll be doing a lot of body painting festivals. I have some works in London Zoo and we have a theatre production coming up soon called Enter Edem that we have been developing over the last year.
MF: Where is the origin from this way of working?
EF: Body paint was the missing piece. I ran a salon for many years, before that I did Art and Design and Theatre Design and it wasn’t quite right for me. I couldn’t find a job that fitted but the salon helped me to pick up a lot of skills in health, beauty and make-up. But none of it filled what I should have been doing artistically and it got to the point where I suddenly realised this isn’t what I am supposed to be doing with my life. So I decided to leave the salon and become a freelancer.
My friend told me about a body painting festival and when I bought the tickets and went, I’ve never looked back.
MF: What kind of opportunities would you say there are for someone who specialises in body painting?
EF: It is pretty endless. You get to combine your skills of body paint and makeup in: festivals, theatre, TV, commercial arenas, face painting, circuses, one off commissions and campaigns. I’ve been very fortunate to have success from this specialism and I am always getting enquiries from different industries such as a live show coming up at London Zoo.
MF: What are the influences in your life and artwork?
© Emma Fay
© Emma Fay
EF: I love philosophy, in particular the philosopher Alan Watts. I’m also influenced by spiritual leaders and like to learn about different cultures from around the world. I tend to take inspirational words from others and create a visual interpretation.
MF: What is the purpose of your work?
EF: My artwork is an expression of what I find fascinating, a human experience. Most of my artwork is an expression but occasionally I will get commissions for campaigns such as animal rights.
MF: How does your work begin?
EF: I take inspiration from quotes or words, gather images and make very bad sketches to get an idea. I will then produce the piece that gets filmed or photographed.
Interview by Mel Fletcher
Text by Mel Fletcher 2015
All images courtesy of Emma Fay and © to photographers
© Emma Fay