The Face and Body Art International Convention: Skin As Canvas (Photos)

The Face and Body Art International Convention (FABAIC) is no toddler birthday party face-painting. The event celebrating its 11th year in Fort Lauderdale from May 23 to 27 shows off some serious skill. As the FABAIC staff say, face and body painting is where "ballet meets Monet; where drama meets Dali."

The convention features classes for all skill levels on face painting, body painting, airbrush art, henna, FX special effects, glamour make-up, and, oddly, marketing. (Even body artists gotta sell, we guess.) In addition, and this is where we became highly interested, there will be a body painting competition featuring nude barely dressed (just undies and pasties) models as canvases. Some of them may appear to be wearing clothes, but that is only a "pigment" of your imagination. (Sorry, we just had to.)

Follow the jump for more on the convention as well as some killer images.

We spoke with founder Marcela Murad, who has been face painting for over 30 years and body painting for over six years, about how she got involved. "I started as a family entertainer doing birthday parties, company picnics, and other events. I went on to become an instructor at other conventions and an author of various books on the subject. Later on, I published the first magazine for face and body painters, Face and Body Art International Magazine, which lead to producing the event." Murad taught her niece Heather Banks the art and Banks is now on FABAIC's board of directors and an integral part of the convention.

Murad says that FABAIC attracts all kinds of artists. "We have artists from all over the world attending. Most are painters working at their local communities, others are professional make-up artists, body painters, tattoo artists, and people that practice art in other mediums."

Although face painting is more popular, body painting artists are rapidly gaining notoriety. Says Murad, "Body painting has been gaining popularity at a rapid pace in the past five years and is being used in advertising and corporate promotions." As far as mediums go, she says that Henna is big at weddings, and that airbrush face and body art, especially airbrush tattoos, are also really popular.

This is the first year that FABAIC's competition is open to the public. Murad says that people unfamiliar with the industry think that body art is about nudity and sex, but that isn't necessarily true. "It is amazing to observe a masterpiece come to life as art in movement. It takes an average of six hours to complete a body painting and only five minutes to wash it off. The collaboration between artist, model and photographer is what makes everything work."

FABAIC takes place May 23 through 27 at the Hyatt Regency Bonaventure Conference Center & Spa (250 Racquet Club Rd., Fort Lauderdale). For more information visit

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Ily Goyanes
Contact: Ily Goyanes