All for One or One for All

Welcome to Episode 3 of Skin Wars… This one packs quite a punch you guys! Where do I even begin?!?!? Let’s just start at the beginning with the small challenge, POP ART! Most of you may not know what I am referring to because my piece was unfortunately not shown on this episode. Not going to lie, it wasn’t anything super special and I guess it would have been a bigger slap to my ego if they had a full episode on the judges hating on my work hahaha. Thank you Skin Wars for sparing me the shame on this one. It wasn’t terrible but just not my greatest work.

So the judges Robin Slonina and RuPaul tell us to make a run for a table of luggage and grab your favorite, which inside revealed  our model (male or female) and a prop to inspire our theme. So I had the pleasure of working with a camera. Since we were dating our paints back to an earlier era I decided to take a little bit of today and  show what it would have been for women, back in the day, to take selfies of themselves. Not quite sure where I was going with it, but no time to think it through fully, so I just ran with it! Instead of regular dots I decided to make them small hearts to show her love for herself.She shows a little skin by pulling her shirt away towards her mid drift to show her rebellion of being a classy lady! On her chest i painted Polaroid selfies falling down as if coming out of the camera.  Speaking of the camera, do note that I totally forgot about my prop and quickly covered it in black paint (FAIL). When you are limited on time you tend to get distracted and forget about a few details… sometimes you have to cut ideas out and that was one that should not have been cut! I soaked that in and noted that for the next challenges! Those mini challenges are tough! But RuPaul did tell me to always love my selfie… GOT IT! Here is my final photo for that challenge. Not top 3 material but worthy of a photo (haha).


On to the elimination challenge! The judges then bring on the surprise that we will not be painting by ourselves and that we will be paired up with another contestant. Now this could has the possibility of going terribly wrong. We are all in it for ourselves and now we have to make sure that the other person doesn’t drag you down! Who will be my partner?!? Will we get along, are we going to agree or disagree on a theme?!?! All of these questions running through my mind! Rebecca announces that Michael will be my partner and this immediate load of pressure gets released from my shoulders. At this point me and Michael have become really close friends and I thoroughly enjoy his carefree attitude. I work better with partners that always make sure to have fun in the process. This keeps the tension low and the stress as minimal as possible. So we have had a long day at this point and now we have to go home and figure out a plan of action. Now RuPaul is always making comments on “Listening to the Universe” to Michael so we both decided that our piece was going to tell a story through movement. They are living and breathing canvases why shouldn’t there be movement to bring the artwork to life. So we stay up most of the night literally dancing in our underwear to try and nail down poses that we want our models to land in for that perfect balance for our final photo. YES- There is a story in which you are lucky enough to hear, because the show edited it out and it is a darn good story! We are quite proud of our final piece.

So with little sleep we head into the studio to tackle this large task at hand. Michael brings out the child inside of me so we are really just enjoying our time together for the most part. You have to remember that we are so stressed out that it is hard to find time to just sit back and enjoy the moment. Michael says and does whatever is on his mind so it was a breathe of fresh air to allow myself to embrace that characteristic and just not be such a tight A$$. Not going to lie… when the time came down to minutes remaining we were both in a panic (as usual) and our carefree attitude went out the window. We had so many moving elements and poses that we had to accommodate for all of them instead of just having a stand still pose like all of the other contestants. Side note- The models are awesome and don’t get enough recognition for their hard work and dedication to our crazy ideas. They have to stand there for hours wearing basically just paint and play the role we need them to (WE LOVE YOU GUYS). Time to take this party to the judging table!

Here is our story and our on stage presentation:
Our story is of an artist who blankets his creativity in fear of allowing his true self to be seen(male model hunched over embracing himself). The moment he is able to look fear in the eyes (arms pop out and begin to move behind him- with painted eyes all down each arm) he transcends into a realm where the ego does not exist. He becomes one with the universe (center model stands up-representing all chakras and ego). Darkness will inevitably emerge from the shadows (model representing darkness stands up and hugs universe) But without darkness, there is no light (light model stands up). By allowing himself to be centered with the universe, he is able to find a delicate balance between both darkness and light (his head lines up to with the eyeball painted on the center model and darkness and light join hands with the universe and fall apart in a balancing position supporting one another). Thus giving his creative powers the ability to prevail. -THE END
me and michaels painting

In all honesty it is a story about us as artists, scared of being judged on our work that is so personal to us individually, but to just allow ourselves to love the work no matter the ridicule. Pushing past the fear of judgement and criticism and allowing yourself to enjoy the work, finding a balance in life. We knew that we were taking a chance on being different, but isn’t that what art is all about… who wants to be the same?!?

We thought we were doing great when Robin says how much she loves the movement and the colors were popping. Ru was digging our play off of listening to the universe. Me and Michael stood proud by our piece because not only was it visually pleasing but it meant more to us to tell our story and be proud of our work together and how much we enjoyed the experience. Of course when it came down to the fine details we had to get real and go back into competition mode because again, we are only in it for ourselves. So not only did we have to find mutual ground to work together and survive the challenge without killing each other,  now we were forced into tearing each other apart piece by piece. Who  did what… what don’t you like about what they painted… basically it is NOT all for one anymore! I can take a swift punch in the gut when it is needed. My work definitely could have been better on those light faces for sure… I mean I do portraits for a living guys… i know when my work is shitty (lol). But in the time we were given, there was no time for nitpicking and we have 4 people to cover head to toe in a short time! So Craig called us a train wreck (BAHAHA). I’m sorry it just made me laugh really hard because if you cant take things lightly then the pressure will get you down in life. Needless to say we were thrown into the bottom along with Kyera and Alison.

For the record- Kyera is one of the kindest souls you will ever meet (true story)! Alison was missing her little boy and I can’t relate to her specifically as I do not have children, but being separated from my boyfriend who I have lived with for years was extremely heartbreaking to not have him there as my rock when I needed the comfort. So we all learned to support each other and become the family we needed. Tears were shed quite a bit! The struggle is real you guys! So we are standing there not knowing what was going to happen. Michael and I had such a different concept from everyone else that we didn’t know which way the judges were going to lean. The build up the tension for sure… the long dramatic pause before the judges announce that Michael and I are safe (Brow wiped on that one). We live to see another paint day!!!! Yes we embrace each other after because ultimately we are happy that it didn’t come down to one of us going home, showing our love for each other through it all. Sadly enough Kyera takes the hit on having to go home when Alison made it clear that she wasn’t ready to continue the fight. It was a sad day in the house for us at that point! Be sure to tune in next week as we have the pleasure of painting RuPauls Drag Race Drag Queens! And don’t forget to laugh at yourself every now and then…
I will leave you with this final quote 
“Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.”

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Blending in or Standing Out

As some of you may or may not be aware, I am currently featured on the Reality Tv show called Skin Wars on GSN. It is an honor to be chosen to compete with some of the most amazingly talented and incredibly inspiring artists. If you are a fan of the arts in general… this is the show to watch. I have the pleasure of bringing my vision to life on a living model,adding much more depth to the artwork than I ever thought possible.

At this point in the game I have now advanced to round 3! let me fill you in on what you have missed up until this point. We all met and in the first 5 minutes they threw us in a room where we began our very first challenge. No time to think… cameras watching your every move! It is like going into an exam that you had no idea about and did not prepare for whatsoever. The only thing on my mind at this point is to not screw up royally! To be perfectly honest… I like to prepare. I like to plan my ideas out and I like going in with blueprints to build my masterpiece. That is just how I function to properly excell,or so i thought. This is totally out of my element completely. Then again… I signed up for this (haha)! Needless to say that I survived as I placed in the top 3 of the first elimination challenge where I had the celebration of St Patrick’s Day! Fun first challenge to start off with because I am a super colorful person in life and I like to have fun. With little to no sleep, I stayed up all night attempting to prepare my sketch to go in with a plan!!! As a hint of my carefree personality I added a little extra leg to my Leprechaun because WHY NOT?!? I don’t always make the best decisions but I cannot take them back so therefor i must own up to them. Now you are all caught up and on to week 2.

Skin Wars Season 3
Episode 301

Skin Wars Season 3
Episode 301

This episode is one of my very favorites, because there is so much backstory to my work that no one gets to know about unless you are reading this now! At this point we have already had to say goodbye to my very good friend Jermaze Wade (Blacc Jesus). The house was already thrown off and tension was getting high, so I decided to take a nature walk outside to start my morning off with fresh air. Now remember, I still really haven’t slept at this point and sleep deprivation will do some crazy things you guys! I plopped myself onto the stairs and was greeted by a tiny squirrel, so naturally  I did what any right minded person would do… Attempt to communicate with it (haha). After a while of this when my spirits were lifted I decided to join the group and Kyera,concerned with my frazzled state earlier, questioned how I was doing and where I had been. Laughing about my adventure, she stated, “Aww Britt, your Snow White!” So naturally when we walk into the paint room ready to start our small challenge and see this GIGANTIC Fairy tale book there, myself and Kyera’s mouths dropped to the floor! So yes.. when I was called up to pick my topic, I jumped on Snow White so that I could tell my story through my work!

I was ready to tell my story of my walk that morning. So in this piece there are 11 steps, one is missing because Blacc Jesus was sent home, showint the new gap in my path and how sometimes we have to leap a bit farther to get to where we are going. But the steps ultimately led to a house filled with all of these crazy artists who in truth are my dwarves that make me feel at home and loved!! I won’t mention who is who because I am sure they know exactly which one they represent (haha). Naturally I placed a silhouette of Otto and his cowboy hat peeping out the window because he was stationed next to me while painting. He always poked his head in just when I needed a laugh to relieve the stress of what I got myself into! But don’t look too closely,as I totally ran out of time and forgot to finish painting my squirrel sitting on the steps toward the bottom. Shit Happens…and sometimes it is ok to not be able to finish and sit back and laugh at yourself for your mistakes. So i deemed him my SPIRIT ANIMAL! He lives on through my work!!!SW3_302_0185R_Beauty-and-the-Beast_Kyera

Next Challenge… we have no idea where we are going or what we are painting. I felt like a kid on a field trip! Totally was because they surprised us with a Ty Store visit!!! They set us loose to run and grab a station of our choice… NOT a good day to wear heels guys! I got lost in the back of the store, more so because I wanted to play with everything instead of paint. So I didn’t have a choice of my station…my station chose me! Challenge Accepted!!! In all honesty… I have done camouflages before, not an easy task at hand and I had all the straight lines to incorporate on a curvy model… YAY! Not to mention the pressure of these little dolls staring at me as I painted. They will forever haunt me in my dreams! It was hot, we were literally dripping sweat and everyone was on the edge at this point. Poor Shelly Wapniak was directly behind me feeling the pressure too. If you have seen the show, then you know Shelly is not afraid to verbally speak her mind. I love her for this, but not in that moment when I was trying to channel my inner Chi and calm the S#!t down (haha). Love you girl… we are going to work on that meditation together ;). Thankfully my model, Irena, who was so understanding and supportive. She was there to help me focus. She cheered me on and made sure I knew that it was looking good and helping to line it all up. She is a champ and that was one of the most difficult challenges I have ever faced. Time is up!!!

To explain my piece in full, I positioned her standing in front of the baby dolls looking down and reaching for the dollhouse. her pose represents human acceptance and how we crave to be loved. Just like a doll placed alongside of so many others and hoping to be the one that gets taken home. Stretching for the dollhouse, she longs to be in a place she calls home. On some level, we are all this doll, wanting to be accepted and loved. Constantly trying to find a place we call home. Having the chance to describe this to the judges is my way of communicating the feelings and emotion I put into this piece. As they called me up as one of the Top 3, I felt that they received my message and that all the hard work I put into that paint paid off! It is amazing that no matter how difficult a challenge may be and how fearful I am approach it, the joy that comes out of each and every challenge from facing that fear is remarkable! We are all capable of so much more in life that we do not allow our self to be challenged due to this fear. There will be times when we fail but as long as you keep trying, there will be so many times when you succeed that it makes the failures totally worth it!SW3ArtworkToys_Britney_Instagram

So there it is… I made it to the next round! I hope that you enjoyed hearing my side of it all. Tune in for next weeks stories of the all new and exciting challenges that await! Before I go I want to leave you with this quote of inspiration…

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Winston S. Churchill

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