Competition Rules and Guidelines

2017 Themes

Artists in both the Professional and Emerging Artist levels will present work based on the theme. It is important to note that adherence to the theme will be taken into account by the jury when points are awarded.

  • The theme for 2017 Living Art America (all competitions) – Heal the Body, Heal the World


Competition day highlights:

  • Six and one-half (6.5) hours allowed for artists to create their work. Artists may work solo or with one (1) assistant, who is held to the same rules and guidelines as the artist. Artist workspaces are designated for one artist, one assistant and one model, ONLY.
  • A short presentation before the jury (under 2 minutes), where the artist may explain their work in English. If the artist prefers, they may submit their concept to the Jury, translated into written English (three paragraphs or less), for the jury to read.
  • Artists and models will move to the photo area to make their work available for staff photographers/videographers.
  • After the photo area, artists and models will assemble backstage, to line up for stage presentation. Stage presentation gives each model one (1) minute to showcase the work on the catwalk. The artist, assistant and model’s name, as well as a short description of the work (3 sentences) may be read or featured, in addition to the artist’s music selection.
  • The artists will have the opportunity to create their best work without being limited to one technique. The competition allows for bodypainting utilizing a combination of brush & sponge, airbrush and special effects.
  • The stated rules and guidelines apply to ALL artists, regardless of category.

The Application Process

Application procedure for the competition

  • Please use the online artist’s registration form on this website. It is recommended that you register early. Due to overwhelming demand, only a specified number of select applicants will be accepted.
  • Acceptance in prior years is not a guarantee of acceptance for this years’ competition.
  • When applying, please include 3-5 example photos representative of the artist’s recent work. These images will also be used in our promotional materials.
  • Applications will be held until the closing date. The decisions of the review board will be made available to each applicant at that time. Closing date may be extended at the organizer’s discretion. Artists will be informed of their acceptance on or before August 20th, 2016.
  • There are multiple competitions within the Living Art America Bodypainting Festival and artists may find they have several choices. A one-time, non-refundable application fee of $95 will apply to all participating artists  This registers the artist for any and all competition events.
  • An ID number will be assigned to each artist chosen to participate in the competition.
  • The ID numbers (randomly drawn and assigned) determine order for jury and stage presentation of the models and must be kept by artists at all times.
  • Artists who placed in the top three in Living Art America’s Emerging Artist Category must apply to the Professional Category in subsequent years.
  • Artists who did not place in prior Living Art America competitions are welcome to apply for the Emerging Artist Category.

Registration at the competition

  • You will receive an artist packet, containing registration badges for artist, assistant and model(s), entitling access to all Living Art America backstage, working areas and events. These badges MUST be worn at all times (with the exception of fully painted models) to identify participants. All accepted participants can pre-register prior to competition day on the morning of the competition.

Start and finish times

  • The artist working area opens at 9:00 AM, artists will find their assigned work space, organized by ID numbers. Artists set up and prepare for start time.
  • The artist’s start time is 10AM.
  • Finish time is 4:30 PM, all artists will cease working at this time and line up for jury presentation.
  • Any team working in ANY capacity beyond this deadline, either in the work area or the line to jury, will be noted and receive point deductions in judging. (e.g.- if your model’s headpiece has tilted off-balance, you may straighten it, but if you are found to have paint, glue, glitter, crystals, eyelashes, eye contacts, fixative, a brush, or any means of adjusting the finished product IN YOUR HANDS, at ANY time after the finish time,  you can expect to lose points in the interest of fairness to all competitors.) If you have an extraordinary circumstance at this stage, find an official and explain the situation before acting in any regard.

Running order for the jury

  • The jury area will have working space set up for the judges and provide an opportunity for the artist and assistant to present their model.
  • A short description (2 minutes or less) of the piece can be made to the jury. The model is free to walk, turn, pose or move to show the work to best advantage. Additionally, the jury members may ask to view the work more closely or ask any other questions to clarify the intention of the piece.
  • Entry to the judging area follows in ascending order of the assigned Artist Identification Numbers.
  • All artists should move directly to the Photo Area after judging, to give the photographers and videographers a chance to capture the official photos all of the art created from the day.

Stage presentations

  • The models are presented to the audience on the catwalk stage beginning at 8:00PM.
  • Every artist must submit their accompanying music during the application process. Deadline is September 15, 2017
  • Every artist is welcome to submit a descriptive summary (3 sentences long) about their creation, for the stage presentation. This will be of particular interest to the audience casting votes for the “Audience Award”. Deadline is September 15, 2017.
  • Any artist who does not submit a description of the work and/or musical choice by the stated deadlines will have music selected for them by event staff and model will present without any description.
  • The stage presentations run in the order of the Artist ID Numbers.
  • The limit for presentations is two minutes maximum.
  • If you are planning a particularly spectacular show and have ANY special considerations, please contact us well in advance of the competition for discussion/pre-approval.
  • The “Audience Award Prize” voting will take place at the time of the show, by all in attendance wishing to do so. Votes are cast in real time via mobile device and tabulated. The winner is announced at the awards presentation.

Artist Rules

Rules Overview

  • Competition start and stop times will be STRICTLY ENFORCED, Violators painting outside of designated times will be disqualified.
  • The artist may work with one (1) assistant ONLY, who MUST BE REGISTERED with the artist’s application.
  • Using several assistants that work sequentially, one after another in a tag-team arrangement is NOT ALLOWED.
  • Models may not paint themselves, or ANY additional models, as this is counted as a second assistant.
  • Only registered artists, assistants and models are allowed in the artist working area for ANY reason, at any time.
  • All activities related to the competition must be done by the artist and/or assistant ONLY. Having a “support staff” of any kind is NOT ALLOWED. This means you cannot have extra people to clean your brushes, do hairstyling, run errands, etc.
  • Assistants are allowed to paint the entire time of the competition.
  • Assistants may paint whatever their artist designates, from base coat to detail work, appliances, etc.
  • The artist is free to paint more than one model, so long as they are pre-registered to do so.
  • We advocate the safety of the models, above all. Only professional grade make-up paints/adhesives intended for bodypainting/effects are to be used for any application to the body.
  • Any brand of professional grade bodypaint products may be used for the bodypainting, attachments and special effects.
  •  If you use something not allowed, or bring it into the working or judging area, points will be deducted from your total score on that day or your team may be disqualified upon discretion of jury.
  • The judges will preview work in-progress during the day. Additionally we have installed judging assistants, who know the rules and can give judges a note if someone breaks them. [For example: working with more than one assistant or starting early or working beyond the finish time.]
  • You are allowed to prepare the hairstyle of the model’s own hair (or wig) before the beginning of the contest. This can happen anytime before the 10AM start time (including prior to arrival) and need not take place in the artist work area. Please note: No using of any applied color, make up, headpieces or attachments before the official start will be allowed.
  • The artists, assistants and models must sign a form at the artist registration area, that any photos and videos made may be used by Living Art America.
  • The models must be wearing at least a g-string or glued-on “g-strip”, which can be applied prior to competition start time.
  • All female models must wear pasties covering their nipples, which may be applied ahead of competition start time.
  • Models may be fitted with unpainted bald caps prior to the start of competition.
  • 18+ only admittance to all work areas of the competition. This applies to artists, assistants, models and members of the public. You will be asked to show proof of legal ID at registration.
  • Silent compressors are the only kind allowed for airbrush painting. In an effort to create the most enjoyable experience for both the participating artists and the ticket-buying public we can no longer allow loud air compressors.  We recommend the use of small, quiet air compressors or air tanks. We recognize that even the small ones are not silent, however the use of large, noisy, industrial compressors is NOT ALLOWED.
  • Artists may enjoy music in their workspace, so long as it does not disturb their fellow competitors.
  • No corporate logo wear will be considered acceptable dress for artists/assistants unless sponsoring company is also a Living Art America sponsor. We will have Living Art America shirts available for purchase on site. Violators of this rule will be compelled to change before they are allowed to begin painting.
  • Logo wear featuring only your own personal body/facepainting company name/logo/info IS acceptable.

Specific Rules

  • The competition is judged on criteria regarding the painting technique, adherence to theme and overall impression of work.
  • Both airbrush and brush and sponge are allowed.
  • The use of special effects attachments is also allowed, not to exceed coverage of 25% of model’s body.
  • The jury awards points for:
    • Quality, technique and ability  –  1 – 12  points
    • Interpretation of the theme, idea and originality  –   1 –   9  points
    • Composition of the work, overall impression  –  1 –   9  points

The following is a list of things ALLOWED

  • False Fingernails
  • False Eyelashes
  • Eye fashion contact lenses
  • Shoes that rise no higher than the calf
  • Wigs and false hair
  • Headpieces that attach by any safe means to the hair area of the head.
  • Glitter in loose form or spray on form or attached with skin-safe glue
  • Crystals/rhinestones/diamonds attached with skin-safe glue
  • G-strings attached to the body with glue (g-strips), rather than side strings
  • Special Effects attached to the face/body with skin grade adhesive, not to exceed coverage of 25% of model’s body.
  • Nipple covers/pasties
  • Anything not included in this list is not to be used and is against the rules.

Regarding Special Effects and judging

  • The definition of “Special Effects” as it pertains to this contest is: Effects adding to, changing and/or distorting the shape of the body. Examples of this are latex or silicone facial attachments, masking, body attachments, anything applied to the body with glue.
  • The work of the bodypainting is the MOST important criteria consideration for the jury, this is first and foremost a bodypainting competition.
  • The size or quantity of any Special Effects used is far less important than the quality.
  • Special Effects may add points to the overall score of the piece when they are successfully combined into the bodypainting work, not as separate objects.
  • There are no regulations as to what may be attached to the body in this category, but please consider the safety of your model.


UV Competition

Rules and Guidelines for the UV Competition

  • Artists must submit photos of your previous UV works, as well as a description of the planned work and performance idea.
  • One or two artists are permitted to paint. The artists can be considered equal and can be presented as a team, or as artist and assistant, or a single artist may paint alone.
  • All models must be painted, costumed and prepared within the competition time.
  • The UV Category will be carried out in the style of an art installation, each artist will have the freedom to design what takes place in their designated space.
  • A maximum of five (5) bodypainted performers are allowed to participate in the presentation.
  • A maximum of two (2) non-bodypainted crew members or assistants are allowed to participate in the presentation. These are allowed to play assisting/functionary roles only, Example: Crew members must dress in head-to-toe “theater black” and may move props on or off set or hand props to performers, they cannot play additional costumed characters.
  • Artists are allowed to use various techniques, decorations & special effects.
  • Artists will be given a designated area of approximately 10′ x 10′. They may use costuming, props, pre-painted backdrops, alternate lighting (UV only) and other theatrical and dramatic devices to enhance their performance.
  • Artists are allowed to use extra lighting (UV only), spotlights (UV only), in addition to the cords and cables needed to power them.
  • Music and sound effects are allowed at reasonable volumes, but consideration must be taken to respect other artists nearby

Note: performance plays a greater role in this category than in all others.
Please keep in mind that the Emerging Artist Competition and the UV competition happen at the same place on the same day.You can only choose one.

  • Quality of the bodypaint work and UV Effects, 1 – 10 points
  • Interpretation of the theme, 1 – 10 points
  • Quality and innovation of performance concept and execution, 1 – 10 points

Timetable for the UV Competition

  1. Painting and preparation period
  2. Evening presentation to the public, at the first floor of the Millenium Center (judging will take place within this period)
  3. Presentation at the Awards Gala, winners announced, at the ballroom at the Millenium Center

Notes on Presentation

  • The Evening Presentations will be ongoing and take place over a period of several hours. Audience members will wander from one presentation area to the next in a relaxed, random fashion. Consider it as a continuing dramatic tableau that might “come to life” as visitors approach. Audiences will have the advantage of being able to view each performance at a relatively close distance. Instead of large audiences seeing your work for a brief moment on a distant stage, small groups will have a much more intimate experience with you, interact first-hand with your performers, and clearly see the quality and detail of the painting presented under optimal lighting conditions.
  • The Awards Gala in the ballroom will feature a sample of all artist’s presentations in a fast-moving catwalk. Each group of performers will briefly take the stage.This is meant to provide a quick reprisal of what the audience has already viewed earlier that evening as a warm-up to the announcement of the winner of the UV Competition.


Paint Jam

Open Theme Exhibition Rules and Guidelines

  • Artists can paint anything they want, even design they painted for the competition the day before, or reprise something that they have painted before in the past
  • Headpieces are optional
  • Any amount of prosthetics is allowed
  • Any amount of props or costuming is allowed
  • Multiple body pieces are allowed
  • This is an opportunity to experiment, to try something new, to dare, to take creative risks!
  • This is an exhibition, not a competition. There will be no formal judging, but there will be an “audience choice award”
  • Each model will give a one-minute presentation as part of the evening show
  • Paint Jam artists and models MUST be present in the main ballroom for the evening event