Cosplaying Artist Uses Body Paint to Transform Into Virtually Any Comic or Cartoon Character

Kay Pike is a talented designer and model from Calgary, Canada, who spends hours on end skillfully covering herself with body paint to transform into popular superheroes and villains.

Cosplaying used to be a big part of Kay Pike’s life, but after being diagnosed with congenital arthritis in her hips, which caused her excruciating pain, she just couldn’t sit and sew for hours, like she used to. Luckily, in 2015, during the Edmonton Comic and Entertainment Expo, she discovered “cospaint”, an intriguing art form that allowed her to transform into virtually any comic, cartoon or video game character by using body paint.

Photos: Kay Pike/Instagram

“I was working at my booth, and the convention staff brought a makeup artist named Lianne Moseley over to me,” the 33-year-old artist told “Her model had bailed on her, and the convention staff knew I’m always down for anything.”

She started doing cospaint herself, and discovered that she had a real knack for it. As time went by, she got better at using her body as a canvas, and these days most of her projects are simply awe-inspiring. She spends between 10 and 14 hours on a body-painting, methodically applying body paint and making sure every little detail is just right, but looking at what she can create, I’d say it’s definitely time well spent.

“My typical process is several hours of planning, cleaning, and organizing before painting. Then some basic line-work just as you would for drawing a comic on paper,” Pike said. “My color-blocking goes lightest to darkest and then I blend and add effects.”

When she is done applying the body paint, Kay will take some photos and record some videos to post on social media for her fans, then spend a long time in the shower washing off her alter-ego of the day.

Interestingly, Kay Pike has never had any formal painting or body painting education. She has just been playing and experimenting with paint her whole life, and cospaint just allowed her to take the art form to a whole new level.

“I have been a model and had makeup applied to me before, but never any lessons,” Pike told Cosplay Culture. “I was, like many cosplayers, the little awkward art room kid. I had paints and paper, a pencil, and an imagination growing up. I have always played with face paints and sfx makeup ever since I could get my hands on it, so I just have seriously been painting all my life.”

The talented artist posts her incredible transformations on Instagram, where she has over two hundred thousand fans, but also streams the process live on Twitch, at least twice a week.

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