Body Make-Up Artist

Body make-up artists use oils, watercolours and other materials to paint people's bodies. They are usually classified as commercial artists, rather than fine artists, because they do not choose their own theme or subject matter in most cases.

Body painting dates back many years to when the Indians and other tribes used paint on their bodies and horses when preparing for battle. Today, body painting is done for various purposes, such as advertising or for museums.

For wax museums, body make-up artists make wax statues which look as much like living human beings as possible. These artists use line, colour, space and other elements to obtain the desired effects.

Body make-up artists need to have good business management skills if they intend to support themselves financially. Most body artists work part-time and have an additional source of income, such as teaching art in their own studios or doing graphic design work on a free-lance basis.

Personal Requirements

  • artistically inclined
  • accurate, with an eye for detail
  • enjoy creating new designs
  • enjoy working with people
  • good eye for colours
  • good business sense

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

Compulsory Subjects: Art or a related subjects is highly recommended
Recommended subjects: Visual Arts, Design Studies, Engineering and Graphic Design


  • An art portfolio is required to demonstrate your creativity, abilities and commitment.
  • If you intend studying towards a degree in Fine Art at university, you will need to a Bachelor's pass in matric. If you intend studying a diploma in an art-related field, then you will need a Diploma pass in matric.
  • Meet the admission requirements (APS) set by the university or requirements set by the college.


What to Study

In-service training is usually provided under the supervision of an experienced body make-up artist.


  • art museums
  • wax museums
  • self-employment

Further Information

68/1114 Wargrave Road
Henley-on-Klip, 1961
Tel: 082 554 9972

Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation work assisting a body make-up artist
  • make an appointment to speak to a body make- up artist about this type of career

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

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