In the world of makeup artistry, many artists may focus on designing costumes or perfecting a face without blemishes. Kay Pike has taken her makeup and art skills in a different direction entirely – into comic book cosplay.
Cosplay is a popular hobby among comic convention goers. It involves creating costumes from scratch, based on comic book, TV, or movie characters. Occasionally, a cosplayer may use facepaint to finish off a look that couldn’t be achieved with wearable materials, but Kay Pike makes paint the entire focus of her cosplay. Live on camera, she covers her face and body with colorful bodypaint, bringing popular comic book characters to life.
Kay’s process can be seen on her Twitch stream, where she does her painting and design live for fans to watch. Often, one of her characters can take 10 or more hours to paint from start to finish. Once she’s done, she performs a photo shoot away from the live camera. Her subsequent streams include designing new characters or watching her make tweaks on her photos on Photoshop. All along the way, she interacts with her fans in live chat, teaching them new Photoshop tricks or bodypaint tips.
Her work has slowly found itself going viral on social media. After she is done with the character and tweaking her photos, she’ll post a short clip, turning her head side to side before opening her eyes and smiling. The quality of her design is almost hard to believe; she adheres closely to the original comic art, leaving the viewer wondering if she walked right off the page.
Kay’s most popular work remains in painting characters from Marvel Comics on her body. She’s recreated Doom and Thanos, famous villains, as well as Spider-Man and Captain Marvel. Much of her work can be seen on her Kay Pike social media accounts, as well as YouTube and Twitch.tv.