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Trippy Advertisements Make the Body More Than a Canvas

Master graphic designer Jessica Walsh tells us about turning models into body-painted inspirational posters for Middle Eastern department store Aïzone.
Photos courtesy of Sagmeister & Walsh. Art direction and design by Jessica Walsh, photography by Henry Hargreaves

Thanks in part to competitions in major cities andTV shows like Skin Wars, body painting continues to become an even more competitive and creative realm. It’s obvious that the human form can be more interesting than a canvas, but a recent advertising campaign by Sagmeister & Walsh adds a camouflage twist, and hair typography, to the art form.


The project was brainstormed for the Middle Eastern department store, Aïzone, the more casual counterpart to the high-end brand Aïshti. The majority of the photographs in the series use motivational phrases like "Go big," "Be bold," and, "Make your own rules." The campaign’s art director and designer, Jessica Walsh, told The Creators Project about the project.


“We started doing body painting shots almost seven years ago now with the patterns we created for the branding we did for the store,” Walsh shares. “Over time we evolved the ads to have typography instead of patterns on the girls’ faces.”


According to Walsh, the tightly-knit team decided to try and create each scene as physically as possible, meaning each shot was created on set, rather than via digital manipulation. One glance at the shots, and Walsh's signature becomes apparent. Both her personal Instagram and many of her personal photos flaunt bright colors, bold patterns, and scripted quotes like, “Do the work that feeds your soul, not your ego.” When it comes to colors for clients' campaigns, though, Walsh is flexible:

“I personally am drawn to bold, colorful palettes … However I don’t always use color, you can see our work includes a mix of subdued and black-and-white palettes as well. I always try to choose color based on the client's brand personality or a conceptual idea that works with the content they are selling.”


You can see more work from Sagmeister & Walsh hereClick here for more photos from the Aïzone campaign.

Full Credits: 

Creative Direction: Stefan Sagmeister

Art Direction & Design: Jessica Walsh

Photography: Henry Hargreaves

Body Painting: Anastasia Durasova

Creative Retouching: Erik Johansson

Hair Stylist: Gregory Alan

Production: Ben Nabors & Group Theory
Production Design: John Furgason & Andy Eklund


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