Arts » Theater + Dance

Oranje artist profile: Joy Carter


Work by Joy Carter will be on display at Oranje this Saturday.
  • Work by Joy Carter will be on display at Oranje this Saturday.

Editor's note: We consider Oranje, celebrating its tenth year, one of the premier arts events of the year, and for us it is an opportunity to get acquainted with a lot of visual artists. Here's a sampling of the kind of art you'll see this year at Oranje, which features almost 40 artists. Say hello to Joy Carter. (And say hello to other featured Oranje artists here.)

If you're a painter using the naked human body as your canvas, there's not a lot of time to stand back and deliberate your work.

"It's amazing how fast you learn to control your brushstrokes when you're painting a moving target — when it wiggles," says Joy Carter, who will be practicing the art of body painting on a live model during this year's Oranje festival.

Carter learned about body painting by researching it on the Internet.

"I thought it was incredible what people were doing," she says. It wasn't long before she was doing it too.

"I had a friend, this photographer," says Carter. "His girlfriend wanted to get painted so that was the first painting that I did. I painted her. It was super-fun. It was a little awkward. But it just got me over it."

Carter, an Indy resident, currently runs a business called Underground Studio Body Painting. One of the more notable events that she was hired for was the official Indy 500 after party where she painted two models.

This is Carter's first time at Oranje. It'll also be the first time that she's painting a model live, during an event. Previously all her body paint work has been completed before events have begun. These events range from photo shoots to fashion shows.

Joy Carter
  • Joy Carter

The models at Oranje will be—almost—nude. "For legal reasons I really have to have nipple covers on," Carter explains. "I haven't decided whether they're going to be wearing thongs or boy shorts yet. It kind of depends on what they're comfortable with."

But, alas, her form of art is a temporary one.

"Typically the paint can last up to eight hours," she says. "I had a model one time she put her legs together and they stuck and it pulled the painting apart. Typically after about five or six hours it'll start cracking."

So that's why you'll want to have your picture taken with the models while their body paints are still pristine when you're at Oranje. Or you can buy some of the prints that Carter will have for sale.

"One model will be doing photos and talking to people coming into the booth while I'm painting on the other," Carter says. "People like to have their pictures taken with body paint girls. I've also created original body art [paintings] that someone can hang on their wall."

For more on Carter, visit


This Week's Flyers

Around the Web