Lianne Moseley places her left hand on her waist as she brings up a paintbrush with her right hand. Moseley gently lays the tip of the brush on the model’s face, running the brush down her jawline to create a fierce look.

The painted face is only one small part of the transformation of Wonder Woman. Moseley is working on a full body piece on the model for a children’s charity event at the Cranston Community Centre.

This charity event is just one of the many events where Moseley shows off her work.

Lianne Moseley at Cranston Community Centre painting the model’s face at a children’s charity event for the Alberta Children’s Hospital. The charity event took place on March 18, 2017. Photo By Dana Holloway

As a professional makeup artist, Moseley travels to makeup and comic conventions around the world to showcase her work, but a big part of her job is working to increase her online presence to further her career.

“A lot of what I do is social media based; I mean that’s kind of how I keep myself relevant,” she explains about her worldwide online following.

Moseley first got her start working as a makeup artist when she was 19, working at makeup counters at the mall. Growing up, Moseley would help out at Christmas parties, Halloween and doing face paintings here and there.

“I never really took that big of an interest in it until as I got a little bit older” said Moseley.

Moseley didn’t start doing body paintings until a few years ago, first practicing on her then-boyfriend, then moving to painting herself.

“When I first started doing comic paintings, like just doing the look from chest and shoulders up, it took three to five or six hours, just depending on the severity of it, how many details there are.”

When Moseley first started to become successful, she did many interviews and showcased her work for different news organizations like the Calgary Herald, the Calgary Sun along with comic expos. So, she had to hire someone who she could paint to show off the different superheroes she could create.  

Web programmer Will Dove first modelled for Moseley a little more than two years ago and credits Moseley for her dedication to her craft.

“Lianne is very focused when she’s working. Like a lot of creative people, it almost seems like she’s distracted but she’s not,” he says.

Moseley says she first became known to the online world when her brother posted one of her body creations on Reddit.

“At first it was negative feedback because, when I first started painting, I was lucky enough that my first few creations that I made went viral very quickly.”

Recently, Moseley has done lots of traveling around the world for her work, attending different comic conventions to exhibit her creations.. At the conventions, people like to participate in cosplay, or “costume play” – where they dress up as their favourite comic superhero. Most recently, Moseley came back from Vienna’s ComiCon this past November.

“I love it! Are you kidding me? It’s so much fun. I got to meet all the German and Vienna cosplayers and stuff. They are hardcore,” she said.

“I was lucky enough to do a lot of interviews when I first started painting comic stuff and so I needed someone else to paint because it wasn’t as easy to paint yourself as it is a model.”

Moseley live-streams when she paints herself using Twitch TV, a live-streaming platform where people can connect and ask questions about what Moseley is doing while she is painting herself.

“It’s moreso like making sure I’m taking care of myself while I’m painting, because if I’m taking on a project that takes six hours […] Like I’ll live-stream on Twitch and so I kind of feel obligated to sit in that chair and socialize the whole time.”

In any case, her fans are there for her and remind her to look after herself.

“There gets to this point of where it’s like, three or four hours long, and everyone on chat is like, ‘Go have a bite to eat and go to the bathroom or something! I think you are going to die soon!’”

In the early days when Dove first started working with Moseley, he noticed her hard work.

Some of these paintings that we have done have been eight to 10 hours long and so she will finish these things and she’s just exhausted,” said Dove.

Each piece of artwork that Moseley works on is vastly different. Not one piece is the same, which draws the appeal to her art. The colours and designs compliment each other and with each stroke of the brush, Moseley brings the art piece to life.

For example, when Moseley first started showing off her work, she created Spiderman/Venom and was inspired by the Superman 3 movie. The look paints a life-like picture: the mouth and killer long sharp teeth circling the head, making the teeth look like they are about to swallow Spiderman’s face.

Despite the beautiful transformation that usually follows as Moseley finishes her projects, Dove enjoys another dramatic change that occurs.

“It’s really fun to see the transformation in her as she sees it start to take shape and she gets to a point where she can actually see that yes, this is working, and then she gets really happy and she gets very vivacious and starts dancing to her music as she works,” said Dove.   

Moseley hopes to eventually take her body painting to the next level and learn how to do CGI effects.  

“I would love to learn how to do special effects and prosthetics. I’ve been talking about it since I started doing body paint.”

Back at the Cranston Community Centre, Moseley takes a deep breath, asking her friend what time it is. She’s been working steadily, painting the model for more than an hour.

“A lot of what I do is social media based; I mean that’s kind of how I keep myself relevant,” she explains about her worldwide online following.

Moseley backs away from the model, arching her eyebrow in concentration, checking an image of Wonder Woman on her phone to make sure the details are just right. The model’s forehead has a golden crown with a red star  in the middle. Black paint lines run down the model’s jawline with tiny black lines or spikes coming out of each line.

As she looks at her model, a little girl comes up to Moseley with her mother and asks if she can get her face painted. Moseley explains that she wasn’t there to do face paintings, but would make an exception for the little girl who was smiling up at her.

It’s been awhile since Moseley has done children’s face painting, but she turns around and bends down to the young girl’s level and gently smiles at her, dipping the tip of her brush in the red paint, and paints a heart on the girl’s tiny, delicate cheek. The young girl walks away with her mother with a big smile on her face as Moseley turns back to painting the face of her fierce heroine.

dholl290@mtroyal.ca

Editor: Andrea Fulton | afulton@cjournal.ca