1The Etch-A-Sketch woman who can draw a pattern over her skin and see it vanish
They look like something you'd draw on an Etch-A-Sketch, but instead of using a screen, Sarah Beal makes these patterns on her skin. Then she watches as they disappear – just like the classic toy.
The 43-year-old has a condition called dermatographia. The slightest scratch can cause her skin to swell. It also allows her to create designs and words on her body which vanish within an hour.
Dermatographia is thought to be caused when the cells under the surface of the skin release histamines under the slightest pressure. This causes the skin to swell and triggers a type of allergic reaction.
2The artist who sews portraits of his family into the palm of his hand
Spanish artist David Cata has taken "hand embroidery" to a whole new level. Using a needle and thread, he embroiders portraits of people who have impacted his life onto his palms. He calls the series of works "a flor de piel" which means "Under the Skin."
According to David, Under the Skin is an “autobiographical diary” that is supported by his body. On it, he writes the story of his life. He says that he sews on the palm of his hand, “the faces of all the people who, somehow, have marked me throughout my life, family, friends, couples, teachers. Their lives are interwoven with mine to build my story, a story that ends when I run out of leaves to write about.”
3The self-taught illustrator who doodles on her thighs
Boston-based film student Jodi Steel found an intriguing use for her thighs. Like many students, she passed the time during boring school lectures by doodling, only instead of exercising her artistic talents on the back of her notebooks, she did it on her bare skin.
Despite having no kind of formal training as an illustrator, Jodi's dermal masterpieces look like the work of a seasoned artist, a fact which she attributes to relentless practice, despite what everyone else may think.
Her talents didn't go unnoticed, and after seeing the artworks on her thigh one day, a teacher at Emerson College asked Jodi to draw the illustrations for a "steampunk" book called Steaming into a Victorian Future: A Steampunk Anthology.
She recently shot to internet fame after photos of her detailed thigh drawings went viral on the popular news sharing site, Reddit, where some of them were actually mistaken for tattoos.
4The artist with a skin disorder that uses her body as a canvas
Ariana Page Russell also has dermatographia. Where other people might see a disability, she sees an opportunity. She creates images that explores the skin as a document of human experience, using her own hypersensitive flesh to illustrate the ways we expose, express, adorn and articulate ourselves.
Russell has exhibited internationally and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. Recent shows include the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin, Platform Gallery in Seattle, Adelphi University in New York, and Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Bolivia.
5The typeface created using human skin
Some things really give me the creeps and this is one of them.
This latest form of art involves skin and clothespins coming together to form the Roman alphabet. You can see some letters in the picture shown above. The art form is called Skinographie and is believed to have been created in Germany.
6The artist who recreates paintings of the 19th century on the human body
Artworks of the 19th century are painted onto human bodies in a series called “Anatomical Museum," by Chadwick Gray and Laura Spector. The works are recognizable, yet the shape of the human body – and the addition of unexpected features such as extra eyeballs – gives them an entirely different effect.
7The designer who creates temporary art tattoos using stickers and a tanning booth
Janine Rewell is an award-winning, Helsinki- based, freelance illustrator working worldwide.
In 2009, she decided to experiment using the body as canvas and the effects of the sun as an instrument, creating Tan The Man, an art installation exhibited at Arden & Anstruther Photographic Gallery.
8The photographer who uses patterns, paint and texture to cover his models
World-renowned photographer Art Wolfe has turned his artistic lens in a new direction to create The Human Canvas Project™, a dramatic new series celebrating the human form through art and photography.
Wolfe abstracts the human form through the use of lines, patterns and texture, as well as unusual angles of view. The work draws on ancient traditions of tribal peoples who painted their faces and bodies with decorative designs. Humans – painted, clayed or abstracted – literally become the canvas for these inspired works of art.
9The artist who hand paints fairy tales on her hands
Svetlana Kolosova illustrates classic stories from Hans Christian Andersen, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and other authors, but instead of paper, she paints them by hand – on her hand.