P L A Y B O Y   M A G A Z I N E

c2003 Photography and Body Art by Mark Greenawalt

50th Anniversary Playmate Search
Phoenix, Arizona May 2, 2003

Playboy Magazine is on a search for a special beauty to play the part of Playmate of the Month for their upcoming 50th Anniversary Issue.  Their talent scouts are doing test shoots of hundreds of gorgeous girls in fourteen cities across the United States.  This night, May 2nd, 2003, the camera shutters were clicking in Phoenix, Arizona at a huge entertainment facility called Jillian's.  The climax of the days events was a star-studded party thrown in the classic Playboy style, complete with a runway fashion show and of course, bodypainted ladies.

Whose the lucky dog that gets to paint the models at the magazine's bashes?  Well this time it was yours truly.  It might have been fate that made me contact Melissa at www.azmodels.com to see if she knew of any upcoming promotions that she was planning that could benefit from bodypainting images.  Lucky for me she was able to refer me to the people at Jillians who were hosting the Playmate Search.  I introduced myself, showed them my portfolio, and landed one of the greatest gigs of the year!

Some of the hottest contestants from the days test shoots were hand picked to take part in the runway fashion show later that night.  Of these, two were chosen to be bodypainted and become the stars of the show.  Ironically, their first choice was none other than Lynette Brooks who I had previously worked with twice before (Star Wars body suit and Monument Valley back mural).  I had encouraged her to take a stab at trying out for the casting call and they were glad that she did.  The production manager of the event even went as far as to say that she was one of the top candidates from the Phoenix sessions.  If she wins the contest, by the way, I will get a $5,000 finders fee and we will all be having a huge party (painted attire required)!  The other model selected was the lovely Heather Compeau.  This was the first time that I had met her and she was a blast to work with.  This was the first time that she had ever been body painted and she seemed to absolutely love it!

For Lynette's artwork I chose a paint-by-number theme that was actually recreated from the cover of the March 1968 issue of Playboy Magazine.  I would have been just about ready to turn one year old when this issue was released.  I purchased this copy of the magazine the previous month when I found it on E-bay for $5.00 (interestingly the cover price of the magazine is only 75 cents).  For Heather's artwork I chose to airbrush the Playboy 50th Anniversary logo on a T-shirt made of nothing but paint.  For both of these projects I used Totally Tattoo body paints from Badger Airbrush and for Heather's "outfit" I used a brand new Badger 155 airbrush.

Among the Playboy crew that attended the event were March 1999 Playmate Alexandria (Lexie) Karlsen and magazine photographer Mark Edward Harris.  Harris snapped some shots of me while I was painting and then went on to capture some images of Lynette and Heather in paint.  Who knows, maybe one of his shots will make it into a future issue of the publication.  Playmate Lexie Karlsen is from here in Mesa, Arizona and she was very gracious posing for pictures and signing autographs.


More images from the event can be found at the website below


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Unless noted otherwise, Photography and Artwork by Mark Greenawalt c2002

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