What: Body painter extraordinaire.
Why Bother: If you are bold enough to have your body painted for Halloween, Little’s your man. Who wouldn’t want to be transformed into royalty? Jack Doroshow, the drag legend and star of the film “The Queen,” is Little’s “drag grandmother.” Little’s inspiration was “Marie-Antoinette meets the Queen of Hearts.” He used makeup, a wig and a crown from a party-supply store, and whipped up a skirt and standing collar on his sewing machine to complete the look.
Little, a former club kid turned body and face painter (Madonna’s a fan) creates all manner of “costumes,” including queens, peacocks, robots and zombies. He once painted a zebra and a lizard for a party in Connecticut, where the hosts wanted animals in and around the swimming pool. Little is somewhat obsessed with creating head-to-toe looks. He spent four hours painting his Queen.
“When I first started out it would take me six hours to do a full body,” Little says. “I’ve actually spent 11 hours painting a body, The model was a professional Russian circus performer — a contortionist named Victoria Grimmy — and she was very good about it.” Many clients come with just an idea and a two-hour booking for body painting. If he likes the idea, he’ll measure you up, go shopping for material, sew up the costume and possibly even choose shoes to complete the look.
So far he has plenty of Halloween requests for pretty sugar skulls (candy skulls used to celebrate the Day of the Dead in Mexico) decorated with swirls and flowers, as well as for zombies. But he loves dramatic, colorful and otherworldly fantasy ideas best.
Up until 2009 Little did Marc Jacobs’s parties — the last one had an Arab theme, so he painted on burqas and made headpieces and skirts in shimmering red fabric. He has done children’s parties for Madonna for the past three years, as well as Julianne Moore’s book party for “Freckleface Strawberry” and, oddly, he painted the Trump Soho on two girls at Donald’s request for a party. “It was a challenge to put a square building on a body,” Little says.
Then there was the leopard. He had been expecting to do 45 or so spots, but when the client turned up she was 300-plus pounds. “That’s a lot more spots to be painted,” Little says. “Now I ask that people send photos or at least their measurements and weight before we meet.”
How Much: Little has a one hour booking minimum of $150. He started his face painting business in 2001, and began body painting in 2005. He usually spends two to three hours to do upper body painting. “If you want to be just green — well, that’s very boring — that takes just an hour.” He’s getting pretty booked up for Halloween but has assistant painters and seamstresses to help handle demand. For a full costume and body painting creation, the cost is $1,500. Call (917) 859-7250 or go to bodyartbyderrick.com.