Tutor’s last blast at body art awards
Armed with cosmetics as his paint and a naked body as his canvas, Phillip Heketoa is planning his attack for the country’s biggest body art event one last time.
The Grey Lynn makeup artist and hairdresser has entered the New Zealand Body Art Awards every year since its inception in 2006 and will make his final bid for body-painting glory at the event on Saturday.
The theme for this year’s awards is Fantasia Asia and Phillip will be entering two items in the masquerade category, which he won the first year he entered.
As a tutor at the Cut Above Academy, a school for hairdressing and make-up artistry, Phillip says his entries always have a focus on the fashionable rather than the freaky.
“As a tutor I’m more fashion oriented,” he says.
But he says whether it’s gory special effects or tasteful make-up, the challenge is the same.
“You’re still making something look attractive.
“I’ve always liked things pretty for some reason.”
He says his entries this year will be experimenting with some of the darker elements of the Fantasia Asia theme.
“I’ll be taking the ninja and samurai side of things,” he says.
Phillip has come a long way since his first time in the competition when he had no experience at all.
“I didn’t even know how to work a paintbrush.”
Now after three years of consistently gaining places at the awards, he says his personal challenge has come to an end.
“I feel like I’ve gained what I wanted to.”
He says the awards are a great way for people in the industry to get together and compete.
“I’m glad they’re around because there are people out there who don’t necessarily know how to direct their creativity.”
He has spent the weeks leading up to the awards making sure he’s prepared, deciding on models and double checking all his equipment.
But when the day rolls round he says there’s more excitement than nerves.
The New Zealand Body Art Awards are on Saturday at the Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna. For information see www.bodyart awards.co.nz. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster.
Artistic artillery: Phillip Heketoa will enter the Body Art Awards for the last time this year.