My passion: Bodypainting signalled a change in fortune for John Jones, events facilitator at Leeds City College

John Jones, left, with a body painted model. Pic: Terry George
John Jones, left, with a body painted model. Pic: Terry George
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Bodypainting highlights a rise from nothing to something for John Jones, events facilitator at Leeds City College.

When I first arrived in Leeds in October 1992 I was homeless, jobless and living on my wits.

I had spent about four months living rough, under the stars or anywhere I could find shelter until I arrived in Leeds and shared a room with three other people until we managed to get back on our feet.

Since then, I got back into education, back into employment and to places I never really dreamed of. This is my little story of how you can go from nothing to something you can be proud of.

During the week I am now an event organiser, but at other times I do special effects face painting and I am an award winning body artist.

I took up face painting when my daughter turned one to provide entertainment for her birthday party and this soon became a permanent side-line to my day job.

I have always been artistic and wanted to explore this kind of art further, so I began to paint my own arm and put the images on social media. After these became popular and I was noticed by other artists, I was invited to join a group of body painters called The Midlands Bodypaint Project, and soon became one of their regular artists attending such events as Comic-Con.

Since taking up body painting four years ago, I have painted bodies all over the UK, Melbourne Australia and became the people’s choice winning artist and competition runner up at the Gibraltar Face & Bodypainting Festival in 2018, marking my first award winning season as a body artist.

With wind in my sails, I have now teamed up with colleague and fellow artist by the name of Wayne Goldson who makes the amazing props that adorn the living canvases that I paint, which add that extra special touch that makes our work stand out.

After creating some exciting pieces together, we have decided to test our skills at the World Bodypaint Festival in Austria in July and pitch ourselves against some of the best artists in the world.

The festival has been going for 20 years and seen some incredible works of art and this is the biggest stage we can get on so I am very proud to even share it with the calibre of talent that will be there.

If you would like to support us on our adventure to try and bring a trophy back to Yorkshire – you can sponsor us to help us get our model there by donating to