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Incredibly Realistic Marvel Comic Characters Revealed Through Body Painting

Designer and cosplayer Kay Pike uses body paint to transform herself into characters from the Marvel Comics universe. Inspired by pen and ink drawings of Spiderman, Deadpool, She-Hulk, and more, she incorporates the stylized highlights, shadows, and dark contour outlines onto her body. The result is a fantastic illusion that will make you question if this is Pike or a scene from a comic book.

Pike's impressive body art reflects a long-held interest in superhero culture. “I've been working at comic conventions selling my fashion line, Canada Cosplay, for years.” she told SELF, continuing, “I found cosplay was a great way to interact and enjoy socializing at conventions.” Psychologically, it's also beneficial. “Being your heroes lifts the veil of social anxiety.”

Cosplay is a large part of Pike's life, but a health issue temporarily derailed her passion. She suffers from the crippling pain of congenital arthritis in her hips, which prevents her from sitting and sewing for hours–something that's vital to a cosplayer. Luckily, Pike was able to shift her focus to “cospainting” in 2015. “Painting characters on my body means I can stand instead of sit,” she explained to SELF, “and there aren't even high-heels required.”

Pike regularly live streams cospainting on Twitch and creates mesmerizing time lapse videos on her YouTube channel.

Kay Pike: Facebook | Instagram | Twitch | YouTube

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Kay Pike.

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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