Since birth, Elena Martini has been paralyzed in her legs due to a spinal cord injury. She’s had to use a wheelchair her whole life, but that hasn’t stopped her from transforming herself into whatever or whoever she wants to be — thanks to her incredible face-painting skills.
Martini began her face-painting journey in 2015 after witnessing the World Bodypainting Festival on TV. The event encouraged her to try her hand at painting on family members, and she has been doing it ever since. The 28-year-old’s skills are extraordinary, and she’s completely self-taught — which demonstrates how innately talented she is.
“I usually try to exploit the shapes and anatomy of the face to create my looks — especially when painting animals, which on the human face, end up looking so realistic,” Martini tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
The northern Italy-based artist draws inspiration from all over. “I love painting animals, but I also love 3D effects,” she says. “I draw inspiration from the animals of the forest, from actors, and also from other artists on Instagram.” Her favorite look to create is of lions. It was one of the first looks she ever attempted, and she kept practicing it until it was perfected with the exact effects she wanted to achieve.
Beyond Martini’s artsy side, she is also a computer engineering student. She’s managed to combine her learned computer skills with her passion for face painting to create her website, which includes everything from blog posts to links to her face painting. “The most gratifying thing about face painting is to take a picture and see only the picture you have painted — without noticing the original features of the face. I’m also so happy to see that people love my work,” Martini says.
While she is already a winner in so many people’s eyes, Martini hopes to one day win the competition at the World Bodypainting Festival. There’s a big chance that dream will come true, but in the meantime, she is focusing on perfecting her craft and painting more faces.
Keep scrolling to take a look at some of Martini’s coolest works of art, and prepare to be totally wowed!
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