Why paint on a canvas when you can paint on a person? That's the approach American artist Alexa Meade had when she started her series, "Living Paintings." These 3D paintings are amazing.

Alexa Meade

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That's artist Alexa Meade on the left. While she's definitely standing next to a painting, that paint happens to have found a home on a real person, and not a blank canvas.

Living Paintings

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Meade, a 30-year-old artist from Washington D.C., calls her art series "Living Paintings."

People As Canvases

Artists who use paint to express themselves usually stick to blank canvases as a platform. Instead, Meade puts her paint on real people. She uses color and technique to make people look as if they're a part of a painting.

Reddit AMA

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Recently, Meade took to Reddit to answer any questions her fans had about the art.


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She said, "I actually started out painting the shadows cast on grass. They were so beautiful and I wanted to see if I could pin them down by painting directly on them. That lead to me painting the light and the shadows cast on inanimate objects. Then I did an experiment on a friend of mine. I painted all of the light and shadows on him in grayscale, and when I stepped back, I realized he had turning into a living painting. I was hooked from there."


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When asked what she would paint if time, money and size weren't obstacles, she said she'd love to paint an entire town. People could walk through the town and everything around them would look like a flat painting.


Alexa Meads's Living Paintings have gotten her a lot of attention. Over the last few years, she's had several exhibitions, including an installation at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.


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So, how does she do it? She told CBS News, "I can't really get into what it is, but the main thing I can say is that, like, 90 percent of it is in the shadows. If you start playing with them, you will see that things start appearing and disappearing in interesting ways."


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If you can't make it to one of her exhibits or installations, you can catch Alexa Meade's art on her Instagram. She currently has over 70k followers.

Alexa Meade Art Reel

Love the work that Alexa Meade does? You can see more of her Living Paintings and a timelapse of her painting her subjects in her official art reel.