Recently James Scott and Tatdatass Tattoo Parlor hosted Living Art – A Live Body-Paint Show at the Swiss Restaurant & Pub, a quaint, old-town venue located at 1904 Jefferson Ave in Tacoma.

Hosts Sonia Carrillo, Laurel Miller, and James Scott. Photo by K. Smith/Clear Lens

The performance was exactly what you would have expected based on the name ~ with local artists painting the bodies of (bikini-wearing) live models onstage as a room full of hungry patron’s enjoyed delicious food and beverages.

Scott chose well-known hair & make-up artist Sonia Carrillo as his partner for the project and invited local talent Freda Hass and Peter Jenson to join them for the event.


Sonia Carrillo and model Nicole Kitchi

James Scott has been a professional artist for more than 30 years, but only recently begun to make his mark in the body-painting industry. His work on the Jessica Rabbit project (partnering with Sonia Carrillo and model Nicole Kitchi) was an instant success, and started the wheels in motion for the Living Art – A Live Body Paint Show.

A tattoo artist by trade, clients would often ask about temporary tattoos and body paint. As a result, Scott opened a private studio, where he is also able to work with make-up artists, models, and photographers in a professional setting.

Each model requires approximately 8-hours to complete. That time usually involves about 6-hours of painting, followed by 2-hours for hair.

According to Scott, he started his art career doing murals on buildings and in homes, then got into hand-painted signs and T-shirts. He created art on anything that resulted in a paycheck, even the exotic, such as painting a portrait of a woman’s ex-husband inside her toilet, so that she and her guests could “say hello” to him.

It was while Scott was doing collision repair and metal fabrication at his parent’s garage that he discovered there was a market for automobile artists, and that he could get paid for painting murals on cars.

Over the next 20 years Scott painted mostly cars and bikes until the toxins started to affect his health. But still hungry to express himself, he searched out and tried many different creative avenues until he discovered tattooing, along with a new career that combined his love of art with a steady income. Shortly after he began to win a variety of awards for his artwork and establish a name for himself.

Davina Gonzales (tiger paint by Frida Haas) Jacob o donnell (man of stone) and Terah Penner (Grease) by James Scott & Sonia Carrillo, w/ Alissa Gibbs & Katie Goodmanson. Madison Christine Pierce (Stars paint by Peter Jensen) photo by K. Smith/Clear Lens

Although the artists had their hands full with creating amazing works of wearable art, they still took time to interact with the audience, which resulted in a fun and entertaining night-out for those in attendance.
The venue itself was wonderful, with the right combination of artist-cool and historic elegance which almost made it feel like we had been transported to an artist enclave somewhere in Europe.

Scott and Carrillo also had a great time, and have expressed an interest in future performances, although the date and location have yet to be determined.

In the meantime, Scott continues to offer services at Tatdatass Tattoo in Tacoma, and Carrillo continues to provide professional hair and make up throughout the Northwest.

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