Pregnant bellies are an irresistable blank canvas. If you're feeling the urge to dress up your bump, get inspiration (and some smart tips) to make it easier from artist Lenore Koppelman.
Everything in this slideshow
Choosing a bump art theme can be tough, but artist Lenore Koppelman of The Cheeky Chipmunk, a face and body painting service in New York City, suggests thinking about your life for inspiration. "Think of something that is very meaningful," she suggests. "Perhaps it's a favorite bedtime story that their daddy used to read to them when they were little. A lullaby that their mother used to hum in their ear while they were rocked to sleep at night. A favorite quote that their grandmother or grandfather used to say."
Bold and Beautiful
While looking at Pinterest can provide inspiration, Koppelman suggests being creative with your artwork. "Many times people will go onto the internet and find a belly that somebody else did for another couple, and they will ask for that exact same thing. I ask them to let me create a piece that is one of a kind, especially for them. It will always mean so much more to the family in the end, and be far more special in meaning, quality, and originality."
A Bumpy Ride
Consider letting your nursery theme inspire the image. "That way, when the parents have the image printed and framed, it will look great on their nursery wall," Koppelman suggests. "Honestly, the sky is the limit!"
It's a Hoot
If you're DIYing your belly art, Koppelman says to avoid slathering your bump in moisturizer, which can keep the body paint from adhering, and use clean brushes (preferably new) to do up your bump. "Your product should be made for the skin," she says. "No acrylics, no markers... nothing that was not created specifically for your skin. Use FDA-compliant body paint makeup to keep you and your baby safe."
Bun in the Oven
When is your bump ready for its closeup? "The 'sweet spot' as I call it, is really the beginning of the 3rd trimester," says Koppelman. "You want a nice round belly for the artist to work on, but if you wait until you are so far along that you are physically uncomfortable to sit for a period of time, you might not enjoy the experience."
The most important thing to keep in mind when you're doing belly art? Enjoy the experience and stay comfortable–take snack breaks, shift positions, or do what it takes to relax. "When your canvas is a living one, her comfort level is extremely important," Koppelman says. "Because if this isn't fun for her, then what's the point? Being belly painted is one of the most sacred, beautiful, and FUN things that she will do during her pregnancy!"