Behind the scenes: Body painting cover shoot for N by Norwegian’s October 2015 issue 

The cover of N by Norwegian in October featured a specially created superhero, Hollywood Man, whose superpower is turning normal people into stars. Designed to accompany a piece about the bizarre characters who roam Los Angeles’s Hollywood Boulevard, it was a mammoth undertaking. Myself and photographer Liz McBurney had to find a suitably beefy model in Sean Lerwill, and a set designer in Mathew Knight, who created a Marvel-ous backdrop in Liz’s studio using just foam board, sticky tape, paint, wire and lots of ingenuity.

But the biggest creative genius was makeup artist Anna Lingis, who spent days planning and eight hours on the day of the shoot turning Sean into Hollywood Man. Sean, who’d had to stand for hours on end, and whose bright blue contact lenses were irritating his eyes, then had to act like Hollywood Man (ie, not knackered), which he did with aplomb.

Hollywood Man is just one of N by Norwegian’s striking covers, which have become known for their ingenuity and originality. Last Christmas, we carted a stuffed reindeer across London and created a special bed for him – the cover was nominated for Cover of the Year at the 2015 PPA Awards, against the likes of GQ, the Big Issue and Elle. We’ve created an entire Swedish island and built it on a model’s head (June 2015); created a plastic city in an egg (April 2015); and given a rather unattractive cod a haute couture makeover a la Isabella Blow (July 2015).

These covers take a huge amount of thought, planning and hard work. But the aim is to make covers that are playful, thought-provoking and fun. We hope they set us apart, and set the tone for a magazine that does things differently.

Click here to read the October cover feature. 

Rickard Westin, art director, N by Norwegian