You've undoubtedly seen Octagon Girl Brittney Palmer at UFC events, carrying signs telling you what round it is and waving to the camera. Palmer is a beautiful woman, but behind that is much more than a pretty face.
In addition to traveling the world with the UFC, modeling and dancing, Palmer has started art school in Southern California. She spoke about her new endeavor with Cagewriter.
"I've always been very right-brained, and my mom always knew I'd do something creative. Right out of high school, I started dancing professionally in a burlesque show, and a magic show, and putting all my focus on a dancing career. I was focusing on making money and working for the WEC, and I just started painting. I did some in high school, but I never took it seriously."
She started to share her work on Twitter and via her website, and got a big reaction from fans. From there, Palmer realized she could start a business in sharing art with MMA fans.
"People stereotype MMA fans as a certain kind. I don't think that they are. These people see my art, and they give input on it, and the fans are so smart. They just haven't been introduced to art. The art that I'm going to sell is going to be in the budget of the regular person who enjoys art but can't spend $10K-$15K on a painting. My paintings go for $50-$450, or I can do custom for $1,000."
Much of her work has focused on her favorite musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Bob Marley, but she does draw some inspiration from the fight world. In fact, one of her first paintings was of the G.O.A.T.
Until now, her only training in painting came from YouTube videos, but she realizes that's not enough.
"I can look at a sky and paint it, but I want to know how to paint it and know which brushes and strokes to use. Learning art is just like learning fighting. There's so many steps and levels. You can't just pick it up overnight. "
Though painting, art school and her duties as an Octagon Girl for the UFC keep her busy, Palmer also finds time to surf and play guitar, and she is working on a calendar. She hopes to reach a larger fanbase than just the men who follow MMA.
"I'm doing an entire calendar based on the '60s and '70s, very natural, hippie hair, a really cool guitar, some of my artwork. I want it to be for girls, too. Some of the fans -- I hate calling them fans. I feel like such a dork. I call them band-aids or something -- but the girls like that I'm curvy. If you can get the girls on your side, that's great. The guys are easy. I want girls to hang it up, and I think it's cool that I get as much of a response from girls."
In sharing painting and her other interests with fans, Palmer wants to show that she is multi-faceted.
"I don't want to be known as just the hot chick that walks around the ring. I want to be the cool chick who likes to paint rock stars and learns to play guitar."
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