From artistry to OnlyFans, UFC ring girl Brittney Palmer reveals all

Legendary UFC ring girl Brittney Palmer spoke with The Sporting Tribune's Will Despart about her artistic process, OnlyFans and OFTV's "The Mural" series.

LAS VEGAS — Brittney Palmer is a modern renaissance woman. You likely know her as one of UFC’s most recognizable ring girls, but she’s also embarked on a side career as a very talented painter over the last decade and is now combining those two trades as a content creator on OnlyFans.

Her well-publicized journey from starting her career as a burlesque dancer to becoming a key figure in combat sports history while simultaneously pursuing an art career is nothing short of the American Dream.

Palmer began her career in show business in Las Vegas as a dancer at Planet Hollywood’s famous X Burlesque show at the age of 19. When she was 21, she was involved in a traumatic car accident where she suffered serious injuries and was unable to leave her house for three months. While in recovery, Palmer found peace and passion in art therapy. So much passion that she decided she wanted to pursue a career as in artist.

She promptly enrolled in art classes at UCLA. Unfortunately she wasn’t able to graduate, but it was for good reason. It was around this time that she caught her big break in show business when she appeared on the March 2012 cover of Playboy, making her a hot commodity and causing her profile to reach another level.

Palmer still stayed active as an artist throughout her career as a ring girl, having her work featured in various exhibitions around the world. She has shown Joe Rogan his own Brittney Palmer-painted portrait and she also got the opportunity to complete a live painting for Fox Sports ahead of the 2021 MLB All Star Game in Denver.

In her latest artistic venture, Palmer was featured on episodes five and six of OFTV’s “The Mural,” where she gave viewers a behind-the-scenes look into her process of creating two specifically commissioned murals by the content creation company for Art Basel.

I spoke with her about these episodes, her artistic process while creating the mural, and her journey into artistry in an interview for The Sporting Tribune.

Can you share the story of the life-changing accident that led you to pursue a career as an artist?

Brittney Palmer: “I was 21 years old. I was living and working in Las Vegas and I was driving to an eye doctor appointment on Halloween, weirdly. So, I was in a hurry and I was in a car accident where I was t-boned. The car hit me on the driver’s side and then fractured my pelvis in three places. I was unable to walk for about three months and in that three-month period while I was healing and trying to keep myself busy, I started to do art therapy and that turned into a full-blown art career. Went to art school, moved to LA and the rest is history.”

How did the accident shape your perspective on life and art?

Brittney Palmer: “I think that where I was in that time, I was just trying to find a purpose and find what I wanted to do. I was a cocktail waitress at Pier nightclub so obviously I wasn’t going do that forever, and I was a professional dancer in the X burlesque show at the Flamingo Hotel. I felt like, with dancing professionally, I wasn’t as good as I’d like to be and I think that when you do something that you don’t necessarily have a natural ability to do, it becomes very frustrating. I started to rebel in other ways just because I wasn’t really satisfied.

“What the accident did is it gave me time to kind of sit with myself and sit with what I felt I needed to do going forward and it also gave me an outlet to experience something that maybe I had probably would have never have experienced if I wasn’t in that position.”

Could you elaborate on the significance of partnering with OFTV for The Mural series?

Brittney Palmer: “I think partnering with OFTV and OF in general is important because when you work with a platform such as OF, you have this connection with your fans and your content. When my whole life can merge together into one project with art, OnlyFans, modeling and all of the things I do, this is exactly what I wanted to happen when I made the decision to do all of the above.”

Can you describe some of the differences between creating a large scale piece like a mural in comparison to the typical scale of your work?

Brittney Palmer: “There’s so many different elements when creating a mural, especially when you’re creating one where you paint outside. You’re not only dealing with the structure of the wall, but you also have the weather. In Miami it’s very humid and you’re dealing with that, plus you have cameras on you at all times.

“When you’re doing something like that when you need to be fully focused on what you’re doing you can’t really mess up. I mean, you could but no one wants to look stressed or sad on camera because it’s also creating a television show. You’re getting this raw, organic reality of what it’s like to paint on camera. Especially when the stakes are so much higher because you have everyone looking.

“I’m usually in my own studio by myself so I can kick and scream and cuss all I want but when you’re on camera it’s a little bit different.”

Can you compare what it was like creating your own design for the mural in episode 6 and painting the design OnlyFans had commissioned for you in episode 5?

Brittney Palmer: “Both of those murals are completely different projects and I worked with completely different artists that helped me. That’s a great question, because on one hand Only Fans said these are the three models that we want you to paint, do with it what you will. The images that the models provided was something that I had no control over. It was my concept to do the color wheel and that (design process) was all me. I think I worked more on that mural.

“The second mural, I got to do Arianny Celeste, Brooklyn Wren and I. I got to do a different concept that I had never done before but this time the artists that they partnered me with worked more on it than I did. Roland (Berry) has never really been an assistant, he’s only been the artist. When you were dealing with someone like that, it’s like ‘this is what we’re doing and this is how it’s done’ and I let him take the wheel.

“It’s interesting. It was my images but less my painting (for the second one) but it was their images and more my painting on the first one. So I’m still very much involved in it but that was the reality of how I wanted it to turn out versus how it did. But it’s good, that’s what art is about, whatever happens, happens.”

Why did you choose the people you chose for your mural design?

Brittney Palmer: “They’re both on OnlyFans, so that’s important. They both live in Vegas and they’re both really good friends of mine and I wanted to give them a little bit of love and I just think that they’re beautiful. They were able to be there with me in the studio and collaborate on the image and the shoot that was chosen because the mural isn’t just a mural, it’s also augmented reality so when you put your phone up to the mural it comes to life with the girls.”

What was the role that Rolland Berry played and how important was he to the process?

Brittney Palmer: “Rolland, to this process, was very important. Having an artist assistant, it’s special because it’s a collaborative piece and my capabilities of going that big on my own, it would take a long time. I think the importance of Roland was that he really taught me a lot of spray painting techniques, something I hadn’t or probably would never have wanted to learn on my own. But it does help me for future murals on how to get where I need to go a little bit faster because it spreads paint quicker. Roland was great, I wouldn’t even call him an assistant on that project because he was very much a co-artist with me. It was cool to work with an energy just like his because he’s his own character.”

Can you talk about some of the challenges you faced with time constraints while creating the mural?

Brittney Palmer: “I had more than a few challenges, and you could only see what we let into that episode. It was a lot more of a struggle than I had anticipated it would be. You live and you learn and you understand what something like this is going to take. Also, when you’re filming the show, this is very real. I mean, I’m looking at the show and I’m like ‘ah!’, it’s because it’s so raw and everything every day was a time constraint.”

“Every single day, we didn’t get everything that we needed to get done, done. Eventually it got done but it does stress it out. I always say you can’t just push print on art. so when there’s a time constraint it kind of makes it even more stressful. But we got it done.”

How has only fans supported your career as an artist and your passion for contemporary art?

Brittney Palmer: “I believe that OnlyFans has supported my career by giving me the opportunity to display it. Having faith in me to finish the project and to do the project and just giving me the opportunity and the platform. I think that it’s very special that they were able to do it and UFC has done the same for me as well. I’m very blessed to have these big companies in my corner wanting to see me flourish as an artist.”

What was it about the only fans platform and OFTV that made you want to enter into a partnership with them?

Brittney Palmer: “Well, COVID happened. You don’t want to just not be completely transparent, there’s a financial gain when you’re producing content and other platforms they don’t really pay you for the stuff you’re producing. But there’s also this kind of one-on-one relationship that you can develop with the fans and I think that’s really cool. There’s no filter.

“If I post something on Instagram in a lingerie piece that I see plenty of other models or actresses or whatever posting, they’ll still flag me because someone reports it. I think that that’s what I’ve grown to love the most, is really just being able to have my own page that I could do whatever I want on.”

In what ways has OnlyFans provided you with a unique opportunity to connect more closely with your fans compared to traditional platforms?

Brittney Palmer: “Time is money and it’s easier for me to take the time to communicate and to create content when I know that it’s almost as a career. I don’t know if you want to call it a career, but as something that can have some kind of substance, some trade right? Instead of just giving it away, it’s like an even trade. I think that does kind of make it a lot more interesting.”

What role do you believe platforms like OnlyFans could play in the future in terms of empowering artists?

Brittney Palmer: “I think it can empower artists and any content creator. Maybe career is the thing I would call it. Being an influencer that’s being paid out the gate for having their influence, I think that that’s a really important platform. It’s giving us a job. It gave me something when I didn’t necessarily know what was going to happen after COVID because no one was working. I think that it’s just giving (creators) financial freedom and giving them what I feel that they deserve to create this content. The more you create, the more you make the more and the more you make, the more you create and then it’s just like a perfect circle of like longevity.”