On my day of my first art modeling gig, I totally blanked on it, because I’m apparently an incompetent unreliable monster who doesn’t know how to use Google Calendar. When I realized how late I was, I hauled a surprising amount of ass for someone getting paid to be a living statue.
It’s the sort of gig that you’re more likely to stumble upon than most, often by recommendation or sheer happenstance when the usual model can’t make it. But the money, as sporadic as it may be, isn’t half-bad for what you can essentially treat as one big daydreaming marathon.
Doing it naked, of course, may inspire a lot more self-examination than is comfortable, let alone the intense, critical gazes of hobbyist strangers. Most will be lovely, although someone may eventually call you a “really good model” as if the term is some kind of euphemism.
Thankfully, there are always those who have come before you. And if you ever need to scratch an itch or fart, don’t panic.
I was talking to my brother about women’s attitudes towards their bodies, especially regarding weight/fat, and when he said “most guys don’t notice/care about that kind of thing,” I tried to explain why it was a lot more complicated than that. I ended up telling this story.
Body image is something that’s so hard to talk about, and it’s hard to express body positivity without sounding cheesy, false, or overly simplistic. But I’m gonna try. This is only my own experience, and it didn’t magically cure me of all my body image issues - but it was a major turning point for me nonetheless.
This is relevant to one of the best things about art modeling!
Watching House MD and there’s someone posing for a picture.
Having to go “No. No, you can’t hold that pose for more than a minute. No way in hell.”
So earlier today I was figure modeling in a standing pose with my back facing the group with my stance brining attention… well my hips and my ass. And all I could think was
Booty booty booty booty rockin’ everywhere
I found you MS NEW BOOTY
Art model problems
- Needing to fart and worrying that the class will be able to tell because of how your muscles are moving.
Things I am totally not allowed to comment on
- The other model’s three seriously impressive cock piercings
If Bohemian Rhapsody comes on when I am art modeling, I have and extremely hard time stopping myself from laughing.
I know this, because it has happened multiple times.
(Okay, the song has only come on twice, but that is enough for me to know.)
- Model: *sits down*
- Class: No no you look too posed.
- Someone in class: *comes up and directs you into something actually posed*
- Class: Yes, that looks more natural!
Anonymous asked: How did you get involved in art modeling? What is it like?
The general impression I’ve gotten from art models is that it helps to have a connection. I started because my roommate needed someone to fill in for her (and I had been to art school, so I kind of knew what to do). She started because she worked at an art center and a model didn’t show up one day. There are a decent number of people doing it, so having people that book know you helps you get in. (In ways it’s easier if you’re a male bodied person. There a fewer male bodied art models, so they’re more in demand… but at the same time a lot of teachers won’t take male models if a female model doesn’t recommend them.) Then once you know a few instructors they’ll start suggesting you to other people… you get to know people. And different instructors have different types that they prefer over others, so you have to find the ones that like you.
Art modeling is more exhausting than you would think. Staying in the same position for an extended period of time (usually three hours) is trickier than I had ever imagined. In long poses you can usually be seated, or at least resting your weight on more than just your feet, and even then I come out of class tired. Once you get into multi-week sessions, you also have to deal with finding you pose again, and listening to the students. And the students aren’t always right, so sometimes you have to force yourself to hold a pose in a way that’s slightly different, and a lot more uncomfortable. Most classes have a five minute break every half an hour, at least.
Students vary. Sometimes they’re fantastic and other times they’re awful, but that’s just people I guess. All the instructors I’ve worked with so far have been very nice. They’ve worked with models for a lot longer than the students, so they’re usually a lot more understanding. Depending on where you are, though, you can get classes that play really soothing music, which can make it hard to stay awake.
It’s not easy. A lot of people assume it is, but it’s not. I enjoy it anyway. It gives me a chance to be around artists, and hear instructors talking about technique. And when I do long poses it gives me a chance to just sit and think about my writing if the class is quiet, and have a good conversation if they’re the type that discusses things. The money isn’t bad, but for most models the work isn’t steady, especially when you’re just starting out. So financially it’s better to supplement other work?
(On a personal note, one of the main issues I have with it is that body image problems spring up for me occasionally, so there are days when I just really don’t want to be undressed in front of other people and having them analyzing my body. (Not all modeling is nude, of course, but I tend to do a lot of sculpture work, which is.) I never know when these days are going to come up, so sometimes doing it is incredibly upsetting, but I push through it anyway.)