A Conversation for On Being an Artist's Model

considering being an artist's model

Post 21


after learning how to over come the initial shock of being nude in front of their peers, I'm sure there is alot more to modeling.

considering being an artist's model

Post 22

Researcher 206847

Yes there is the 'initial shock' of being in front of a group of stangers, I think most artist's models would say that their first time made them a bit nervous, but that it does not last long as modelling is quite hard work that the notion of being nude soon disappears. There is the aspects of being a good model, such as creating interesting poses, the artists may be situated just to the front, or you may be surrounded 360 degrees. You may be required to perform shorter time poses, which can be more dynamic up to longer poses held for 3 hours with breaks every 30 minutes. The longer poses have to be more comfortable, but any life model will tell you, that no poses is that comfortable and it will not be long before one limb is hurting or a lack of blood to somewhere is causing pins and needles. There is a lot more to being an artist model than just removing your clothes!

considering being an artist's model

Post 23


What do you recommend in regards to coming up with poses when you are first getting started? What is teh best audience to start in front of?

considering being an artist's model

Post 24


Hello all,

I've been both an artist, and a model - I did 4-5 years worth of life drawing, and about the same of modelling.

Yes, it can be odd the first time you take your kit off, but there's something _very_ different about the way that a group of artists will look at you, as opposed to someone looking at you in a sexual sense. It's palpable - it's a very concentrated gaze, and slightly... distant. You can almost feel the studiousness!

It feels a bit like doing yoga after a while - it becomes meditative. There have been times I've fallen asleep, too - often artists are fine with that.

As regards the kind of poses you should pull - I'd absolutely say don't hold your arms out from your body. I had a break from modelling, and the first pose I pulled on my return was arms straight out in front of me, with my back arched. I could have held that for 30 mins before - but after about 20 seconds I was in agony!

Try and distribute your weight evenly between your legs too - don't tip your weight on to one hip too much, as that can be painful. Try not to lock out your knees either. You may find that you can 'bounce' slightly as you pose - very gently flex your muscles to keep them loose. My experience is that the artist is quite forgiving if you move a little.

Seated or reclining poses are easiest to start with - and let everything 'drop' as you settle - the more gravity can help you, the better. You can always use cusions etc to prop you up in 'hidden' areas. At art college we had a raised dias, with a scaffold pole in the middle - it's useful to lean against something like that - a broom handle does just as well.

Finally - try to avoid hot studios in barns in the middle of summer - there's nothing more unpleasant than feeling the sweat trickle down your back as you stand there! I wouldn't reccomend lying for an hour on a 2 foot square tabletop either - I had to be unfolded after that one!


considering being an artist's model

Post 25


Thanks Kim,

Boy you really do have some experience in the profession. Do you recommending practicing before the big day? Pick a pose and try to hold it, or will I get there and the artist ask for something else than what I had planned?

Do most classes have you in the center of a circle or against a wall or two? I'm sure this effects the type of pose to choose. If you are protected on two sides, you really only have to worry about what the other two sides see. Otherwise, on a pedestal in the middle of circle, you are hit by every side.

With the name Kim, I'm not sure if you are male or female. What type of audience do you prefer to work with, male or female or doesn't it matter?

Thanks...I'm sure I will ahve many more questions for you.

considering being an artist's model

Post 26

Researcher 222931

I'm an artist (so to speak, I studied Art and want to get into painting again) who is looking for a model. Sorry to butt in on your 'being a model' conversation, but I've been very interested to read your observations! I wanted to put an ad online in a couple of Rome magazines (where I live) but I don't really know how much to offer. I want somebody to come to my house for a couple of hours once a week, and I hope to get together a group of about 4 artists who want to share the cost. I thought I'd offer more for life modelling than clothed, but how much for either?! What do you models think is a fair price?


considering being an artist's model

Post 27


Hello Katy,

I wish you lived where I did or visa versa. This would solve both of our problems. Since we don't, I will move onto your question.

The models in my area make about $12 per hour for life modeling and about $8 per hour for clothed modeling in a group session environment for local colleges. I'm not sure if the rates are higher for private sessions as I don't have any experience with it? I hope this helps.

What is your opinion on models? What would expect of me if I were to model for you? Being young in this profession, any input would be helpful.

I hope you find someone so you can get painting!!!

considering being an artist's model

Post 28



Well - if you'd be more comfortable practicing first, then yes. It entirely depends on the kind of class you'll be modelling for - somethimes they want very specific poses, but generally the model is left to dictate the poses. If you're in any doubt, have a chat with the person you'll be modelling for first.

Again - whether you're against the wall or central depends on the class, and the venue. Generally you'll be surrounded on 3 or 4 sides, as most classes are a bit cramped. And yes, it's incredibly hard to maintain your dignity from 3 angles at once. smiley - smiley But, a standing pose is usually interesting from any angle. Sitting or reclining poses are more likely if you're in a corner / against a wall. It depends on how controlled the tutor wants the pose, on the light in the studio - any number of factors...

I'm female! But I had no preference to the 'audience' - although I'm not sure I'd particularly enjoy modelling for a room full of teenage boys. Actually, on reflection, that would be hilarious fun...

considering being an artist's model

Post 29


I'm so happy you are there to answer my questions!! Thanks so much.

I almost feel like taking my clothes off isn't as big a deal as making sure that I'm giving my audience a good show. I want to assure I'm giving them what they want to see. I've looked high and low for good books on being an artist's model, but have come up empty only to find books on drawing from the nude. I did find one book called "nude" I believe. It was a black and white book of models posed in all different poses for a artist to work from. That was somewhat helpful to look at.

So chances are I'll be surrounded on at 3 if not 4 sides open to the world. I liked your comment with regards to the teenage boys. That confidence shows you've been doing this for many years. I'm not sure if I could handle a room full of supermodels or teenage girls? I might have some problems...hahahaha. I'm sure that would hilarious too!!

Where do you normal disrobe? Do you normally wear a robe or towel or something? I live in the United States. I'm curious if things are different here compared to England? Have you ever modeled in the states? You know, as open as we appear to be on some issues, sexuality and nudity are two things are are as closed about as you can imagine. I want to get away from that. The body is a beautiful thing.

I believe I'm going to give practicing a try. The problem is, practicing lets you know if you can hold a pose, but not if the pose is attractive to the audience. Any ideas. Get a friend to tell me? Not that I have any friends that know that I'm modeling. I keep that to myself. I don't think they would understand.

considering being an artist's model

Post 30

Researcher 224731

Hi I am interested in being a model as well and figure I might as well just jump in and try a class as opposed to a one on one session. I have looked for ads online from art schools but have not found any surprisingly. I am looking for the experience and to get comfortable with my body more than anything so initially am willing to do it for free. Any suggestions on where I might look. I am in NYC so hope I can still stay anonymous. Also I am not a weight lifter with a perfect body, will this affect my chances? any suggestions are appreciated.

considering being an artist's model

Post 31


Hey m,

Not having a perfect body has nothing at all to do with it. Being able to hold a pose as well as coming up with creative poses are what artists are seeking in a model.

I suggest looking for modeling organizations as well as contacting art schools and universities directly. Of course, if you do this, you are not going to be able to remain anonymous. You have to fill out a W-4, etc. Also, artists guilds gather frequently. Call you local university's art department or art schools and ask if they know of any.

Best of luck. Undressing is not the big deal here. It is the ability to hold a "good" pose.

considering being an artist's model

Post 32

Researcher 237955

i am a 36 afro-carribean mother of a teenage daughter. i work in a college and i have always been interested in my colleagues art work, which mainly consists of unicorn sulptures. i have never been really confident about my body, but i think if i could be of some use to an artist it would help them and hopefully build my self esteam towards my body, besides if the pay is not bad that would do nicely too. i would love to try nude modeling but as i know myself i think i would have to model to no more than 2 people before i could sit in a room full of people first.

considering being an artist's model

Post 33

Second Mouse

Just a quick question... People have mentionned that it's easier getting work as a life model if you're female. Is it also easier if you're young, slim and attractive, by conventional standards, or could older/shorter/fatter/uglier people also get a look in?

considering being an artist's model

Post 34


No - variety is _much_ more interesting! And IIRC it was much harder to find Male models, so you may be at a premium.

Also, strangely, it's much easier to kick off in front of a class that a one-on-one session - you're also less likely to get into a ... compromisig situation!

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