I am an art model. They don’t believe me at first. They look at me funny. I just wait until their brains recognize what I have just said. “You mean Nude?”

Then the inevitable question gets asked, in a hushed whisper, in some cases the conversation usually goes like this:

Person: “You mean like Nude?!”
Me: “Yup.”
Person: “Like naked? Or with something covering… things….”
Me: “Completely free, nothing holding me back, hair blowing in the wind…
(and other colourful euphemisms I chose to add in depending on the familiarity with the person I have)
Person: “Wow…what’s the pay like?”
Me: “Pretty good.”
Person: “I could NEVER do that. All those people staring at you for hours on end.”
Me: “You get used to it… At least they stopped playing Barry White when I first modeled.”

Here are just a few tips that I’ve learned about doing this particular task that may help you in some way in the future. I don’t know how or when, but I’m sure there are some words of wisdom in here somewhere.

It’s your body… No one is forcing you to be up there.

I’m not the best looking guy in the world. I have my own personal view of myself that I know I can and am improving upon. Whether it is my weight, physical features, hairstyle, facial features that are not in my mind proportionate, it’s my body. I’ve seen long ago realized that there’s nothing that can be done about it. I will never be a six foot tall person with blond hair, blue eyes, chiseled jaw with my long hair blowing in the wind and women throwing themselves at my feet.

I make due with what I have been given and I’m perfectly fine with showing it in front of thirty students, ninety-five percent of them are women, for a few hours of my time. They get to learn, I get paid and it’s truly a win-win for everyone involved.

Free show… not quite

If you have never taken an art class, in drawing or painting and you are able to have a live nude model, do it. Some of you may be thinking with a chuckle, “hehe…. nudity….boobs… other bits…this is going to be great.” Best of luck to you. You’ll be so busy figuring out shading, shadows, light sources, outlining the body, other techniques that they could be famous and you won’t bat an eye at it because you’ll be trying to figure out why the body is elongated or looks completely off than the person on stage.

Don’t bother eating anything before you start your session.

Much like a UFC Fighter or boxer before a weigh-in, I don’t know about you but I’m not eating a thing before I stand up there for a three hour session. I’ll gorge myself afterwards. Maybe that’s my self-consciousness coming through. I’d rather be as skinny as I can to help out the artists get the right lines or whatever they are working on. There are those that are naturally skinny or have a bit around the waist. That just adds to the dimensions of your portfolio. If we were all the same, art would be boring.

Be still like a statue… and remember where you are placed.

Sessions can last for as little as 30 seconds per pose or up to an hour at a time. You have multiple lights that are on you and if the room is cold, you up there will definitely be hot to the point of sweating. The one thing that you as a model can’t do is move. Well, I men you can… just remember where your hand was placed. Normally, you can find that spot since it’s the only part on your body that has either an indent or it has a huge red mark. Artists will move you as you go if you don’t get setup right.

Appreciate the work that’s been done.

You won’t always be standing, but whenever breaks are available, wander around and see other people’s artwork. It’s a mutual benefit. there will always be an artist or two that really has a realistic eye. Plus, when was the last time you got to see yourself in a complete, semi-realistic setting. Others well, not so much. But, that’s what art is, in the eye of the person viewing it recalling their own experiences.

As a model, have fun with the artists (and vice versa)

One of the first times I modeled, I was cracking the usual jokes about the cold weather in the room, etc. Many artists laughed as I broke the ice, others not so much. You can’t please everyone in a room or so they say. Another artist loved it when my behind was facing her as she exclaimed “Woohoo! I have a butt to draw” or another said, “Wow, you have Marvel Superhero type legs.” I remembered those two because they enjoyed it and I remembered to go back to those positions for them as the sessions went on.

Next time down the road, if you want to be a better model for the future. Work on your stamina, overall health, look up different poses you can try. Include a prop or two if allowed to give the artist something new.

This in itself is something that I will keep on doing as long as people want me as a model. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below, or want to hire me. If i’ve missed anything let me know and I’ll add it to the list.