I’ve been thinking of this off and on for a little while. While models know very well what they provide artists that draw them, a medium, muse, poses, etc., I have been thinking of what we as models get from artists that make this a mutually beneficial relationship. While not all things I will mention will be the same for all models, many may feel the same about most of them.
Money. Let’s get this out of the way right away. Like I have said, and many other models before me, although money isn’t the main reason why we do what we do, it is nice to have. Unless you live in a major city the size of LA, New York City, Toronto, or Vancouver, most likely you aren’t going to earn your living through modeling. It acts as a very nice side business that provides a little extra income for whatever you want, be it buying extra toys in life or helps with unexpected expenses.
Social contact. For me, starting to model again was a way to get out, have “me” time and also make some money at the same time. I am the father of a 2 year old so having “me” time doesn’t happen nearly as much as it used to. I guess I’m working at modeling gigs, but it doesn’t feel this way. I have used modeling to meet a whole new set of people who I genuinely enjoy talking with and seeing the results of the drawing time they have with me.
Self confidence. Again, this was a huge thing for me. I have detailed in the past what modeling nude did for me while in college, and how when I started modeling again, it again gave me that shot in the arm of self confidence and a sense of peace with myself. I have reaffirmed my attitude of “This is me, take it or leave it. I am not affected by other’s thoughts and actions.” Modeling nude is probably the most vulnerable place you will put yourself, ever. You are naked, by choice, in front of a group of people that you have either never met before, of some that you have and you need to step up your game to make sure the poses you hold are fresh to them, and that they aren’t seeing a rerun. Posing nude is one of the most accepting things I have done. It doesn’t matter if you are perfect or not (the more imperfect you are the better I keep being told), it doesn’t matter your background, socio-economic position or anything else. Where else could my naked body be viewed as interesting? I have had more than one artist talk to me who was happy that I wasn’t an athletic build. Their complaint is that they had grown tired of athletic models and wanted to draw more average people. That’s nice to hear.
Appreciation. If you are an artist reading this, we models love to be approached (for the most part) and paid a compliment. While it doesn’t ruin my evening if no artists approaches me about my poses etc., I have to admit that it’s gratifying when an artist engages me in conversation during a break to show me what they have created, or to compliment me on the poses or the energy. The last time I modeled this happened and it was really pleasing to hear that my poses were really energizing the artists, more so than the last few weeks. Also, applause is very much appreciated. It was great to arrive at a gig to have the stand in coordinator say “Yay! Oh good!” when they saw me walk in the door. They didn’t know I was the model but the positive greeting was a great way to start off my night. I love being in the position now that places and artists know me, and actually are happy when they know I’m there to model. As for the applause, as I got diverted there, a round of applause at the end of the night is also very much appreciated. Again, the feeling I got from nearly 20 people clapping for me at the end was something you don’t feel all the time. I always make sure I take quick moment to thank all those that attended, and for allowing me to be part of what they have created that session.
I suppose that is about it without drawing (no pun intended) it out too long. We as models are a huge part of what the artists do, but on the other hand, we as models also need the artists for things as well. They aren’t the same things, but it’s an even trade.