How do you network?

I think many models use mostly the same ways to network, IE word of mouth, contacting local groups and colleges/universities but does anyone advertise themselves?  By advertise I mean free advertisements, Craigslist, Facebook page etc?

I have posted an ad for my modeling on my local version of Craigslist (we have Craigslist but I prefer this site instead), along with putting up a Facebook account/new e-mail address and business cards.  I don’t know if I’m going overboard or not… What do other figure models use to get their name out to the artistic community for session work?

What surprised me the other day, or maybe it shouldn’t have as it was the result of the free ad, was a response to my ad.  I was contacted by a guy who just wanted to see another guy naked.  He assured me that he would pay my 3 hour fee, he was bi-sexual and was new to the city and was having a tough time making friends.  I had placed a pretty big section in my ad stating that I would not do nude photography and not to ask about it but I guess I didn’t think I had to also add that I didn’t want to be contacted for possibly illegal paid sexual encounters.  I have no plans to reply to the e-mail but I have to wonder, is this something I need to add to my ad?  I suppose only if I start to get many requests like this….

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Oh what a feeling, what a rush!

Well, what a night.  I’m still coming down off the adrenaline buzz even the next day.

Last night I had the opportunity to model for a new group that is located quite close to where I live.  I’m used to driving 30+ minutes to get to a session so the 7 minute commute was a great change for me.

I arrived 20 minutes early to find many of the artists already there, staking out their spot around the pose space.  They were busy moving a couch into place for people to sit on in addition to all the chairs that were available.  This is a very ambient group, easy personalities, great to talk to, warm and welcoming.  The pose space is in a small area of the gallery, no actual dais to speak of, just a section of fabric on the wood floor to pose on etc.  The last dais I was on was a piece of plywood on 4 milk crates so I was up for the challenge and ready to roll!  The space is right by the front door entrance to the building that faces out onto a street with pretty heavy traffic so they had a folding barrier to block the view of me outside if anyone were to open the door (they kept it locked most of the session).  I have to tell you though, whenever the door did open, wow, it was BRISK!  This was the closest artists have been to me at any session so far.  At some points in some poses, I was 6 inches from touching people’s feet.  Generally they were 2-3 feet away from me.

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I had such a great time.  We started out with 5-6 30 second to 1 minute gesture poses.  (WARNING:  I will be bragging a bit here so please don’t be offended or think I’m full of myself, I’m just so elated that I received the comments I did.)  Right away, the artists started talking to each other while drawing, saying right away that the poses etc were the best they had had so far and after the last three weeks, they thought all figure models had the same 7 poses.  I had brought along my hiking stick and a small bag of props I was using for some of my poses.  I guess no other model had done this yet!  Each different pose was greeted with, “That’s so awesome!”, “Oh man, what a great pose”, “Why didn’t the other models do this??” etc.  I can’t tell you how that made me feel.  I guess I needed an ego boost and I got it.

I have to say, I loved the way the group worked.  I have talked about distractions that I encountered with other groups and while traditional “distractions” were happening all the time with this group, I found it refreshing and invigorating rather than distracting and annoying.  The group for the most part were in their early  to mid 20’s.  All sharing ideas, drawing tips, song play lists that we were listening to, one girl was singing along to the lyrics and on and on.  It was great!  It was such an open atmosphere of sharing and freedom that it helped me with my poses and hopefully, with their drawing.  At times I had to work hard not to start chuckling at some of the comments when they were throwing around ideas and help to each other.  “See that line?  See how you can curve it from his back to his butt cheek?”  “Wait a second!  How did he get 6 toes??  I thought there were only 5 when I first looked.” and the response, “There are only 5, you decided to add one more.”  (I had my ankles crossed and feet in a bit of a jumble together and all of the artists it turned out were drawing my feet that pose.  One artist said, “Turns out  that you could have left your robe on for that pose!  Everyone was drawing your feet.”

I managed to see many of the drawings done that night and they were great!  (I really want to figure out a way to either take a pic of some or buy/get a drawing of me).  After the session was over I talked with the gallery owner/creator for a while (we happen to work for the same organization) and I gave him 2-3 of my business cards with all my contact info on them.  I noticed on a ledge by the front door that many people had dropped off flyers and cards about themselves so I took about 10 of my cards out and scattered them in the pile.  Who knows, maybe I will get lucky?

What a great experience.  I really hope to get another chance or chances to pose for them again.  I loved it.  I feel so re-energized by it.

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New opportunity and new readers!

Well, after the setback I briefly mentioned experiencing, I have been busy looking for other opportunities and kind of neglecting this blog.  Sorry about that!  Imagine my surprise when I log back in and I saw that my readership spiked in a big way.  To those who have read and hopefully continue to read, I offer a big “thank you”.  I am humbled that you are taking your time to read about me and my goings on.

That said, another opportunity popped up for modeling in the local art community.  It is a newer art collective, the one I mentioned being so close to where I live.  I was contacted and asked if I was interested and if I would like an introduction to the group and to check out the vibe.  Of course I jumped on the chance.

The artists seem to be younger overall than the ones I have modeled for in the past.  Most of the group when I visited was in their late teens to mid twenties.  Very good turn out, the best I have seen so far at a figure drawing meetup group.  I was introduced to the coordinator of the drawing drop in class and given a tour of the entire building and was told who they are, and what they are about.  I have to say I was and am very excited.  Incredibly friendly people, great atmosphere, looks like lots of fun.  Not stuffy, full of rules and judgmental by any stretch of the imagination.

After the tour and talking with the coordinator about how I started modeling and why I was back, I was told that they had models booked for the rest of this year but they wanted to talk to me about some dates starting in January.  I was very happy about this and told them that my calendar (as of now) was wide open and I would be happy to model for whatever date(s) they may need me.  I was asked if I wanted to stay longer on the sidelines but I told the coordinator (in a humorous way) that as I was a poor artist and had no supplies, and me staying to watch from the sidelines would just come off as a creepy guy in his mid 30’s staring at artists and a nude female model.  She got a laugh out of that and we agreed that she could either e-mail me or text some dates.

Last night, to my surprise and happiness, I received a text telling me that the model who was booked for Dec 13th had cancelled on them.  Would I be interested?  Of course!  It’s a 2 hour gig, well paid in my mind, and consists of 10-15 minute poses.  I was told that no matter what happened, I am paid $25 just for showing up.  The balance of my pay is from the drop in fees and that if only 2 people showed, I could choose to take the $25 and leave or stay.  I told her that it never mattered to me how many showed up, even if it was just one person, and that if they still wanted to draw, I would never walk away from that request, ever.  I let her know how I felt about modeling, it was about the experience, the freedom and feeling I get from it and the ability to be part of creating art with artists and while being paid is great, it was not even in the top 5 of the reasons why I am doing this.  One of the reasons was noticed by the coordinator of this group without me specifically mentioning it.  More on that later.

Thanks for reading!  I will report on the gig.