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.
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.