What artists give models

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.



4 thoughts on “What artists give models

  1. Pingback: What artists give models | Jason and the Golden Pose

  2. I found this from Jason and the Golden Pose and I really enjoyed reading it. I was telling Jason in a comment on one of his recent posts that I went to a session and wasn’t sure how to compliment the model afterward. Your post is helpful there as well. Thank you!

    I never know whether models are interested in seeing what I’ve drawn. If I were a model, I think I’d want to see, but then I figure that any given model has been to a billion more sessions than I have, with way more talented artists, so I never approach models to show my work unless they indicate that they want to see. It’s a self-protective thing; I get really self-conscious about my art when I’m in a room with a lot of other talented artists. I figure that probably models, maybe even more so than artists, have seen so much great work that they might be really critical of mine, and that makes me shy about sharing.

    • Thank you so much. I am very happy that you enjoyed what I wrote and that Jason was kind enough to re-post it on his site. I enjoy his stories and tips very much so this was fantastic that he also liked one of mine.

      Speaking for myself, I guess i will classify myself as a bit of a veteran model now (now have 1 more year under my invisible belt), and have modeled nearly 30 times in the last year alone, and i can say that I do not get bored with seeing what an artist has drawn with me as the subject. I actually feel honoured that an artist is willing to share their work with me, knowing that an artist’s art is so important to them, and that they expose themselves to the same type of fears we models do by posing in the nude for people we have never met. I would bet that many of the things you think when a model looks at your work are what they are thinking while up on the dais. “Is this good?” Do they like what I’m doing?” “what are they thinking?” etc. We are both in vulnerable areas in the same room, and I think that models and artists alike are really the only two groups that can truly understand what it’s like to expose themselves to strangers and their thoughts and words.

      Speaking for me (again), I love talking with artists and being shown the work. I generally also ask if i can take a picture (with permission) so I can have and example of what I do. If the rest of the group is sharing their work, only then will I wander around etc. If no one is, I stay away unless an artist approaches me, and I always wish they will.

      In my view, any model that is critical of work done, should not be modeling. It’s the artist’s emotions laid out on the canvas (or choose your medium), and to be critical or dismissive in anyway is shameful.

      • What a lovely reply. Thank you! I never have encountered a critical model, it’s just my insecurities coming to the fore (as always happens in group art settings). It’s funny, you say you stay away from the artists unless everyone else is sharing too; that’s how I feel in reverse: if the model comes around looking at everyone’s easels/sketchpads, then I’ll smile and share, but if the model doesn’t show interest, I don’t approach them. Maybe I’ll strike up more of a conversation next time (instead of just swapping smiles, which is what I normally do)!

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