How to Be a Nude Art Model

Modeling nude for an artist or art class is much more complicated than it may seem. In addition to the obvious requirements of being able hold still and being willing to appear undressed in public, there are many other requirements for successfully fulfilling the role.

Steps

  1. Find places to work: Contact your local art school or college to see if they are hiring art models. You can start with the art department, but ask if there is someone in particular assigned to hire models for all classes. Sometimes each instructor hires their own models. This is the first step because it may in fact be difficult to find work, particularly for male models.
  2. If required by the institution, prepare a resume. Include any previous modeling experience, performances, art schooling, dance, yoga, or other activity you have done which would benefit an artist model.
  3. Ask the person hiring if there are any rules or guidelines that models must follow. Discuss payment or hourly sitting rates, which can vary greatly but generally are between $15 and $25. Also discuss average length of poses, how many breaks, and does the artist or group use one pose or many different, varied poses.
  4. Plan for the session by thinking about poses:
    • Length – Poses generally fall into three categories: gestures which are less than three minutes, short poses which are three to 20 minutes, and long poses which are done for as long as necessary in 20 minute intervals with a short break in between. The latter is generally the norm for painting and sculpture; drawing classes will require a number of shorter poses. Any class may begin with a few gestures as a “warm-up”.
    • Be Expressive – draw on any personal experience to think of poses that are interesting or inspiring. Any physical activity may be a source of good poses. Many models draw on the poses done in classical works of art, but these should only supply ideas, not be copied.
  5. Put together a “modeling bag” including the following:
    • a warm robe (or cool, depending on the season)
    • a towel or other cloth to sit on
    • optional jockstrap or thong(for men)
    • slippers/sandals (art rooms have floors covered with charcoal, and perhaps a lost push-pin or tack)
    • a date book and pen for booking future sessions
    • a timer – it’s hard to look at a watch for many/most poses
    • drinking water
    • a lunch, or snacks if required
  6. Before you leave for your session, shower and apply lotion so that you won’t offend the artist with your body odor and will have nice smooth skin. Lotion also soothes dry skin which could otherwise cause you to scratch an itch while posing. Wear minimal jewelry unless otherwise requested.
  7. Upon arrival, you will be expected to change (remove all of your clothing) and put on your robe and slippers. A private change room will likely be provided or there may be a folding screen behind which you can change.
  8. Step up onto the model’s area and place your wrist watch where you will be able to view it or set your timer after consulting with the artist how long the session will last. Remove your slippers and place them neatly to one side.
  9. Remove your robe. If you do not have a towel, it is hygienic and highly recommended that you place your robe beneath your bottom for sitting poses. Some artists even enjoy drawing the additional “drapery”.
  10. Follow the artist’s direction. Keep your body and eyes very still, it is useful to fix your gaze on one spot. Relax into the pose, but not so much that you move from your original position. You may be asked to time your own poses or the artist may tell you when you’re finished.
  11. When you are finished with your session, get dressed. Between sessions, put on your robe to keep your body warm. Don’t walk around naked.
  12. Have your date book and pen handy when you come out of the change room in case the artist would like to work with you again. It’s also a good idea to have business cards to hand out to artists if you are doing modeling as your main job.

Video

Tips

  • There is a chance that someone may request a photograph to use as a reference for completing a work outside of class. This would be up to you and require an additional payment (usually 2-3 times the standard art model rates).
  • Contact your local art school or college to see if they are hiring art models. You can start with the art department, but ask if there is someone in particular assigned to hire models for all classes. Sometimes each instructor hires their own models.

Warnings

  • Private sessions will be higher-paying; but bring the risk of sexual harassment or worse.
  • Cell phone cameras have emerged as another problem; institutions may have rules against them but be vigilant.

Posted in Art, Entertainment.

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