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There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Art Modeling Part 2
To avoid making a long post even longer, I decided to do a “Part 2” for this post about art modeling for those who want more information about what it takes. I was an art model for the San Francisco Academy of Art for about 3 years. I did it freelance in addition to my regular modeling and while going to college in San Francisco. The rules for etiquette as an art model are the same that applies to other types of modeling.
Art models are required to be professional, punctual and easy to work with. Of course this type of modeling can be much more involved. For one thing, people can’t draw you if you’re moving so being able to pose while being absolutely still for long periods of time is critical.
If you can’t even sit down without fidgeting then art modeling is not going to work out for you. Luckily, I was really good (and still am!) at holding a pose for a long time without moving. I used to pose for as long as 20-30 minutes straight! Of course you won’t always have to pose that long. It really depends on the type of class you are working for and what the teacher’s lesson plan for the day is.
The teacher will tell you what they plan on discussing in the class (line sketches, anatomy, drawing the muscles under the skin, proportion, etc.) and how they’ll need you to pose. Don’t worry, the teacher will guide you each step of the way if you need it. Art schools are very accommodating.
There will be a heater in case there is a draft (most art classes are held in lofts, warehouses and other similar rooms that aren’t that cozy) but it’s up to you to bring a robe to wear while modeling nude or for costume changes. Nude models aren’t required to be nude all the time! LOL. When you’re not posing, you’ll be clothed in your robe.
In order to keep track of how long you’ll be posing, it is important that all art models own a timer. The school won’t provide one for you. Get the kind that rings or buzzes and you don’t have to spend a whole lot on a fancy one. A simple kitchen timer will do.
It’s important to remember that this is an art class and these are students who are learning their craft. You won’t be posing the entire time. You’ll get breaks in between posing so that the teacher can lecture and you’ll also get a lunch break when everyone else does. Be sure to bring a book or your homework to work on during your downtime.
As far as the types of poses to do, it’s really an anything goes type of thing. Learn how to move your body and play with poses that you’ll be able to hold for longer than 5 minutes. Only pick complicated poses for quick sessions where you’ll be posing for 1 minute and then changing poses. For longer posing sessions, choose a pose that is comfortable enough for you to hold with no problems (if you get halfway and you start involuntarily shaking or getting muscle spasms, you’ve probably chosen the wrong pose!).
Because the students can’t take you with them after the class, they’ll often need to take pictures of you posing in order to have reference photos for their homework. If you are doing nude modeling, make sure they ask your permission before taking reference photos. Most students however, respect the model and will only take the picture from the neck down, leaving out your face.
Teachers love art models that take direction well, can think on their feet and who can give their students a challenge. If you do really well, most teachers will begin to request you specifically and building a good reputation for yourself within the school will lead to you making more money and getting booked for more classes.
Within the 3 years I worked as an art model I had a handful of art teachers who only wanted to work with me because I brought energy, enthusiasm and creativity to my work. Once I happened to be available a whole day and they had a cancellation of 2-3 models last minute. I ended up posing in the same class for the same teacher the whole day—I modeled from 10am till 10pm—a 12-hour day! (With breaks in between of course!)
It is important to communicate with your Model Coordinator, who will act as your liaison with the teachers (you won’t be expected to keep in touch with all the teachers you work for). If you need to cancel a booking, do it at least 48 hours ahead of time. It can be very difficult to find a replacement model on short notice. When there is no art model, the students are deprived of their education—one that they pay a lot of money in tuition for! So be considerate of the students, staff and the Model Coordinator.
Oh, and it may be pretty obvious but there is a general rule of thumb that art models do not date the students or staff. If a student or teacher is harassing you or makes you feel uncomfortable, let your Model Coordinator know. However, art models are highly respected in their field and any issues regarding a model’s safety are very rare.