Friday, July 20, 2012

Adventures in Modelling, Part I

If you've been reading this blog on a regular basis, you are no doubt aware that I quit a stable, steady, full-time office job over a year ago and have been living off my savings (and a slow trickle of money from selling my art) ever since.  I've been talking about finding a new job for a while - something part-time, so I still have lots of time to paint - but I hadn't really found anything I thought I'd like.  I still have enough savings left that I can afford to be picky, so I've been taking my time trying to figure out what I really want to do.

And then about two months ago it hit me: I should totally model for figure drawing classes!

Why in the hell - you may ask - would someone with shyness and anxiety issues ever voluntarily be naked in a room full of people?

Well, here's the thing about figure drawing classes: they're not about judging the model's body, just seeing it - analyzing the body's curves and angles and light and shadow so you can accurately capture its form on paper.  I've taken a few of these classes in my day and the models were very much presented as "here is a human body for you to draw" (not "hey look, everyone!  It's a naked person!  WOOOOOO!!!!!") and the models were just regular people of all shapes and sizes.  And there are always a lot of rules to make sure the models feel respected and safe, like you have to refer to body parts by their official names ("breasts," not "funbags") and nobody but the instructor is allowed to speak to the model while they're posing.  So yeah, people would be looking at me, but they'd be on their very best behaviour and I wouldn't have to interact with them unless I felt like it.  Try getting that in a retail job!  

Plus, I love that I'd be helping people to understand human anatomy, just like The Boy (and all those figure models from days of yore) did for me; it feels like good karma.  And it would be so great for my work life and life-life to finally be aligned - everything dedicated to art.  No more awkward balancing act of Real Me vs. Corporate Me.

So, my decision was made: I would pursue part-time work as an artists' model.  I would pursue the fuck out of it.  I emailed pretty much every art school within commuting distance of my house and said I was available to model if they needed someone (I didn't tell you guys at the time because I wanted to wait until something actually happened) and, long story short, someone finally replied!  I just finished a week-long modelling job!  And...I really, really liked it!


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