a guide to life modelling...
Life modelling is a very spiritual and liberating profession that generates much curiosity. Depending on your outlook is either something you could see yourself doing or the absolute last thing you could do at all.
A large number of life models are artists themselves due to them studying at life classes and appreciating first-hand the relationship between the artist and the model. For those interested in life modeling that have never even visited a life drawing group we have created this guide to help you understand the basics of life modeling.
"Can anybody life model?"
No, it is not for everyone. Just because you are comfortable with your own nudity doesn't make you a good life model. You are certain to ache and a lot of patience is required too. A genuine interest in modelling for artists should be the main reason for posing rather than just a need for some extra cash.
"Does it matter what shape I am?"
No, all bodytypes are generally welcome although individual artists may have preferences. Having an area of interest is a good bonus such as toned shoulders/back/arms/legs or nice clear skin or an interesting face. Males with at least a bit of tone are often favoured to those with none, but in contrast women are as likely to find work whatever their size so long as they have a pleasant personality and can hold a pose.
"Do I need to be experienced?"
Experience is welcomed by art groups but is by no means essential. It is very important that you are honest to the group about your lack of experience so that they don't give you a pose out of your depth. As your experience grows you will automatically learn progressively more dynamic poses that you will you know you can hold. This is what separates a skilled life model from a beginner.
"How long will I have to pose?"
Poses vary immensely in length from just a minute or so each up to the same pose for weeks on end with hourly breaks. Average poses for art groups are usually 10-15mins leading up to an hour. The longer the session, the less dynamic the pose will be (stood for short poses and reclining for long poses).
"Am I allowed to move?"
If you need to occasionally stretch a muscle during a pose that is fine as the group doesn't want you to be suffering too much discomfort. Any other movement should be avoided where possible. If you are in pain and feel you will need to end the pose ahead of the agreed time it is appreciated that you give as much notice as you can to the artists so they can begin to bring finishing touches to their work early.
Don't forget that much more help and advice is given on the forum!