An “art model” isn’t exactly the most universally acknowledged and understood profession in the world. There is still a lot of misconception about a person who takes their clothes off in front of strangers to be sketched/painted/carved into a piece of artwork. Some people may be appealed by what they see as sexual deviancy, while others clearly express discomfort or disdain towards such an act.
It is regrettable to see that the whole “nudity=sex=perverted” equation is still very deeply ingrained into the larger part of our society, and until now I chose to largely avoid talking about my work as an art model in both real life and online, because I wasn’t interested in dealing with inquiries of that kind of nature. Not because I’m embarrassed or ashamed to talk about it, (quite the opposite!) but I wanted to avoid situations where people who were inclined to think that way anyway start blatantly missing the point of the topic. It isn’t very fun nor empowering for me when somebody starts looking at you up and down the moment they hear “nude”, and you know that all they’re interested in doing is imagining what you must look like under your clothes, or how “easy” you must be. (Unfortunately I’ve experienced both these kinds of reactions)
But now I’ve decided that I want to write and share what it is like to be an art model, because too many people have shown me a glimpse of their prejudice through questions like “Don’t you think of the consequences of doing something like that?”, or “Is this the sort of person you are?”, or “If you’re ok with being naked, then surely you must be comfortable doing this too”. Although most of the people I have talked to about art modeling have been mature enough to not show perverted curiosity, I’ve been saddened, shocked, disappointed and offended too many times by those who have little understanding and a huge prejudice.
It’s been almost 3 years since I started my part time role as a model, and I continue to be proudly professional in what I do. The relationships I’ve made and the experiences I have had through my work is immeasurable. As a way to also show gratitude and respect to everybody who has helped me over these years, I would like to share information about this role bit by bit from now on.
It would be awesome if this helps you understand a little bit more about who and what an art model is, banish some largely circulated misconceptions about art modeling, and offer you an opportunity to question your own thoughts about humanity, beauty and art.