Life Model And Anatomy ModelHi all I have just joined. I found this site by accident. I was trying to see if I could find a site where I could correspond with older life models and came across this site.
Let me introduce myself. My name is Chris and I live in East Cornwall, UK about 20 miles from Plymouth, Devon, UK. I have been a life model for 12 years and I enjoy it. I started by accident as until I saw an advertisement in the local library I had no thoughts about life modelling. Anyway I went into the local library and I noticed a job for a life model pinned on the wall. I would explain that the local Job Centre (A Government Department that tries to get people employment) rented about two square metres of wall space in the library and pinned up a number of small cards advertising jobs. The job of life model was therefore one of many jobs advertised. I was in full time employment at the time but I thought it would be a bit of fun to apply. I thought if I could do some work in the evenings or weekends it would be an added source of income. I took down the reference number of the job and approached the Job Centre. I was given the details of the college that had posted the requirement. I applied, was sent a detailed application form which I completed and sent off. I then thought that if this college needed life models maybe other organisations would do also. I collected a few prospectus issued by Devon County and Cornwall County Adult Education Centres, found those that were offering life drawing classes and I wrote to them offering my services as a life model. Within two weeks of writing I had a telephone call at home from a Art Tutor who was desperately seeking a life model. She advised that her current model had just told her they could not model for the next two weeks. She therefore needed a model urgently. I told her that I had never done life modelling before but I was very willing. She hesitated a little before asking me that I understood that I would be totally nude in a class of over 20 students/artists. As I have been a natralist/nudist most of my life I advised her that being nude did not phase me. My main concern was whether I could keep still for the periods required. I suppose that as the Tutor was desperate she decided to give a trial. I arrived, as agreed with the Tutor, 20 minutes before the class was to start to get some instruction etc. After the session the Tutor said both she and the students were pleased with my performance and I was asked to model the following week. The Tutor told me that I had done well, considerably better than she had expected and she asked me if I was interested in modelling for other art groups. She gave me a number of contacts and my modelling career took off but stuttered to an abrupt stop a few months later when I developed a chronic heart condition which required a triple bypass surgery.
On discharge from hospital I was at home recovering when I saw in a back copy of a newspaper we take an advertisement for part time living anatomy models at the newly opened Peninsula Medical School (sponsored by the University of Plymouth and the University of Exeter). The closing date was long passed but I was at home and I thought I would give them a call and see what happened. I was lucky, I got a trial and I got the job and I have been working there ever since. If you would like to know what I do please ask. You can get a flavour of the work if you read my comment on SpringfildIL-Strictly Academic. Almost immediately after I started work at the Medical School I was approached by the University of Plymouth Art Department to work for them as a life model. Shortly afterwards I was approached by the Plymouth College of Art and asked to model for them. I have worked there ever since.
In view of my heart condition I was retired (with my agreement) from my day job with a pension. My way to taking up modelling full time was now open.
For all you aspiring life models I say go for it. You will find the Tutors are very encouraging and will help you. I can hold a reasonable pose for around an hour without a break. But I am old and an exception. The most you will be required to do is hold a reasonable pose for 15/20 minutes then you will have a break to flex arms, legs etc go to the loo. The Tutor will mark you in; that is draw round your feet, maybe use a whieboard marker (it rubs off easily) to mark the position of arms/hands so the you can be put back into the same position after the break if the same pose is to continue. You will find that the education establishments will want poses of various lengths; from about 30 seconds, a few minutes up to maybe 2 hours. You can adopt some really wild poses if you are only to hold them for a short time. You will need to adopt more reasonable poses for the longer periods. Tutors are reasonable people and will not ask the impossible. If you find a pose too much then just say you need a break. If you are not happy with a requested pose say so. You will find most Tutors will ask you on many occasions whether you are all right with the pose and continue asking during the pose. The Tutors want to be sure they are not stretching you too much. Tutors do not want to alienate models; there are too few to go round.
I hope this note is of help to anyone thinking about giving life modelling a trial. You should enjoy it, I do, and you will meet some very interesting people. Remember there is nothing lewd about being a life model. Life models are required in all shapes and sizes: male, female, tall, short, fat, thin etc. Life drawing is very exacting and difficult and artists/students want/need access to models to draw and they will be too engrossed trying to get proportions etc right to notice any blemishes you might have. I have a long scar (fading now) running down the centre of my chest where I had the bypass surgery. The medical students are interested in the scar and the history and ask many questions; the artists/students pay it little attention if any. Do not get despondent if after your first session you are not asked to model again for the group for a few weeks. They like variety and may have a number of models they use. You have to take your turn. Do what I did and seek out other avenues.
Please do not be rude about my submission; I have written it to help. Constructive comment is welcomed. If anyone wants to ask me anything please get in touch and I will help if I can. To those folks in the USA please accept my spellings and phrases may be a bit different to what you normally see. Sorry but I am English and I am what I am.