So, I tried art modeling—like stand up in front of a group of artists, nude, as they sketched my naked body—art modeling. I have always really appreciated art, I read poems, listen to music, and do as many artsy things as I can to wake up my “right brain” that gets stifled in technical classes.
Modeling enabled me to explore art from a new perspective.
Honestly, nude modeling was not nearly as awkward or uncomfortable as I expected. The artists were friendly and professional; they were there to understand how to draw the body in different poses and I was there to enable their learning. To do this, I had to hold poses for varying amounts of time between one and twenty minutes.
During a normal day, you never think about holding still. It is surprisingly hard! However, it gives you a chance to zone out and think. You reach the same type of meditative reflection typically reserved for road trips after everyone else in the car has fallen asleep, and you get paid to do it.
As I posed, I peeked at what the artists were sketching. It was interesting seeing how they saw me; it was not at all how I saw myself.
Beginning artists were intermixed with the professionals and all had a different style and interpretation of my body. Some accentuated my curves while others highlighted what would generally be considered flaws. Some sketches were realistic and others were cartoonish. But all were some variation of me.
Art is part of who I am. I have several tattoos because I like the idea of always having art with me. My experience with tattoos actually helped me prepare for modeling. People look at them a lot, but I have stopped worrying about what people think about them. I have tattoos because I like them, so naturally I was not concerned about what the artists thought about my body.
To be able to comfortably stand in front of a group of people completely naked, positive body image is a must. I am in reasonable shape; I have nothing to be ashamed of, not even the weird way my tummy looks when I lean forward.
Flaws are human and imperfections are what make art interesting. At a time when images are filtered and photo shopped before they are shared, artists appreciate the rawness of real models and their ability to get into a variety of flattering and unflattering poses.
Pictures capture a time, place, and emotion. When you look at a photograph or painting of a single individual, you cannot help but feel intimately connected with the subject; you wonder what they are thinking and feeling.
The intimacy involved with art is why I chose to be anonymous. I want to take people on a journey with my poses and expressions, but I think part of that journey would be ruined if people knew my identity. You are left with unanswered questions when you look at a stranger, but if you know the model’s identity, you tend to assume answers to those questions and the experience changes.
Going into industry in a few months, I am also worried about my job. Those in the oil and gas industry are, in general, more conservative than I am. I would hate for a fun couple of hours to impact my entire career. Trying new things and exploring is important, but a professional image and a good-paying job can help finance your future explorations.