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gottamakeart's avatar

Art Modeling, a two-part question: How to ask a potential model, How would a model prefer to be asked? (This is outside of a classroom setting)

Asked by gottamakeart (1323points) July 14th, 2009

I’d like to know, as an Artist- how have you approached a potential model (for portraiture or figure studies, any medium)

As an Art Model (or potential one) how have you been approached, or would prefer to be asked?

also, What were your terms, and was there a model-release form involved? (recommended)

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6 Answers

fireinthepriory's avatar

Ah. I’ve had this trouble, too… I tend to post somewhere asking for models (this is easier if you’re a student because you have a University Center or can flyer the dorms etc.) or I ask my friends to model for me. I might try using something like craig’s list if I really needed something specific. If you’re a photographer, amateur models will probably let you use them for free if you’re willing to give them copies of your work – this has worked for me in the past.

Ok, I’m assuming you’re a photographer for this next paragraph, because it’s all I know. :) Model releases are definitely necessary to protect yourself legally if you’re planning to do anything with the photos, even just put them on your web site. (I don’t ask my friends to sign a model release, but I know that really, I should!) There are never any “terms” I guess, although I always describe the project and make sure the person knows what it entails before they agree to let me shoot them. This only goes for studio shots – if someone is out in public, you’re allowed to photograph them and use the image in whatever way you want. You might get yelled at though. :)

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Assuming clothed, I would just draw friends or classmates from a photo or if they were willing to sit for a few minutes

Nude, is a much more touchy subject. There are professional agencies for this.

gottamakeart's avatar

I can say from my experience the best models I’ve worked with were amatuers or new to the profession. They were a little nervous too & that somehow helped me feel more at ease with a situation that was unfamiliar to me. I do know the one fellow artist I worked with (as a semi-nude model) had me at ease because we had a pre-existing friendship, so that made it easier to work with her.

My best work has resulted from smaller group sessions and some one-on-one work, fewer distractions and more focus.

Many of the art model ads I’ve seen are all too brief (don’t want to work with someone looking for something else other than being a model, if you know what I mean) So again I’m back to my comfort level of asking people I know and am comfortable around—-with occasional results.

I mostly draw and paint, which would require longer sitting times & probably multiple sessions, but affords the prospective model some degree of anonyminity, since I’m not photographing them.

I’m still hoping to hear more anecdotes from both sides of the situation, as I’d like to expand and diversify my portfolio, and would like to know how the experience has been for others———not just myself and other artists.

Plus I’m also thinking of finding an artist to work with again, since all these years later, I’m actually in much better shape than I thought I’d be, and I kind of want to celebrate that through art.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I’d love to sign up to be a model, but alas, there isn’t much call for a 6’ 2” 180 lb. 50 yr old bald guy that looks like Yul Brynner in glasses. I’m not sure if I’d do a nude pose, as no one really wants to see me naked other than my wife, and she thinks I’m HAWT, but then, she’s my wife. =) in case you are wondering, that isn’t me in my avatar, that’s a close friend behaving oddly. I use it because he makes me laugh.

tigran's avatar

Well, if your work is good you just have to show it and they will be interested. If you don’t have a portfolio yet, you can propose a style that you would like to try and explain why you need the model, that always makes it interesting.

TheRocketPig's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra depending on the school or organization, they want a large assortment of people as models. I’ve drawn everything from tall, short, thin, fat, and even odd ones like one lady had a leg that was way shorter than the other one. (I always get crap if I show any drawings of her because people always assume I just drew her wrong… but nope… girl just had a short leg…)

Now… I’ve got 2 experiences with “out of school” models… neither of which are good stories mind you. Several years ago a friend of mine was going with her group of friends to “drawing classes” at a local indie music and book store. This was a fairly young group of girls between 17 and 19 or so. When they got back they wanted me to critique their drawings (I was still going through art school at the time). I was shocked to see what I saw, every picture they drew the man had well… a you know. These girls really didn’t understand what really had happened here (thinking back I have no idea why they wouldn’t have been as freaked out as I was) The drawings had other stuff in them too that cemented the fact that he was just a pervert. (I don’t really think it appropriate to explain further, just understand it was bad.) I think that he was some pervert that had a thing for young girls drawing him in the nude. I think I’ve said too much about that, so I would make sure to check out any “classes” well before signing up.

The other story isn’t nearly as nasty… but it’s interesting nonetheless. When I was in grad school one of my classmates needed a nude model for a project. He decided to put out a craig’s list ad. He did receive a ton of responses, but something was a bit off with the person he chose. First off she didn’t find the ad in craig’s list, some agency told her about it and was collecting a “finder’s fee” for telling her about it. It seemed really shady. To my knowledge everything worked out on his end, I just don’t really like the idea of agencies taking cuts off of someone else’s job posting (on a free site mind you)

I dunno… hope that helps.

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