There are more reasons to get naked other than Baywatch you know.
When we heard there were students doing Life Modelling for ArtSoc on campus we couldn’t resist having a chat with them. The questions on everybody’s lips: What do you think about? Do you get cold? Do you ‘prepare’ beforehand?
We spoke to Joanna Harley, a third year Marine Biology student from Colchester and Tim Lupton, a first year Ship Sciences student from Bury St Edmunds.
How did you find out about it?
J: One of the committee members convinced me to do it when I was smashed. I keep my promises.
T: I had a drunk conversation with some friends involved in Artsoc, and subsequently decided to do it!
How much did you get paid?
J:I think it was £30 for the session, if I’m honest I was so nervous that I almost asked why when they thrust some cash at me before it started.
T: £30 for a session, which was about an hour.
What made you want to do it?
J: It’s one ticked off the bucket list. And I think when I agreed to it, I was probably in the sort of drunken mindset which considers removing items of clothing a fantastic plan.
T: I don’t know really, I was just curious about what it would be like, and it is well paid!
Do you prepare your body before modelling?
J: I did indeed make myself presentable. We joked about shaving a batman symbol down there.
T: No, I didn’t really prepare at all beforehand. Once I got there I felt like I probably should have done, but it all worked out.
Do you have a particular favourite pose?
J: Lying down on my front! I was so relaxed that I actually fell asleep, I’m sure no one noticed.
T: Probably lying down; it’s very relaxing. Some of the other poses are quite hard work to hold for long enough.
Do you ever give anyone eye contact?
J: I relished in it. I also occasionally thought of them naked. It really backfired when someone winked at me and then returned to drawing my boobs.
T: Yeah, it sometimes gets boring just looking at the floor or the wall. So sometimes I have a quick look round and accidentally make eye contact with someone!
Do you ever feel like people are staring at you in a weird way?
J: Not really, they just flicked between their work and me; I think when drawing you look at the subject just as an object to inspire art work, there’s nothing sexual about it. Between poses I was worried about flashing everyone but then realised that all eyes were directed at each other; no one wants to look at a moving model, it makes them seem like more than just a bowl of fruit. I think people have become too prude.
T: Not really, I probably should have done, but I didn’t really think about it.
Does it get really cold?
J: I was actually so nervous during my first pose that my sweat was streaming. I was pretty warm throughout, I think it’s hard to get cold in a tiny room filled with 65 people.
T: Nope it was fine, the windows were closed so there weren’t any cold draughts.
How long does it take?
J: It varies, some poses are 5 minutes, some are 20, hence the napping.
What do you think about?
J: About 90% of the time I think of nothing, it’s quite meditational.
T: I like to think of nude modelling as an important interview, I just imagined that everybody else was naked.
Where do you look?
J: Into deep space, the wall, the floor, at people or sometimes their art work.
What do you do if you get an itch?
J: Smother it in butterscotch sauce.
T: I took my job very seriously, I wouldn’t move an inch.
Any really awkward/embarrassing stories (come on!)?
J: At the end the model gets to have a wander around and look at the 360° view of their fully naked body. That’s a pretty odd experience. One guy did a lovely drawing focused mostly on my crotch, even including a small mole I have down there; I noticed that not much detail was included for the rest of the picture.
T: Surprisingly not. A few of my friends came along and drew me, there are now a couple of walls dedicated to naked drawings of me.
Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend? If yes, how do they feel about it?
J: He’s totally fine with it until I suggested a couples session, he wasn’t too impressed.
T: Nope, after this preview I am accepting offers though.
Have you ever been offended by a drawing of you? / Has anyone ever done a really weird drawing of you?
J: The crotch one was pretty odd, some people drew me as quite a busty lady; however I was never offended, there were some very talented artists in there and such a range of styles.
T: I was very impressed by all the drawings that I saw, they captured my likeness perfectly
Has it improved your body confidence?
J: I was already quite confident in my birthday suit. My poor housemates have all seen me naked at some point. I think it has made me feel more confident though.
T: Definitely. I had a fair bit before but this has only helped
Do your parents/grandparents know? If yes, how do they feel about it?
J: My Mum knows, she’s an artist herself and thought it quite funny.
T: I haven’t got round to telling them yet.
Have you ever kept a drawing of yourself?
J: No but I really wish I’d at least taken a photo of one of the sketches. One guy drew this incredible picture of me lying down, with the most exquisite detail of my foot tattoo, I regret not asking for a snap of that.
T: Not an original, I have a few copies though.
Both Joanna and Tim said they’d be a life model again.
Well there you have it, thanks guys!