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.

Joanna (wearing some lovely jewellery)

Tim practising his poses

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.

Jess Howard’s drawing of Joanna. Reckon she’s asleep?

T: Probably lying down; it’s very relaxing. Some of the other poses are quite hard work to hold for long enough.

Life drawing 4

A drawing of Tim by Jess Howard

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.

Harriet Dawkins’ drawing of Joanna in different poses

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.

Life drawing 3

Harriet Dawkins’ drawing of Tim

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.

Life drawing wall

Life drawing wall 3

Life drawing wall 2

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!


Leave your response!

  • gem

    tim loves life. joanna is pretty and smart. love this article. and the drawings of comely buttocks.


  • monopoly man

    Big deposit made in my wank bank cheers you two