The Complete Guide to Becoming an Art Model (2020)

One must note that becoming an art model requires  a lot of hard work.

Not everybody can become an art model and you need to have some essential skills, which everyone doesn't possess.

Let's accept it, when it comes to covering ourselves up, we have mastered the skills. There are different types of models.

Some of them walk the ramp for Victoria's Secret famous lingerie lines, there are plus-size models and then we have a separate category of models, who are known as art models.

The modelling industry has room for everyone. One modelling type, which is suitable for even adult males and females, is known asart modelling.

art model

It's funny to think about how comfortable we are looking at celebrities wearing almost nothing holding a glass of wine. At the same time, we start judging and feel uncomfortable with our bodies called body shaming. Why are we prudish when it comes to our bodies?

The answer mostly lies in how you feel about yourself and how comfortable you are in your skin.

Everything comes down to how the society perceives masculinity and beauty in modern-day, however, when we see the work of model artists, we soon realize people with various shape, size and sex as fantastic.

So, the first step to becoming an art model is feeling confident in your skin. If you think that you are fine being naked in front of a class while they get to sketch each part of your body, then yes, you are born to become an art model.

Understanding art modelling

What do you think of when you hear the term “art modelling”? A person poses in front of a whole class and allows the students to draw him or her. That's precisely what it is. In an art modelling class, an art model poses and a class of students draw.

The agenda is to draw the human form in whatever pose presented in front of them. When it comes to art modelling, the live model is the most invaluable resource of the class. Drawing a live human form is never easy and can be quite challenging.

Further, posing in front of the class and being static for a long time is not easy either. Art modelling is not only a nice way to get used to a modelling career, but it is also an excellent way to earn decent money also.

If you are interested in trying modelling later on, then to start with art modelling can be an ideal option.

Life as an Art Model

The art modelling career is best suitable for confident people who can stand still and be naked in front of a massive bunch of students who are strangers to them. Becoming an art model requires leaving your comfort zone. If you don't think you are ready for this, then you should not try this career.

There is one big catch in art modelling and that is nudity. Nudity could be one of the requirements. Art classes that draw the human anatomy are often looking for people of all shapes and sizes to stand still or sit down in one particular position, entirely naked.

These classes happen in a professional setting, that's why everything is done tastefully. An art model can be asked to be in full clothes, semi-nude or completely naked. If you are not comfortable being completely naked, then don't discount on the whole art modelling career.

You may want to speak to the company or the agency hiring you and talk to them about your comfort level and offer you gigs that involve clothes.

How to find work?

Once you are sure that art modelling is your cup of tea, then you should start looking for art modelling gigs in different ways. The best way to go about it is by checking out ads for art modelling on craigslist. Most of the local art classes post their requirements for art models on craigslist regularly.

Ensure that the source is credible, and you are familiar with the art school. Don't say yes to every offer. Once you become famous, you will start receiving offers from different sources. If not craigslist, then try contacting the local art studios, art schools, and local colleges.

Talk to them and try to gather information if they are looking for an art model. The internet could be a good source, as well. Just type using the right keywords and you should be able to see a list of requirements.

The Real Purpose of Art Models in Life Drawing Classes

If you have been modelling for quite a while and now would like a sculpture, a portrait or even a painting expressing your nudity, then it becomes necessary to understand that the students drawing is portraying your image only.

They look at you as a representation and are not there to judge your looks based on your skin colour and size.

When it comes to art, every human body and shape is the same. The students draw human bodies over and over again.

And art models can be both males and females.

For artists, the role of art models is essential because it helps them to understand the human body.

Of course, you get to learn about human biology in school and some artists draw human faces in the streets, but nothing teaches them about human bodies as accurately as seeing them in real life.

art model 2

During an art class, the model will be asked to sit or stand in a particular position, to showcase the different parts of their body. The model has to make sure that they showcase their different sets of muscles from different angles.

Painters can use photographs to draw human bodies as photos can unveil human images, their tone and structure, but pictures can't express human life in the same way as a real human can.

Photographers take photos from different angles, but painters want to capture the essence of a model from different directions, which is why art models are so critical for the art classes.

Who becomes an art model at a life drawing class?

Usually, we have seen a lot of famous actors and actresses, becoming an art model. We all know that art models get paid well. And for just a few hours, they get a handsome reward and recognition. Also, the choice of being an art model goes hand in hand with their current career status.

Apart from this, newcomers, who are waiting for their big project or looking to impress famous producers, also move forward to become an art model. Art model receives their limelight, and they choose to become one because these people understand the need for such classes.

When it is an artist modelling as a  model, they are less nervous than a newcomer. They don't mind sitting or standing naked in front of a big crowd, mainly when they have done something similar before. They have the right amount of exposure to hold their bodies beautifully. Moreover, actors and actresses are also confident about how they look, their body, and they can pose in different ways as well. Artists are more expressive.

However, to become an art model, no one needs to have any specialized degree or qualification. So, in theory, anyone can try their luck in becoming an art model. But there are  few rules that you have to follow if you want to enter this field. We have listed the conditions below.

There Are No Perfect Bodies, But You Must Be Confident

If you think that to become an art model, you must have a skinny body or a 6-pack with big muscles and a big butt, then that's not the case whatsoever! On the contrary, art classes that are looking for live models search for people who aren't perfect.

They aren't looking for typical models that you see on high-end fashion magazines. They want people who can flaunt their bodies confidently. Drawing or art classes  usually searching for people of all sizes.  People with round faces, older people, people with unique body types and physique can also apply.

This is what art classes are searching for when they look for art models.

Art classes mostly go for people who have got unique features. Artists want to draw people with scars on their bodies, tattoos, curves bodies, piercings, lined faces, and more.

Life drawing is about the representation of the human body and that the body can be of anyone. What the artists will be portraying in their pictures are the shapes and forms.

The critical feature to note when it comes to art modelling is that there is no perfect body type or shape. You have to be confident and that's all that matters.

Even if you are asked to strip naked for the class, look convinced.

No one will ask you to do a ramp walk in front of a hundred people and neither will photographers be standing there to click some shots, it's just going to be you as the subject and then the students who will start drawing your body form.

It is quite normal to get nervous if it is your first time as an art model and so would everyone. And it is absolutely fine if you sweat a bit before the class begins.

art modell confidence

However, you need to follow a strict etiquette, the rest will be fine. The students of the drawing class and even the instructor will make sure that their art model is at ease and will try their best to make the person feel comfortable.

There are some rules to be followed when a drawing class involves an art model; here are they:

  • The essential rule  is not to touch the model. No one is allowed to touch them, whether you are posing for a class of 20 students or a single artist.
  • Only the instructor, along with the students, is allowed to be in the class with the art model. No one is allowed to enter the class once the class begins.
  • The artists, while under the process of life, drawing classes, are not to make any comments about their model's figure. The class should remain silent.
  • The model should be in a comfortable position. We know that the art model will be in one static position for a long time. Usually, the instructor takes the responsibility to introduce the model to the rest of the class. Every art class, which involves an art model, should have a changing room or a bathroom. The art model will get undressed there before making his or her appearance.

From time to time, a pose might need to be corrected. Or if it is time for a break, the session guide will be there in lieu of the art model.

These rules will make sure that if you are posing naked for the class, you are doing so in a professional environment and everyone, including the art model, is enjoying their time.

The students present in the class are not here to judge the femininity or masculinity of a person but to represent the model's image.

Once you are confident about yourself and your body, it will make the journey of becoming an art model easier for you. There are rules, which will be followed by everyone; therefore, there is nothing to be worried about.

Art Modeling Poses

What are the life modelling etiquettes?

People often choose art modelling as a side career. Art modelling is usually not considered to be a full-time career. People who are struggling with their finances or looking for a main job are the prime candidates for this profession.

Newcomers looking for a job might become an art model, or actors who are still struggling to get a good break might turn up for this opportunity. Most of the art and drawing classes will insist that the art model be 18 years and above.

Not that even art modelling is like acting. You have to pose in front of a single artist or a group of students, and you must be creative when it comes to representation. It would be best if you choose a gesture or a pose that makes you look original.

No matter why you have chosen to become an art model, there are a few life modelling etiquettes that you must follow. We have mentioned them all below.

  • Make sure to arrive on time. The first rule is to be a true professional. If you want to become an art model, you must ensure to reach a few minutes early before the students who will sketch your form. This way, you will get to see how the art studio looks like, where you will stand or sit, and get an overview of the environment.
  • Next is to find a creative pose. Choose a pose that will create an interest among the artists. Get to know about the classic poses that you can try. You can speak to the instructor as well to know more about different poses. Many models practice their pose at home before they appear for the main event. The more you pose, the more comfortable you will become with the job.
  • If, at any point, you feel tired being in the same position, tell the instructor that you need to take a break. Everyone understands that you are a human being, too, and you might need to break. And it is never good to see a model struggle maintaining a pose.
  • Wherever you go for a coffee break, or you take some rest in between the poses, wear a robe or anything that will cover you up. The model must cover their body when they are going for a break.
  • While posing, you must look at your artists. Life drawers focus on their work and don't do anything that will disturb the artists.

Art models who can maintain their pose from the starting professionally are regarded as experts and they receive manye art modelling gig Both the artists and the model should be comfortable and respect one another.

What to expect when you become a life drawing model?

As a live drawing model, you might have to pose for up to 3 hours or more. Hence, be ready for the challenge. Other rules that will accompany are as follows:

My Life as an Art Model - Short Film by Casey Gates

  • Freshen up before you go for the session. Use the toilet on a priority basis. Remember, the class will last for a long time. In between the breaks, ensure that you go to the bathroom.
  • Have something to eat before the session begins. Feeling hungry in between the class can make you feel awkward, and it is not easy to pose for such a long time.
  • Ensure that you are comfortable in your pose.
  • The temperature of the studio room should be compatiblr enough to make you feel comfortable. Usually, the studio provides the model with a small heater. If you think that the studio room can become too cold, don't hesitate to ask for a room heater.
  • Before you join the session and pose, stretch, and ensure that you are free from sore muscles and not getting any cramps.

As a warm-up, students will quickly s sketch within the first 30 seconds. The model will take a few short poses in the beginning. Your responsibility as a model is to show the class that you have worked on your gestures and postures.

Make sure that you practice these poses or gestures at home. If you do more and more gigs, you will become more comfortable with new postures.

Once you are ready, warm up a bit because soon you will to get ready for the serious pose. From the first phase, the model will have to hold the posture for around 20 to 30 minutes, and the artists will draw the details quickly. This is the time where you will have to prove that you have got the skills.

Poses can be divided into four different parts

Reclining pose

The reclining pose is the easiest. You will get a support that will hold your body. The stage or the floor is what keeps your body still.

But if you are holding your legs and arms straight, then this could make you feel tired after some time.

Reclining Pose

Seated pose

Many think that seating pose should be the easiest one because all you got to do is to sit on a chair for a few hours.

And that's not difficult. However, what will start hurting after sitting for a longer duration is your bum.

You know you can't move and that can make you uncomfortable.

So, what you need to be sure about is the seat you have chosen for yourself is padded, comfortable and is soft.

Seated Pose

Standing pose

Standing pose looks extremely difficult.

If this is your first time, then standing pose could be the worst, and you may not want to stand for a life class for your first time.

All your body weight will rest on your legs and you can't move any of your legs once the session begins.

However, if you are given a pole to handle, then that could make the process easier.

If you choose a standing pose, then the best thing to do would be to take a break in between and let your instructor know that you are feeling tired.

Standing Pose

Kneeling pose

The hardest one among all these four poses is the kneeling pose.  Bending for a long time can put a strain on your back and limbs. 

But the good thing about kneeling pose is that this posture is kept for a shorter duration.

Life modelling may not be as easy as you might have thought.

But the trick to excel at life modelling is to find a pose that you would be comfortable at and your right posture.

Kneeling Pose

How to apply for life modelling?

There are the usual job searches, for instance, Job Search, Indeed and more. You can check out craigslist to crack a gig. Craigslist often advertises about life models, and art classes choose craigslist to look for art models.

The internet is the best place to find some of the reputed academics and drawing studios and explore their website. Then you can approach some of the art colleges on your own as well to know if they are looking for any art model.

You can expect a life model to make £15 per hour. It's a good-paying job but needs endurance and dedication.

Modeling Tips - How to Become a Life Art Model

About life drawing interviews

Once you apply for a life modelling gig, your application after getting shortlisted will be called for an audition. Most of the reputed drawing studios will not consider you without going for a hearing.

The drawing workshop may involve, you posing for them for a few short poses or gestures for around 5 to 10 minutes long and then two or maybe one long pose, which can be up to 45 minutes long.

The combination of both short and long poses is to assess how good you are at holding the pose and how still you can be when a session begins. If you are a newcomer and the studio likes your audition, it is normal for them to ask you to work on your confidence.

However, some people are born as natural artists, for these people getting such gigs shouldn't be difficult. For the audition, you might not get paid, though before applying for the audition, make sure you learn about the rules and regulations properly.

Meanwhile, the experienced art models may be hired after just a short round of interview or the max pose for the audition sometimes. But if you have a reference from a well-reputed studio, then you will get easy access to other gigs.

While there is no qualification required to become an art model and it is mostly the audition that will break the ice for you, remember that you must have a good personality and confidence to impress the prospective employee and get handsomely paid.

How to promote yourself as an art model?

If you are serious about becoming an art model, even if it is for a temporary basis, you must make sure that you set up a website. Your website will attract potential employers and will show that you are interested in being an art model.

There are tons of free website hosting platforms, for example, WordPress and Wix, where you can set up your website effortlessly. Promote your site wherever possible and whenever you apply through an email, do share your website link. Try to sell yourself through your site.

Don't try to stuff your site with a lot of photos with no clothes on. Show your best pictures, and that should be enough. If you have worked for other art studios before, then don't forget to update your previous work.

Introduce yourself properly and talk about your experience and why you chose to become an art model. All this can buildyour resume. Use your website as the resume when you apply for any art modelling gig.

Also, promote your site on different social media sites and ask people to share it so that it comes across a prospective client.

Social media has the power to show off who you are and talk about your personality. Show your professional image in front of everyone. Be social friendly and add some popular hashtags to gain popularity via pictures.

Connections are necessary

Join the community of art models. Socialize whenever possible to enhance your networking skills.

If you receive an opportunity, stay in touch with that employee. Interact with new agencies and remain in contact. Try to impress them, but ensure that you stay connected with other art models to understand how they started their career and what worked for them.

If this doesn't work out, you are anyway going to learn something useful from this experience.

Some useful websites where you can apply

Along with setting up a site and preparing yourself to become an art model, you will need some guidance regarding where to start. There are a few renowned sites that can help you get a job. Try the following sites:

Website Link:

London Drawing is a reputed firm that collaborates with professional artists, performers, as well as tutors, and the firm offers painting classes and life drawing. 

You can check their website and get to know from them if the organization is looking for any art model.

london drawing

Website Link:

Register of Artist Models or RAM is yet another online platform, where you can apply for art modelling. 

The firm lists a good number of modelling jobs all over United Kingdom.

You will have to pay £35 a year as the subscription fee, though. The platform gives you the best chance to find a gig.


Website Link:

Finally, we have The Royal Academy, who is always looking for fresh art models. 

The site could be a lifesaver for those looking for a temporary art modelling career

royal academy of arts


As you can see, being an art model could allow you to earn decent money, and excellent opportunities are waiting for you as well. If you are in London, then the websites that we have mentioned will help you, otherwise, make Google your best friend, and start looking for opportunities online.

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