Alternative income: figure modeling
July 17, 2008, 5:20 pm
Filed under: Making money

From time to time, I figure model for art classes to make a few extra bucks. I live a few blocks away from an art museum that holds adult art classes throughout the year and I am on their model list. The instructors give you a call whenever they need a model for one or more of their classes and if you can make it, great, but if you can’t, that’s okay, they’ll call up another model to see if he or she can make it instead.

Figure modeling does not always equate to nude modeling. In fact, I’ve only ever modeled nude once, which, interestingly enough, was the very first time I ever modeled. Lately, I’ve modeled a lot for portrait classes, so I get paid to sit and stare into space for three hours. I make more money per hour modeling than I do at either of my other jobs and an instructor told me this week that the museum is actually thinking about raising the pay by $3.

For course, figure modeling isn’t for everyone. If you fidget a lot, get bored easily, get muscle cramps easily, or are overly self conscious then you probably won’t enjoy modeling or be very good at it. I, surprisingly, can hold a pose for quite a long time. I shocked myself the first time I did it. If you’re unsure whether you’d be good at figure modeling, I would say go for it. If you don’t like it, then you can just ask for your name to be removed from the modeling list and chance are, you’ll never have to see anyone from the art class ever again. No matter your size, shape, or look, you will be more than welcome to figure model as students need a lot of diversification in order to perfect their drawing and painting skills. My dad is an artist and I only got a smidgen of his talent. Figure modeling is gratifying for me because, while I’m not very good at creating art, I can at least inspire it and be someone’s muse.

A great thing about modeling is how quickly you can build up a network. Once you model a few times, an instructor or two may take a liking to you and call you first for modeling jobs. One of the instructors at the museum has been using me quite a bit lately and has recommended me to other instructors when they are in need of models. Also, the instructors and students may have art projects on the side either with another artists’ group or individually that require a model and they may think of you first when it comes time to arrange the model.

To find figure modeling jobs, I highly recommend giving the following organizations a call: art museums that offer classes, art studios that offer classes, colleges, community colleges, and art centers.