A painting of a naked woman.

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For most people, posing naked in front of a classroom full of students sounds absolutely terrifying. But believe it or not, it’s not as nerve-racking as one might expect. That’s because artists view nudity in a completely different light than non-artists. Whereas the majority of society views the naked body as shameful and pornographic, artists view it as a natural part of the human form. Because of this, many nude models find their work to be spiritually uplifting, and they often end up feeling more comfortable and accepting of their bodies. For those who are interested in being a nude model, here are some tips on how to get started as well as a brief introductory on what to expect in this line of work.

 Where to Look for Work

Colleges and universities are the first place to look when it comes to art modeling. Keep in mind that these positions aren’t always posted online, so it’s best to get into contact with either the art director or the individual professors themselves. In addition to the academic sphere, local art communities, including community workshops, are great places to look. Always be wary of gigs posted on sites like Craigslist. Although there are legitimate job postings on there, it should always be approached with caution.

What to Expect

Contrary to common assumption, being an art model can actually be rather difficult. Models will be expected to hold poses for 5, 10, sometimes more than 30 minutes at a time. If these poses aren’t carefully planned and practiced ahead of time, the model’s muscles can begin to shake uncontrollably, which is uncomfortable for all parties involved. The easiest way to avoid this is by coming up with a list of 10-15 poses. Models should also practice transitioning from pose-to-pose as gracefully as possible.

Standard pay is anywhere between $15-$25.

What to Bring

Art models should bring a bathrobe to change into. Industry standard is to arrive on set in a bathrobe. “Stripping” out of street clothes in front of the class is seen as unprofessional and distasteful. Bathrobes should always be worn during breaks, which are usually given every 20-30 minutes.

Props are also good items to bring. Props not only add a visual element, but they are incredibly useful when it comes to holding poses. Models often lean on them for support.

Sandals are a must considering that art studio floors are often littered with charcoal dust, push pins, and other materials.

Models will also want to bring a piece of fabric to stand, sit, or lay down on. Ideally, this will be a clear, plastic sheet. If not, a neutral-colored towel will work.