How to Make Money as a Life Model
Life modelling may sound like a daunting prospect, but it can be a fantastic way to make money. Yes, it can be nerve wracking and yes, the thought of being naked in front of a whole bunch of people can be terrifying, but for many people being a life model can be a pretty lucrative gig, or even a part time career! So how do you go about becoming a life model and how much money can you really make?
Do you have what it takes?
First things first; life modelling might not be for everyone. You really need to be comfortable with your body in order to be standing in your birthday suit in front of a group of people. And no, artists are not generally looking at your body to “check you out” but they will be looking at you to analyse your body in terms of art that they can then represent on paper.
To be a life model you don’t need to have a certain type of body. You don’t need to be athletic or slender. In fact, life models can have any body type or shape. A life model is there for artists to study the human form and, as we all know, the human form comes in all shapes in sizes, therefore there are jobs for life models of every shape and size.
One thing that you will have to do is be capable of holding various poses for long periods of time. Depending on the type of art being sketched, you might find yourself having to hold a particular pose for up to half an hour. However, some poses may only be required for five or ten minutes.
Being a life model can provide you with experience in the arts industry, and can be a fantastic side job if looking for other roles within the dramatic arts. Many budding actors may find that life modelling can boost their confidence and it can also help you use your imagination to come up with different poses.
How to become a life model
Schools, colleges and universities all over the country will require life models for art classes, so there can be plenty of work if you’re willing or able to travel to different locations. A good way to start is to register with the Register of Artists’ Models (RAM), where you can get access to directories of registered artists, schools and employment opportunities, as well as find out further information about life modelling.
It can be a good idea to contact your local community centre to find out about art classes or life drawing classes that take place in your area. If there’s an art school in your local area, even better. But your uni or college will probably also have art classes taking place, whether they are part of certain degree programmes or offered on adult learning courses. Contacting the schools or organisations who run the classes can be a great way of registering your interest. Art galleries can also offer information and may be able to provide you with contact information for local artists who may be interested in hiring a life model.
The current recommended rate of pay, according to the Register of Artists’ Models, is £15.00 per hour, at the time of writing, so it can be a pretty well paid job to have while you’re studying. The good thing about it is you will be able to choose your own hours, to a point, as you will probably be employed on a freelance basis, giving you greater freedom over who you work for.
Keep in mind that artists will want you to come up with different poses. They don’t really want you to be standing or sitting in the same position for every class, so the more poses you can come up with the more likely you will be hired again and again. You can even model with another life model to create poses together, such as dance sequences, as artists will appreciate the variety. If you can use your imagination a little, the more money you will be able to make. Another tip is that, although you will essentially be working for yourself, you will still need to be professional and show up to every job you get hired for. If an artist is expecting you to show up and you don’t, it will be unlikely that they’ll hire you again. If you can’t make it to a prearranged job, let the artist know in advance so they have a chance to find another model to replace you.
We could all use the extra cash and being a life model can be a fun and freeing way to earn some. If you don’t think stripping off in front of people is quite your thing, there are plenty of other ways to make money, including through some of the lifestyle tips found here.