Part 2 of my Interview with a New Model & more images from Notting Hill

I always find it refreshing to hear from those newer to life modelling what it is they find so exciting about it. For Liz it was many things – the way that modelling encourages you to be just the way you are. Whichever body type you are, that is what you accentuate. You cannot hide from yourself. She has long felt her bottom to be too large, disproportionate to the rest of her figure. As a life model her bottom becomes a feature which artists consider her best part, to be shown off.

Liz has only modelled twice; once at Spirited Bodies and once for an artist who met her at Mortlake. She likes the way it makes you want to look after your body so that you do feel good about presenting it. This is a positive side effect I agree, and something I sometimes forget. It’s nice to be maintaining my body not just for myself or a lover, but for all the people I work with too.

A greater interest in art was another plus offset by life modelling Liz found. She wants to see what artists look for and what has been done before.

She has a strong idea about the professionalism involved in life modelling, largely due to being advised by Morimda. She says that the model should never embarress an artist. Many poses for example, could be erotic or not depending on your facial expression. By behaving in a very straight way, you avoid any confusion or awkwardness. This is again something I have just gotten used to. Life modelling I think has allowed me to regain a sort of innocence, since I am not about making erotic art particularly but do love to be expressive and am naturally quite a sexy person. Thinking about it, that is a big gift, to be myself unselfconsciously.

At Spirited Bodies Liz says, you learn from watching others model. First you do a simple pose, then you see someone else do something more free and expressive. Now she thinks of asking artists what they would like to see in her. This is a good tactic; personally I have several ways I can pose or styles, and I know that some artists prefer natural looking poses while others like extremely posed positions. It can be worth checking how they roll or if there is something in particular they are looking for.

Liz feels more aware of her own beauty now because of displaying herself. She is always looking for new inspiration artistically, and she is enthused by the way that every artist can show her something new about herself. Just as every model brings a position out in different ways.

This piece will be continued, and here follows some more images from Spirited Bodies at Notting Hill Visual Arts Festival.

rugby scrum!
pen and ink
on top of a pile of bodies (undrawn) posed these 2 sirens holding a flower!
from below (models were raised on a platform)
again the scrum – 5 or 10 minute pose
back to back in a circle
women on top of bodies!
Hooray for colour
the corpses below
This artist made very large paintings on the floor which I loved watching her do. I don’t think they come out so well on here unfortunately

The Principle of Love

Spirited Bodies is always a learning curve for me and our latest event brought the addition of photography to the challenge.

Some models were fine with it, but others highly sensitive, and most somewhere inbetween, only really able to say once they had seen the images. There are considerations of being discovered online and this conflicting with standards in a career of a very different nature. There is vanity; and there may be cultural taboos. Of course images are often without names, but faces (and bodies) may be recognised, and some software links the two.

I have decided that this is my career and whatever I do will work with this. I am naked and named and proud. The point of Spirited Bodies is to share some of the benefits of this with new people, to share the joy of hang-up free nudity.

The project was started by Morimda (https://spiritedbodies.com/2011/03/29/we-are-all-spirited-bodies/) as a community one. It is partly to make more of the community of artists’ models and artists drawing them. It has not been funded as such so far, but has operated on love and trust, enjoyment and sharing. I looked into making money with it last year, and concluded it was not immediately suited to this. I needed to find my way with it more first, as it is a new thing. I would not feel right selling something until I am sure I have it right. I believe the project will let me know when it is ready to make money!

At the heart of the project is nurturing love and friendship, of us the organisers, as well as our growing community of models and artists. We want new people to feel extremely safe with us for a very brand new and exciting experience. If they are worried that we may breach that trust, then we have failed. We cannot be responsible for their fear, we can only take care that everything we deliver is sound and in order.

I am apt to make mistakes being human; and will do all that I can to rectify them. In this case, photography will be dealt with differently in future. Models will be staged a bit, so that no one is in shot who may be upset by it. At the same time models who are able to appreciate a beautiful memento will have the chance, and we will be able to show more people more clearly what the experience is like, visually. Not that that is needed. The artwork speaks for itself, as do the models’ comments. But photographs will reach another audience.

I enjoyed Spirited Bodies 4 immensely, and not least because it brought Lucy and I closer, and then when we met the groups of models in advance, they liked each other very much, and we liked them etc. On all meeting for the event there was a very warm feeling, and there was a large changing area to hang out in. It was all day, for the first time, so the models bonded over lunch. They started quickly to pose together with very little direction from me, creating scenes and tableaux. They enjoyed such a magical unique day and so did we.

I also enjoyed trying out giving a life modelling workshop for the first time. Actually I got all panicky afterwards thinking I had not done so well! But it had been a very busy time just before the event and I was losing sight of things. It transpired the models had gained a great deal from the session, and just them meeting each other, as well as the practical exercises, was an incredible feeling. How they loved meeting each other! Knowing they were not alone! That they were in the very best company. It didn’t matter much what I did at that point; they were in it together and it could not fail. Success! 🙂