Thursday, February 21, 2019

Interview with an Art Model #1 - Andy Chmelko

Hi everyone!

I want to start off by saying that I’m sorry for the lack of posts.  Sometimes, life happens and you can’t stick to your blogging schedule, and boy did life happen over the past few weeks.  I won't get too much into that, but for those of you that know me, I think you have an idea of how crazy my life has recently been.  That's being said, I want to take a bit of a detour today from my regular blogging schedule.  Why, you may ask?  Because as you can see from the title of this post, I have something very exciting to share with you all.

I’m happy to announce that my very first interview with another art model is here!  Not only that, but this interview was done with someone very special to me; my boyfriend and fellow art model, Andy Chmelko.  A few weeks ago, we sat down in Rockefeller Center to take about Andy’s experiences on the job, as well as his own insights into this field of work.  I had such a great time doing this interview, and I hope you enjoy reading it.  So, without further adieu, here it is:

Megan: What got you interested in art modeling, and how'd you book your first modeling job?
Andy: I booked my first art modeling job about twenty-two years ago when I was in college.  Typical college student, I needed to make money.  It was always one of those things that I wanted to try, just to see if I could do it.  I worked a lot in our theatre building and the art studio was upstairs.  I kind of popped in there one day and asked if they needed models.  Of course, they always needed models, so I had my first job.  It was a drawing class in the round, and I was surprised by how easy it was.  Once I dropped the robe and had that initial moment of "Oh my god, this is happening!" it actually became pretty easy.  I modeled throughout my sophomore year, but I didn't do it again until 2013 and I needed some money.  I thought "What about art modeling?," and I've been doing it for five years.

Megan: That's a really good answer!  So, you kind of already answered my second question, but here it is just to ask again.  How'd you feel during your first session?  Were you excited, nervous, or a little of each?
Andy: Definitely all over the road.  Obviously, excited to be naked in a room full of strangers, and thinking "Oh my god, this is happening, this is real, and it's okay.  No one's going to come and arrest me for this!"  But what was fascinating was getting to look around the room and see how intensely everyone was focusing on their work.  When they would look up at you, they were so professional and desensitized to the nudity.  You really have to think to yourself that you're probably not the first naked person they've seen that day, much less ever.  The nervousness goes away quickly as you settle into your groove.  Then it becomes about "how do I make this interesting?" and "what's my next pose going to be?"

Megan: Yeah, that's what I usually tell people when they ask me if I get nervous posing naked.  It's true when we say that we're there to a job, and being naked is just a part of it.
Andy: Right.

Megan: So again, you kind of answered my next question! (Side note: I think Andy may have untapped ESP.)  But the question was do you pose nude, clothed, or both, and which do you prefer?
Andy: I pose nude and clothed.  I definitely prefer nude, because I'm not really a costume person and it's just easier for me that way.  Also, it's just a different feeling when you pose nude than when you pose clothed.  When I pose clothed, especially in what I wore that day, I feel more like I'm hanging out.  Whereas when I pose nude, I feel like I'm doing a job.  It automatically becomes more of a challenge and more artistic to me.  It taps into something I wouldn't have if I'm jus sitting up there in my work shirt and slacks.  Obviously I'll do clothed, but sometimes I do get a little disappointed when I'm told that I can keep my clothes on!

Megan: (Laughs) I know what you mean.  I definitely think it's different posing clothed versus nude.  I think posing nude frees up your body more, but clothed can be nice if you done a series of nude sessions.  So, what do you think is something people don't realize about being an art model?
Andy: I think the biggest thing that people don’t realize is the toll modeling takes on your body.  I feel like there’s this idea that as a model, you’re getting paid to sit still.  But if you sit in a chair, not doing anything wild with your body, after twenty minutes it's going to hurt.  After three hours, things are going to start going numb.  It's really not a question of whether you strike a really intense pose or you're just sitting there.  It's going to start hurting no matter what.  As models, we figure out how to deal with it, whether it's finding ways within ourselves to cope with the pain or making sure that we switch up our poses.  It's very hard but rewarding work.

Megan: For sure.  I think a lot of people don't realize that there's a lot of mental activity with modeling too.  You try to sit still or do anything for twenty minutes, and it's hard to focus on your pose, especially if you're doing something more intense.
Andy: And to add to that, when you've been modeling for a long time, you tend settle into certain poses that kind of become "your things" that you do.  So there tends to be this responsibility that you feel to switch it up and make things interesting.  You always want to stay sharp and stay on your toes, and it can be very taxing, especially if you have to do a lot of poses in one day.

Megan: Absolutely.  Segueing into that, what are some of your favorite poses to do?
Andy: I think some of my favorite poses are those that I tend to come up with in the twenty one minute periods.  One of my absolute favorites is when I go on my back and lift both my legs in the air.  I bend one of them so I make sort of a "4" shape.  That one tends to gasps, and I always love hearing that.  I also briefly studied martial arts and when I'm stuck for a pose, I can draw on that.  I like do things where I'll stand in sort of a warrior pose and hold my arm out in sort of a blocking motion or above my head.  Those are fun action poses to do.

Megan: I definitely agree with that.  I once heard someone say that dancers and athletes make the best art models.  I think that's true to an extent.  Not only do you get strong from that physical activity, but you get a real sense of how to position yourself and what looks interesting.  Do you think that what you do you in your daily life helps inform any of your poses?
Andy: Yeah.  My brief flirtation with martial arts and my background as an actor definitely helps with my poses.  I took a lot of classes and found myself in a position with a lot of shows and improv comedy where you're always having to think on your feet, and I draw upon that when I have to be creative with my body.

Megan: I also think that with being an actor, you get used to being in front of people.  That's half the battle right there.  So, would you rather do a class with short poses throughout, or one long pose the entire time?
Andy: Hmm... It depends.  Sometimes if I'm mentally exhausted from a long day, I'll just want to sit down and let that be it.  But at the same time, I feel that when I am a little drained doing short poses can break me out of that.  I think I prefer the short pose classes just because there's so many things you get to do that you can't do in twenty minutes.  You can be on one foot or one hand, or you can bend over backwards.  You can do so many wonderful, creative things with short poses.  Even if you want to sit still, sometimes it's good to shake yourself out of that and say to yourself "Nope!  We're moving tonight!"

Megan: Do you have any funny or interesting stories from your modeling sessions?  I bet you do!
Andy: Oh boy!  I was doing a sculpture class about five years ago, and at the time I was doing it, there was a party upstairs in the art gallery of the building that I work in.  For some reason, they hd to move the party out of the gallery, and they moved it in to our sculpture studio.  So there's this whole party going on.  There was food, there was wine, there was even a cellist playing.  But then the instructor of the class came up to me and said "Excuse me, Andy.  Some of the students have come to me and said that they would like to keep working.  Do you mind?"  I said "Absolutely not!"  So I dropped my clothes and started posing again right in the middle of a big party.  At one point, I did hear a couple of party goers walk by me and say "Oh, there's a naked guy up there."  I thought "It's an art studio, honey!  What did you expect?"

Megan: (Laughs) That sounds like a scene right out of "Mame!"  But that also sounds incredible. So, what do you think is the hardest or worst part about art modeling?
Andy: I sort of answered this earlier (Side Note: Andy definitely has untapped ESP powers) but I think it would have to be the physical toll it takes, especially when you're first starting out and being comfortable with what your body is and isn't able to do.  My worst horror story was when I chose the absolute wrong pose for a five week class every Sunday for three and a half hours.  It was a Narcissist  pose where I was on my hands and knees, peering down like I'm looking at my reflection in the water.  My wrists started screaming at me for about six minutes.  I would have said something now, but back then, I was little more eager to please.  So I held it and I managed to pull it off.  But the tradeoff was I couldn't fully feel my hands until about two days later every week.  Getting an understanding of what you can and can't do and knowing when to speak up about making modifications is tricky.

Megan: Pro tip to anyone out there interested in art modeling.  Sometimes the simplest poses not only are the best for your body, but can be just as interesting as doing something totally crazy.
Andy: Agreed!  I've never been an artist myself, so I have to keep that mind when I do a pose that I think may be a little too simple, I have to remind myself that the people looking at me are looking at this from a completely different perspective and are seeing things in this I can't even comprehend.  It's certainly not a contest to see how crazy you can get with your body.

Megan: Definitely.  What do you think is the best and most rewarding part about being an art model?
Andy: First of all, it's such an interesting way to make a living.  It provides you with a lot of great stories and surprised looks on friends and family members faces.  I was talking to someone who actually was a student at one of the schools I model at.  Her reaction was "Are you a nude model?!?" and I said "Yes I am!"  Her mind was blown.  I like that I have a very unique job that I thrive in, and that's a great feeling.  It's also an excellent outlet for creativity and your emotions.  I remember one day when I was particularly upset by the news, and I reflected that in my poses.  I did a lot of sorrowful poses where I was covering my eyes and heart.  It can definitely help with that.

Megan: Very true.  My final question is this.  Do you have any advice to aspiring art models or models who are just starting out?
Andy: I would say that if you're really curious about it, go for it!  There's so many schools in the city that are always looking for models.  Go for it and have a blast.  If you're just starting out and it's tough right now, definitely stick it out.  Remember that there's so many different classes with different kinds of people working in different styles.  It's such a wonderful experience and it becomes so much more enriching the longer you stay with it.  I actually met a woman in a session who used to be an actress and ended up getting me an interview with an agent.  What was really funny was when she gave me this agent's information, she said "And don't worry, dear.  I won't tell them how we met."  (Side Note: at this point we both took a break to laugh at that comment.)  Even if it's a little overwhelming right now, stick it out because it's such a great job to have.  And enjoy it!

There you have it folks!  I promise I'll get back to my Saturday posts soon enough.  But until then, stay awesome and thanks for stopping by!

See you soon!


Saturday, January 26, 2019

Model to Artist

Hi everyone!

Happy Saturday!  I have to say, I’m liking this day for doing blog posts.  I think I’m going to keep this schedule.  Sound good?  Good!

Last week, I wrote a blog post with five tips for people who are interested in art modeling.  After I published it, I realized something.  I know I talk a lot about what artists expect from a model, but I’ve never really done a post about what a model would like from an artist when they’re in a session.  Come to think of it, it’s pretty rare that I get to hear another model’s opinion about this.  So, I thought this would be a good topic for today’s entry.

When you’re in an art class that uses a live model, chances are that the instructor on monitor will take the reins with giving the model direction.  However, if you ever get the chance to work with a model one-on-one, to offer your opinion about a pose, or are just wondering how to get the most out the model you happen to be working with, hopefully these tips will help you out.  Before I continue, however, I think a quick disclaimer is in order:

DISCLAIMER:
Nothing in the following blog post is intended to belittle or demean the hard work artists do every day.  Everyone works differently and at their own pace.  These tips are based solely on my own experience as an art model, and are intended to offer a perspective that is hopefully insightful and helpful to anyone that is working with live figure models.  While some may disagree with what I have to say, and you’re entitled to your opinion, please keep in mind that this is my list.  All I ask is that my thoughts be considered.

With that said, here are my tips, from model to artist:

1. Be clear about what you want from the model
This is especially important at the beginning of a class, because it will help the tone for what’s to come.  Tell the model if you want a seated, standing, or reclined pose.  If you want the model to do anything specific with their limbs, don’t be afraid to speak up.  Even if the model can’t always do what you ask, chances are they’ll at least be willing to try it out.  Of course, it’s okay to change your mind if you find you don’t like a pose you’ve set.  If this happens, try to explain your adjustments as clearly as you can.  Instead of saying something like “move your foot,” a more specific direction like “move your foot down toward me and turn your toes to the left side of the room” will help your model know what you want.  Finally, please be respectful of what your model is capable of doing.  If they say a pose is hurting them or doesn’t feel good, listen and try to find a comprise that makes you both happy.

2. Be precise, but not picky
If you’re working with a model that’s holding one pose for the entire class, chances are the pose will not stay exactly the same each time they get back on the stand.  Body parts will likely shift, angles might be slightly different, the model will settle into their pose more...you get the idea.  If the model is positioned in a way that differs significantly from their original pose, you have every right as the artist to request that they adjust accordingly.  However, it’s important to remember that when you paint, draw, or sculpt from life, learning to work with these changes is just as important as trying to capture the exact pose from start to finish.  Speaking from experience, it’s hard to relax on the stand when an artist gets a little too picky about the details of my pose.  Again, it’s all about finding the right balance.

3. Be aware of giving out compliments
This one might seem a little strange, so allow me to explain.  Compliments, in general, are great.  I love being told that I’m a good model and that people like working with me.  I also don’t mind it when I’m called “cute” or “beautiful” by the students, monitor, or instructor.  But I think it’s important to mention that specific compliments can be taken the wrong way, especially if they’re about a model’s body.  There have been plenty of times I’ve been called “Rubenesque” when I’ve been in a modeling session.  For those of you unfamiliar with this term, “Rubenesque” refers to
the figures seen in the paintings of Renaissance artist Peter Paul Reubens, partially the female models.  These women often have very full and round figures, especially in the middle and lower sections of their bodies.  While these paintings are very beautiful, a “Rubenesque” body is not something I aspire to have When I hear this word used to describe me, it doesn’t make me feel good about how I look, even if it’s intended as a compliment.  I know that in this day and age, words like “thick” and “voluptuous” are considered high praise.  But remember, everyone has their own opinions about how they’d like to be seen.  What may be a compliment to someone may very well be an insult to another.  If you do want to compliment a model on their body, keep it neutral.  Statements like “You looked beautiful up there” or “You posed beautifully” are safer bets.

4. Be patient, both with us and with yourself
Being an art model is hard work.  Being an artist is hard work.  Both jobs are incredibly rewarding but also incredibly challenging.  Like any job, there will be days that are better than others.  There have been times I’ve done modeling sessions after getting only five hours of sleep or right after I’ve had a big emotional breakdown.  While I always try to do my best at work, there are some days when my posing is less than stellar.  Although I’ve never taken a professional art class, I can only imagine that artists have plenty of days when they work with a model and feel less that satisfied.  During these times, I think it’s important for both parties to remember to have patience with each other.  If you as the artist are not feeling so hot emotionally, do your best not to take it out on the model (or anyone else for that matter).  I know it’s frustrating when a model has to adjust or completely change their pose when you’re getting started on a new piece of art.  It gets frustrating for us too.  But remember that the more comfortable a model is posing, the better your art will be.  It’s always better to have a decent piece of work featuring a comfortable pose than to have an injured model.

5. Kindness goes a long way
There’s an old saying that goes “you’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”  Guess what? It’s true!  Letting your model that you appreciate their time and efforts always makes their experience better.  I for one think it’s amazing what artists can do. I highly doubt that I could ever draw, paint, or sculpt someone with the skill and talent that I see on a daily basis.  I love my job, and I love getting to work with so many interesting people.  When someone lets me know that they've enjoyed working me as well, it sends me out of the room with an overwhelmingly positive feeling.  Not only that, but it makes me want to come back and do my job more often.  In conclusion, never underestimate the power of kindness.  It goes a long way, and tends to come back to you the more you give of it.

Whew!  That turned out to be a lot longer than I expected.  I hope that this helped all the artists out there, or provided some fun reading material.  Either way, it's time for me to head off.  There's a hot shower and a comfy bed calling my name!

See you soon!

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Modeling Tips (or, So You Want To Be an Art Model)

Hi everyone!

A couple of things before I get into today's post.  I was looking through my bullet journal from last year the other day, when I came across something interesting.  Back in January of 2018, I was hired by my first school to start art modeling.  That means I've officially worked this job for over a year now.  Happy Anniversary to me!

Also, today is the first day in a long time where I've had almost nothing to do.  No work, no auditions, no errands.  I intend to make the most of it by doing absolutely nothing.  Well, nothing with the exception of finishing this blog entry.  But that's on my own terms, and also something fun to do.  So I feel good about that.

Over the past few months, people have been reaching out me and asking how they can become an art model.  My response is pretty basic; email different schools, see if they respond, and go from there.  That's how I started, after all.  Today, though, I want to give a more depth answer about how to start working as an art model.  That way, anyone who's curious about pursuing this line of work will have a nice, compact list to come back to whenever they need it.

So without further adieu, here are five tips about how to become an art model, and how to get the most out of your work:

1. Email schools and ask questions
If you want to be an art model, this will be your first step towards booking jobs.  When I first became interested in art modeling, I did an online search to see what art schools in New York City would hire live models.  What I found was a list of art schools throughout the five boroughs, complete with the contact information of people who could potentially hire me.  I sent out emails to a few of them, explaining that I was interested in being a model.  I also included my job resume and gave a basic rundown of my schedule.  I eventually heard back from a few, came in for a few interviews, and soon enough, I was hired for work.

Yes, it was really that simple.  All you have to do is reach out to schools in your area and see what happens.  If you hear back from any of them, don't be afraid to ask questions.  Some that I'd recommend asking would be:

*Would I be posing nude, clothed, or both?
*How many hours a week can I work?
*What's the pay rate per class?
*What types of classes are offered for models to work in? (Painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, etc.)
*Would I be timing my own poses, or would the instructor be timing me?

Chances are all of the information will be specified should you get an interview.  However, it's always good to consider these aspects of the job before you start working.  It's also important to figure out how you feel about the answers to these questions before you accept any jobs.  As with any job, you have a right to be able to work in a way that's most comfortable for you.

2. Get comfortable with your body
So, you've started booking jobs now.  That's great!  But chances are, you may feel a little apprehensive about posing in an actual class.  Trust me, I get it.  Whether it's posing nude or clothed, being on the modeling stand can feel more than little nerve wracking.  I still get nervous from time to time when I'm posing, and that's totally fine!  I've found that one of the best ways to help ease the nerves before a modeling session is to get comfortable with one's body.

There are a lot of ways that this can be achieved.  If you're planning on posing nude, you might consider spending a few private, clothes free moments with yourself each day.  I know this may sound peculiar, but trust me on this.  I'm not saying you have to walk around naked or go to a nude beach.  But taking just five minutes a day to be in your skin and nothing else can really boost your confidence before you go in for a session.  If you're planning on posing clothed, find outfits that not only have interesting colors and patterns, but also make you feel great when you wear them.  Remember, the more comfortable you feel, the better you'll model.

If you're still feeling apprehensive about posing, try to think of a session like giving a live performance.  Everyone that's in the room is already on your side.  They want to see you do well and make sure that you feel safe and happy.  Artists, monitors, and instructors understand how hard your job is, and they want to make sure that you get the most out of your modeling experience.

3. Practice your poses
I cannot stress enough how important it is that you feel comfortable on the modeling stand when you take a pose.  There are going to be plenty of times where you'll be expected to set your own poses in a booking, and there's nothing worse than trying to hold a pose that is torture on your body.  How do you get around this?  By practicing, of course!

I've mentioned that my background as a dancer has helped me a lot with my modeling.  A lot of my poses are inspired postures I'd do in a dance classes, because they're easy for me to hold and provide a lot of different shapes angles for the artists to draw.  Since everyone's body is capable of doing different things, I'd recommend finding something similar that works for you.  Sports and athletic activities that use your whole body, such as baseball or yoga can be a great source of inspiration.  Looking at other paintings with models can also give you an idea of what kind of poses you might want to try.  If you get an idea for pose, take a bit to see how long you can comfortably hold it for.  Play around with standing, seated, and reclined postures, and don't be afraid to get creative.  Remember, though, that while dynamic poses are great, it's not worth hurting yourself trying to hold one.  The more comfortable and relaxed you feel, the better you'll model.

4. Stay healthy
If you take nothing else from this post, remember this: staying healthy is paramount when you're an art model.  It's hard enough trying to hold a pose when you're not sick or hurt, but it becomes exponentially harder to work when you're not feeling your best.  I don't want to get too much into this because I've already talked about it a lot in my other posts.  All I can say is to be smart and listen to your body.  Get plenty of rest, eat well, exercise, take mental health breaks, etc.  Feeling your best will help you produce your best work.  It'll also make others around you feel good and want to work with you more often.  Do what makes you feel good from the inside out, and do it often!

5. Have fun
At the end of the day, creating art is supposed to be a fun and rewarding experience.  Getting to be a part of that process is one of the best parts about being an art model.  Helping inspire others and learning more about art is incredibly rewarding, and enjoying the ride makes it even better.  Modeling is a great way to be creative, silly, and dramatic all within a very supportive and welcoming space.  Remembering to have fun is important with any job.  So relax, laugh a little, and enjoy every moment you get to pose.  You'll be well on your way to having a memorable and great time at your job.

And that, as we say, is that!  For more advice on the subject, I highly recommend checking out the website "Art Model Tips."  Link is included below:

https://www.artmodeltips.com

Thanks again for stopping by, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

See you soon!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Back At It Again

Hi everyone!

Happy New Year!  I hope you've all been enjoying 2019 so far.  It's hard to believe that the first week of the new year has gone by so fast.  I've been back in the city for only a few days, but I'm already starting to fall back into the swing of things.  I had my first modeling sessions of the new year on Monday, and I have even more bookings all throughout the month of January.  I’m going to be one busy little bee, to say the least.

What does it feel like to be back?  If I’m being completely honest, it’s a little tiring.  After having so much downtime over the holidays, it’s a bit of a shock to the system to dive right back into work.  It’s a lot like heading back to the gym after weeks of not working out.  It’s not that you’ve lost all of your physical strength or capability, but there’s definitely a difference.  I've found that I have to stretch more on my breaks than I typically do, particularly through my shoulders and upper back.  Re-adjusting hasn’t been easy, but it does seem to be getting better with each session.  Hopefully this will continue throughout the rest of the month.

The start of this week, though, was definitely a challenge.  After Monday’s sessions, I was more wiped than I expected to be.  Part of that is likely due to working from 1pm-4:30pm, then again from 7pm-10pm and getting home just in time to watch the last hour of the season premiere of “The Bachelor” with my roommates.  Did I have to stay up that late?  No.  Did I have to eat all the cookies and peanut brittle that were laid out?  No.  But was it worth it?  Absolutely!

The rest of the week has been going fine.  I’ve been trying my best to get started on my modeling New Year’s Resolutions from my last post.  Some of them have been going well.  I’ve started to see a chiropractor, which has definitely helped with my posing.  I’ve also been going to the gym more and speaking up about my comfort level in my sessions.  Creating a more consistent blogging schedule, however, has been harder to achieve.  I'm so busy during the week, it's hard to find time to sit down and get any writing done.  Even when I do have time, I find I'm too tired or distracted to finish an entry.  My plan for right now is to try to get a new post up either on Saturday or Sunday.  I’m hoping that’ll stick, but who knows?  Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Since today is Friday, I'll be off the clock this weekend.  This doesn't always happen, but I'm grateful to have some time off to recover.  Tonight, I've been trying to get all the kinks out of my back, but nothing seems to be working.  I've used my foam roller, put IcyHot on it, and took some ibuprofen.  While all of those things helped, I'm not feeling the relief I want.  If any readers out there have any tips or tricks on how to best soothe a tight, sore back, please let me know in the comment section.

Speaking of which, if anyone out there has any good exercises they can recommend for back and shoulder strength, please let me know that too.  I devote a lot of time to these areas when I work out, but I always like to try new kinds of exercises.  Considering the fact that I'm going to be modeling almost every day in the coming weeks, I'm going to need them.  Don't hesitate to offer your input!

That's it for now.  My laundry is scheduled to be finished in the dryer any minute, and I don't want to miss it!  (Does this make me a real adult now?)  Please keep your comments and questions coming, and enjoy your weekends as well!

See you soon!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Modeling New Year's Resolutions

Hi everyone!

I hope that you've all been having a relaxing and fun holiday over this past week.  I certainly have!  It's been nice to have some downtime, and it's also been great to get to hang out with my family.  A nice change of pace from all the hustle and bustle from earlier this month.

Speaking of which, it's crazy to think that tomorrow is the last day of 2018.  I don't know about you, but this year seems to have gone by so quickly.  So much has changed since the start of this year.  I honestly never thought I'd be sitting in my living room, writing a blog post about my job in New York City only days before I head back to it.  But, here we are!  I have to say, I'm glad for it.

I find that the older I get, the more New Year's Eve appeals to me, both as a holiday and as a concept. It's not just that I can stay up past midnight or that I'm old enough to drink now (although both those things definitely have their perks.)  I like the idea of new beginnings, starting fresh, and making plans for a better year ahead.  I know that a lot of people either dread making New Year's Resolutions or don't bother to make any at all.  I, however, really love to make them.  Resolutions inspire me to try to do accomplish as much as I can throughout the coming year, and to try to live as my best self.  Since I've already made my list of personal resolutions, I thought it would be fun to make a list of a few that pertain to modeling.  So, here's my list of Modeling New Year's Resolutions for 2019:

1. Dedicate myself more to my exercise routine

Over the past few months, I've admittedly been slacking in my workouts.  Some of this has been due to my busy schedule, but a lot of it has been due to laziness.  Even if I have time to go to the gym or do a home workout, I haven't been the best about getting up and doing it.  Since staying physical fit is important not only for modeling but for myself as well, I'm making a commit to make my exercise routine a priority.  Not only am I going to go to the gym more often, but I'm also going to look into new exercise classes in the city.  Good for the body, brain, and soul.

2. Take more time for self care

I've tried to stress the importance of self care in previous posts when it comes to art modeling.  But I haven't been the best at practicing this myself.  There have been plenty of times where I've been sore or tired and would have benefited from a massage or a chiropractor appointment.  Instead, I've brushed off my pain, telling myself I either don't have the money or the time to go treat myself.  Well, I think that should change.  Just like prioritizing my fitness routine, I'm going to make sure to rest when I need to, and to do things that make my physical and emotional selves happy.  (Hot baths, anyone?)

3. Be more assertive about what poses don't and do work for me.

When I first started art modeling, I tried very hard to prove to myself and others that I was capable of holding dynamic, crazy poses for a long period of time.  While I still love these kind of poses, I've started to realize that there's only so much my body can take.  Now that I've modeled for almost a year and am getting more steady work, I have a better understanding of what kind of poses feel the best to do.  So if something starts to hurt in a modeling session, or I don't think I'll be able to hold a specific posture for twenty minutes, I'm going to speak up.  Asserting myself has always been something I've struggled with, but I know that it's important for everyone involved that I'm comfortable when I'm working.  I resolve to use my voice like I use my body; to make my job even better!

4. Go to more museums, art shows, lives performances, etc. 

A lot of times when I'm in a modeling session, the instructor will encourage their students to go to museums or art shows.  The reason for this is so the students can see different kinds of art and hopefully be inspired to create some of their own.  I think the same idea applies to art models too.  I'm constantly looking for new ideas for poses, and what better place to look than an art museum?  Being the artsy person I am, I also really love going to museums, plays, musicals, galleries, etc.  You name it, I'm there.  Rest assured, I'll be there even more this year!

5. Create a more consistent blogging schedule

This is actually one of my personal New Year's resolutions.  I've loved getting to write about my job over the past year, and I would like to make it a more regular part of my life come 2019.  Truthfully, I still haven't decided how I want to go about this.  My current goal is to do at least one post biweekly.  That may change in the future, but I think it's a good starting place for now.  Either way, I want to write more posts for "Model Behavior" using a more consistent schedule.  So, keep sending your questions and ideas for blog entries my way.  It helps a great deal, and I always love getting to hear from you!

That's it for this post.  Thank you all so much for your comments and supports all throughout 2018.  It means the world to me, and I'm so glad that I've been able to share this journey.  I hope that you all have a great New Year's Eve tomorrow, and I wish you the best for the coming year!  Until then...

See you soon! <3

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas!

Hi everyone!

As I write this post, it’s 8:34pm on December 25th.  I’m sitting on a heater in my living room, looking at the beautiful tree that’s covered in lights and ornaments.  I think this is a proper time to say it:

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Christmas is, without a doubt, my favorite holiday.  I can’t tell you how nice it is to be home for the holidays, and how great it was to be able to spend the day with my family.  Good food, nice presents, and lots of love and cheer.  How can it get any better than this?

Christmas is also a time to reflect on all that’s good and hopeful in the world.  Tonight, I can’t help but think about how blessed and lucky I am to have such a great family, and to have a job that brings me such joy.  That’s why I’m writing this post tonight, so that anyone I’ve worked with knows how grateful I am for what you’ve given me.  To any instructors, monitors, and other models I know that may be reading this post, thank you for making my job so fun and rewarding.  I hope that all of you have had a wonderful Christmas and enjoy the rest of your holiday season.

Now, I think it’s time for me to relax a bit before I head off to bed.  So, I’ll close out this post the best way I can:

“But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

See you soon!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Holiday Cheer

Hi everyone!

Long time, no post.  I just checked the date on my last entry, and it’s been over a month since I last wrote.  I think that’s a new record for me!  ...Yay?

These past few weeks have been crazy busy.  I’ve had a modeling session almost every day of the week since mid-November, which, as you might have guessed, left me feeling wiped out.  That, plus doing holiday activities around the city ate up a lot of my time.  As badly as I wanted to write a new post, I just didn’t feel up to it.  But I’m here now, and a new post you all shall receive!

I can’t believe there’s only four more days left until Christmas.  Time never seemed to move this fast when I was a kid.  I still have some holiday shopping to do, and I also have to cleaning and pack before I head back to Oneonta this Sunday.  I admit, I am a little stressed.  But I’m also really excited that I’ll get to be home for the holidays.  I can’t wait to have some downtime and to be with my family again.

While I’m waiting, though, I have to say that the past few days have been particularly good.  I got to go to the American Museum of Natural History on Tuesday, saw the New York City Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” on Wednesday, and went to a party last night with cast members of a show I did a year ago.  All of these experiences were wonderful, and have definitely bucked up my spirits.  I've also been listening to plenty of Christmas music, which never fails to make me smile.

As great as the past few days have been though, I have to admit that there have been some bumps along the way.  I've had a few days where I've felt less that stellar, both physically and emotionally.  I guess that's to be expected when you spend the majority of your day in an art pose.  I don't think this has negatively impacted my work performance, but I know it also hasn't helped.  There have been times over the past few days where the last thing I wanted to do was hold still for twenty minutes at a time for three hours.  It's not that I dislike my job, but I've said it before and I'll say it again.  No matter how much you love your occupation, there will always be days where the work you're doing will feel more like "work" instead of fun.  That's normal, but it can still get to you.

But if there's one good thing about feeling this way, it's knowing that the students and the monitors have your back.  After my modeling sessions finished yesterday, I got to go to two holiday parties in the studios.  There was a lot of food and drinks, and I got the chance to talk with some of the students.  Everyone was very kind and gave me plenty of compliments on my modeling, and I got to learn more about their lives too.  I had a really nice time, and getting to relax a bit with this group of people helped me feel more positive.  Perfect timing for holidays too!

So that's my holiday cheer message.  Things are good here, and I'm looking for to finishing this week and celebrating Christmas soon.  Until then, I'm going to relax some more tonight.  There's a bowl of popcorn and a copy of the movie "Eloise at Christmastime" calling my name!

See you soon!