The vulnerability of an exposed human body when captured in a sketch created by the gentle glide of pencil on paper is a delicate and beautiful expression which cannot only be attested to the artists themselves who forge the piece of art, but also the art themselves. These nude models are the physical art form of tangible beauty.
Nude modeling often receives a false connotation of sexualization because of the exposure of the human body. Rebekah Zink, a third–year public relations major and art minor explained that perspectives from both sides as an artist and model, have shown her that it is not a sexualized situation at all and that a body is simply a body.
“Being exposed is often nerve racking in the beginning for models,” Zink said. “However if the atmosphere is professional, it is a comfortable environment.”
Zink began as an artist drawing nude models until she decided to go into modeling herself two years ago.
“I loved drawing the models and I thought it would be really interesting to be the model. To be on one side drawing the model and then to be on the other side as the model, I can view the entire experience very objectively,” she said.
A meditation is naturally imposed upon the model, as they must remain still for up to 20- to 30 minutes. Relaxation of the body and a focus on keeping still causes a model to organically occupy their mind. Zink described her modeling sessions as times where she will often “people watch,” taking note of the expressions of artists as they draw. She said that it is fascinating to see the change in expression on an artist’s face as they work. Zink also said that she will drift off into writing poetry in her mind because of the creative environment in which she is placed.
Damon Lundy, a first–year art education major, explained his experience of preoccupation as allowing his thoughts to run wild. He said that he will either think critically about what he has to do for the rest of the day, or if it is a stormy day, he will simply think about the rain falling peacefully outside.
“It is a refreshing experience in a way because I rarely get time in the day to just let my mind do what it wants,” Lundy said. “It goes by surprisingly fast, and I often find myself tired afterwards.”
Self–worth found in models as a result of their experience is an important and often overlooked aspect of modeling. Artists pay attention to each curve of the body with equal focus and importance. Each body presented to artists is different, causing an appreciation for what each human body has to offer. Zink said that it is an empowering experience and has helped her self- esteem.
“It really changes how you view yourself. I didn’t feel good about myself before doing it and then after even one time, I felt much more positive about my body,” Zink said. “I recommend to anyone who may feel insecure about themselves to give it a try.”
Lundy said that modeling in a talented classroom is extremely interesting as seeing drawings of himself is one of the greatest parts of modeling. It offers a perspective of the his body from the view of a stranger.
“If you are modeling naked in front of 30 people and you have to drop your robe right then and there, you can’t back out,” Zink said. “It is an extremely beautiful and introspective experience. I am a different person because of it.”