New Life Model Emma is based in Leeds has just started her life modelling journey. We are fortunate to catch up with her between Ballroom and Latin dancing, running, books and SiFi!
When did you start your life modelling?
I first tried my hand at life modelling in February this year. I was invited along to a session in Otley with Yorkshire Life Drawing. They already had a model booked for the whole session, so I was initially just going to watch and get a feel for what goes on, but I actually had to chance to do a quick 5-minute pose!
I see you are into Ballroom & Latin dancing, running, books and SiFi. How does modelling fit into all that?
I have a hectic and active lifestyle, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! I’m not great at sitting still (which is ironic, really, for a life model!) Dancing is my passion, so I spend a lot of time training and having lessons. I started running about 7 years ago as I was very unfit and not happy with my body at all. I joined a running club and was bitten by the running bug very quickly! Next to dancing, running is my favourite way to keep fit. When I’m relaxing, though, I like nothing more than getting comfortable with a good book or rewatching a few Star Trek episodes for the 100th time!
When you decided to start life modelling, did you have initial thoughts about what it would be like, and was the reality completely different?
Honestly, I really didn’t know what to expect! I knew I’d be naked and that a room of strangers would be drawing me, but that’s where my expectations ended. The reality was that everyone was so welcoming and supportive! The group leader gave me lots of valuable tips and advice, and the artists themselves couldn’t have been friendlier! I felt so privileged to be drawn by these amazingly talented people.
You have recently started life modelling. Have you had many sessions?
I’ve done two full 2 hours sessions so far and have a few more coming up over the next few months. I feel so fortunate that these fantastic art groups and art schools give a new and relatively inexperienced model like myself a chance.
How do you get work as a life model? Is it easy?
I got in contact with a few local groups on Instagram, just asking on the off chance if they needed any new models. I’m a bit limited on my availability as I work full time and have commitments to my dancing. Still, I’ve been fortunate to be given opportunities that fit around my busy schedule.
Do you have any tips on getting a job as a life model?
Research your local life art groups and art schools, or look further afield if you can travel and connect with other life models on social media. I’ve met some lovely people who have been really happy to point me in the right direction or give me contacts.
If you were to be captured in one medium only (Painted, Drawn or Cast), which one would you choose and why?
I’d love to be painted, like a full oil painting! I don’t profess to know a lot about painting or drawing, and I certainly can’t do it myself, but I’m fascinated by the process and the end results.
If you could plan a perfect life drawing session, where would it be and why?
I’d be really intrigued to model for a session outside on a hot sunny day, get a bit of a tan in the process and enjoy the sunshine!
But for me the most important thing is to be comfortable, have cushions, blankets, a stool etc available. A day time session with the opportunity to socialise with the group afterwards over a few drinks would be lovely.
If a friend asked you advice about becoming a life model, what advice would you give them to avoid any newbie mistakes?
I recommend you plan your poses in advance and practice them to see how long you can comfortably hold them. Just because sitting in a certain position feels comfortable at first, it doesn’t mean it’ll still feel that way 10 minutes later, as I recently discovered! Getting a dead leg halfway through a pose is certainly not pleasant, but I was determined to hold it so I wouldn’t cause any problems for the artists! (Getting up afterwards, though, was a different matter!)
Also it’s great to have a plan in your head of what you’d like to do, otherwise you’ll end up making it up on the spot.
Now you have a couple of modelling sessions under your belt, what are your plans for the future?
I’d like to keep gaining more experience, getting better at modelling and coming up with more exciting poses. It’s great to meet so many wonderful people in this lovely friendly community, and I hope these fantastic groups will keep allowing me to model for them.
Check out and follow Emma on Instagram @ emmab_modelling
Want to check out more interviews with other life models, both male and female check out – Life Model Interviews