TV featured Life Model – Kiwie

I catch up with Life model and PRO BLM/SW/LGBTQ/Trans rights/Choice/Palestine who has been featured on “Drawers Off” TV series.

What made you decide to become a life model?

I don’t think I *decided* to be one; I had a series of opportunities that led to me pursuing art/life modelling as a hobby alongside my regular job. I got to a certain point of experience where I became regarded as a professional or experienced life model, but I digress.

I suppose when I realised people enjoyed drawing me and I got good feedback, I began to see the joy in being a muse and seeing how people captured me on paper/screen. I especially want to help carve a space in historically exclusionary spaces for bodies like mine that are told that they don’t belong or fit the societal norm.

How did you first get into life modelling?

I was given the opportunity to do so at a class someone I knew at the time was running. Fun fact it was at a fetish club! This was when I was in university in 2015. I enjoyed the experience. I then got further chances to try it, and these were to help raise money for charities. I started to reach out to groups that facilitated online classes during the height of the Pandemic, and then groups began to start reaching out for online and in person classes!

Copyright – kiwiethebuffetslayer

Was your first life drawing session as you thought it would be?

I can’t remember what I thought would happen. I remember the art from it was super cool! In one pose, I was wearing a gas mask! (I have attached a photo of said art, artist unknown). The venue had multiple rooms and volunteer models, so I wasn’t the centre of attention or in a room with a lot of people. I think as I wasn’t the confident person I am today that this was the best introduction I could’ve had.

I see you have a posed for the channel 4 “Drawers Off” art show what was it like?

-It was very fun! I was reached out to on Instagram, I did an application, a short interview and a DBS check. I was well looked after in the lead up to and whilst I was on set. The crew wore masks everywhere, the studio was cleaned regularly, everyone including the contestants were very lovely. I had members of the production team check in with how my experience was, if I got home ok, and keeping in contact when the date was confirmed for airing and afterwards. Before the curtain drop reveal I had to be snuck in and hidden and I could hear everyone talking and I desperately wanted to join in!

Copyright – kiwiethebuffetslayer

What technique do you use to help you sit still for longer poses?

It sounds weird, but I meditate, I did martial arts as a child so I learnt to hold stress positions and body conditioning through those years. Just focusing on the music, a spot on the wall, something I listened to recently. It’s funny as I’m seeking an adhd diagnosis and I think I’m the inattentive day dreamy type rather than the can’t sit still hyperactive type. I focus on my breath and balance, I do a body scan and see what needs adjusting, what can I sink into. I practice mindfulness in a way. It forces me to be still, for the sake of art.

If you could pose in any location (However weird), where would it be?

– I’d love to do a class in the middle of a garden maze, maybe there’s other statues or a fountain/water feature! National landmarks would also be cool, imagine stone henge!

Copyright – kiwiethebuffetslayer

Have you ever had any strange pose requests?

No, working with another model, spunk rock/Helena, was an interesting experience, though (with @life_drawing_plus). Being close and being mindful of not only your body but the other model’s body. It was also nice that someone else remembered what pose we were supposed to be doing.

What is the most fun you have had at a life drawing session and where was it?

I really enjoyed the jubilee themed class I did with @lifedrawingmanchester, the playlist, the decorations, the costumes that people came in!

Copyright – kiwiethebuffetslayer

I see that you sell reference photos. How did that start? Is there a theme to them?

Some people wanted to draw me or continue drawing me, or wanted to see a pose that was only a short pose. So, I decided that selling packs of life drawing photos was a way to facilitate that. Especially for more dynamic poses that can’t be held for very long. I also do specific themes or poses for request too. I thought about a Patreon but I can’t dedicate the time alongside my regular job.

Copyright – kiwiethebuffetslayer

Are you in an in-person life model or do you also pose online?

Both. I am based in the North West of England, so I tend to stick to classes in Liverpool, The Wirral and Manchester. I don’t drive, so I can’t go further afield, and a lot of classes don’t cover travel so it needs to be financially viable. I enjoy online classes as you can get different angles, it’s more accessible, and you have access to a wider variety of people across the internet.

What you do hope to achieve in the next year?

I have a class in the works that will hopefully take place in an art gallery. I’ll say to look out for this autumn! A Queer Black body in a space that was never meant for someone like me. The juxtaposition will be incredible!

Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me.

Find out more, follow her on social

Instagram @Kiwiethebuffetslayer

Twitter @BuffetSlayerKei

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