The life drawing classes’ atmosphere is quiet and serious in order to concentrate.
Outside of London, Sheffield has the largest population of amateur, working and professional artists in the United Kingdom. It is indeed an amazing place with numerous art galleries around, exhibiting not just safe artworks but with various themes showing how passionate Sheffielders are in art. Also, the astonishing diversity of different ranges artists specialise in various types of art such as landscape drawing or life drawing, it transmits the lively artistic environment all around Sheffield.
In Sheffield, it is not too difficult to spot an artist around you doing a landscape drawing or a life drawing. However, there are not many life drawing models available in Sheffield, or other places. It is a simple fact that a group of life drawing artists is sharing a life drawing model in a class, and so much harder to be a life drawing model than a life drawing artist.
A life drawing model’s first experience
Helen Holderness, 43, has been a part-time life drawing model for a year in Sheffield. She used to model for a couple of times when she was 18 back in her college. Helen said: “When I first came back being a life drawing model, it was terrifying at first. But I got clicked into the situation very quickly. It was a strange feeling having people looking at me when there are no clothes on.”
She added that at first she had a feeling of everybody is judging on her body figure. In fact, the artists were actually focusing on her curves and also the shape that she was making. Then everything went smooth and easy when the intensity goes off.
Inspiration being a life drawing model
Helen feels comfortable during the life drawing lessons.
Like everybody else, Helen is an ordinary office lady with a little spice after working hours, being a life drawing model as her part-time job. A year ago, she was introduced by her friend to model at Kelham Island Art Co-operative (KIAC) and she could not think of a reason to say no.
To Helen, working as a life drawing model is an easy task to earn a good pay. A life model is required to be discipline and really concentrate when posing for artists at different amount of time according to demand. It sounds easy to stay in a pose but it is tricky to hold it for a period of time without moving that much. In fact, a life model is able to earn up to £30 in 3 hours without really using physical strength.
There is nothing to hold somebody back from being a life drawing model
Helen said there are no boundaries set up for people who are interested in being a life drawing model. It does not matter if you have figure well build muscle or being overweight, the artists do not really care about this.
As long as a person feels comfortable to pose nude in front of strangers and being able to hold a pose for a length of time, he or she will be capable to be a life drawing model.
Although Helen feels strange to pose nude in front of the strangers, but she said that the feeling will not last for long because they do not know about her in real life and they do not have to talk and getting to know each other more.
Supports from friends and family
There are many ways to complete a life drawing piece including using water colour.
Apart from working as part-time life drawing model, Helen is also a roller derby player. Her friends and family are proud of her modelling for life drawing lessons. At some point, her roller derby friends were impress with her courage because they thought it is so much harder to pose naked in front of strangers compared to the hardcore roller derby game.
Helen’s boyfriend is being very supportive to her working as a part-time life drawing model. He thinks it is fun and great to have a job like this. Although he is an artist as well, he never draws Helen back at home. Her family never has a problem with her modelling nude. Helen said: “My parents are fine with what I’m doing. I’m old enough to make mistakes of my own.” After all, posting nude for art is not a criminal action.
Getting stared with life drawing lessons
If you are interested in being a life drawing artist yet you have not got the chance to do it, do not hesitate to join the life drawing classes at the Kelham Island Art Co-operative (KIAC). Or, if you have the thought of being a life drawing model, you might want to find out more at KIAC.
Also, click here to find out more about the information of life drawing lessons at Kelham Island, Sheffield.