Tag Archives: modelling

Ugh

On Monday, my back started hurting. Like literally I was standing by The Dandy’s computer chair, saying goodbye to him because I was about to go to work, and suddenly I got stabbing paints in my lower back. Which is exactly what you need right before going to pose for an art class for three hours. ūüėõ

The pain did get better in increments over the next couple of days, but it’s Saturday now and there’s still something there. Not exactly pain. More like…constant, uncomfortable lower-back pressure and a feeling of impending doom. And it’s freaking me out.

Last night I figured maybe the back issues were a manifestation of anxiety, and tried to figure out what I could be stressing out about. My living situation – with Dandette gone – is great. My financial situation is comfortable and I’m able to have a lot more days off than I did when I lived on my own. My romantic relationships are good.

I asked The Dandy – as we lay snuggled in bed – what he thought it might be and he ran through the same list and came up empty, like I did.

Then I remembered a nightmare I had recently: Dandette was visiting for some reason. She walked into the living room barefoot, freaking out and in pain with her toes bubbling and sizzling from some sort of chemical burn; she’d somehow managed to do this to herself while painting her toenails. She said she needed one of us to pour nail polish remover over her feet to stop the burning. I was like “…I feel like that’s counterintuitive though…?” but The Dandy rushed to her aid. I, meanwhile, left to hang out in my bedroom, only to find that Dandette had been doing her pedicure thing in there and left bubbling, smoking puddles of caustic liquid all over the floor. I came back out again and confronted her: I yelled, “You can’t just pour toxic shit all over the place. That’s my room now. YOU DON’T LIVE HERE.” Her face crumpled and she started having a full-on panic attack over me daring to point that out. I sensed that this was entirely faked for The Dandy’s benefit, and indeed he did hover around her all concerned and shit. I went and tried to barricade myself in my room to be rid of her but the room suddenly had a sliding glass door leading to a patio, and also a bunch of windows on several walls, and none of them had curtains or functioning locks.¬† I was running around trying to secure them before Dandette could try to peer in at me or even climb right in.

So I surmised that something about Dandette was bugging me and making my back seize up, and I said to The Dandy “Tell me again how once she gets the rest of her stuff she’ll be out of our lives and you’ll never talk to her again?” – because he did say that to me, once, completely unprovoked.

And The Dandy paused. And my brain and body flooded with dread. And he said “Well, I don’t know if I want to cut her out of my life entirely…”

WHAT. THE. FUCK.

I asked him what benefit there would be to continuing to have any sort of contact with her. He went silent. I waited and waited and still nothing. Fine, I guess this is one of those things where he needs to ruminate on it a while. In the meantime I riffed about how angry I was – like WTF would it take for him to cut ties with this asshole? If she’d actually stabbed me with the sword instead of just playfully poking me, would that be enough for him to maybe not want to associate with her? Or would nothing she could do ever be enough to actually put him off? Also, this “well I don’t have to cut her off completely!” thing reminded me uncomfortably of the time my ex-husband realized (for like the twentieth time) that his drinking was ruining his life, and when I said he ought to stop he was like “Well I don’t have to stop entirely! I could have one every now and then!” No, he couldn’t – that’s why booze was ruining his life – and also, how creepy and sad that he was so desperate to cling to this thing that he consciously recognized was totally fucking him up. The Dandy was reminding me of that right now; it feels as though Dandette is some kind of destructive addiction for him.

And I said that if he insists on hanging out with her sometimes then that means that either he needs to keep that entirely secret from me – and I’d hate to have secrets between us – or else I’d be traumatized on a regular basis, because if I wasn’t clear before, her actions toward me have gotten me to a point where THE SIGHT OF HER FUCKING FACE MADE ME WANT TO VOMIT and I unfollowed her on Facebook weeks before she moved out because every time her profile picture popped up in my feed my brain went into fight-or-flight mode. Hearing about her or thinking about her makes me woozy. So I’m not really up for The Dandy just casually mentioning that he went for a drink with her or whateverthefuck. I want her out of my life and thoughts, permanently and entirely.

He tried to reassure me by saying that hey, they are broken up, at least; he has no romantic interest in her and she’ll never live here again.

“I honestly don’t want to keep bringing this up and rubbing it in your face,” I said, “buttttt…you do have a history of lying about your involvement with Dandette and your feelings for her. You led me to believe that the two of you had been broken up for years, there was nothing between you, you were basically siblings, when in fact you’d been fucking her just three months prior. A while later, you insisted again that you had no feelings for her, but I got such a strong vibe of chemistry between you, and when I said you might as well go ahead and date her again if you wanted to, you did. So why would I believe you now when you say your feelings toward her are only friendly? There’s an established pattern of that not being true.”

Again he went silent. I let it go (well, not in my head. But I let the thread of the conversation go). I cried a bunch and he held me. And sometime during the crying I realized where my anxiety lies.

It’s that Dandette still has a bunch of her stuff here and has made no plans to come get it. It feels like a power play: she knows The Dandy won’t be enough of a hardass to throw her shit out, at least not anytime soon. In leaving stuff here she seems like she’s keeping her foot in the door (having an excuse in her back pocket to see The Dandy one last time, even if he doesn’t want to – to what end, I don’t know). Or maybe she’s just fucking with us by taking up our space – same principle as writing “tried to kill myself twice” on The Dandy’s BIRTHDAY CAKE last year – she’s inserting herself into our lives even when she can’t physically be present.

I said to The Dandy that I’d probably feel better if we had a timeline on her getting the rest of her stuff. Doesn’t have to be crazy fast – it can be six months from now, if need be. But I need a time limit; I need a “get your stuff by [date] or we’re disposing of it” ultimatum in place.

The Dandy pointed out that a bunch of her stuff isn’t actually packed up, though, so really we need to do that first or else this bullshit will drag on forever in bits and pieces. Better to have a neat pile of boxes in the corner of the living room that she can just take and go and that’s the end of it. Fine. Fair. Let’s make packing a priority, then. The Dandy said that the main thing is packing up all her various little tchotchkes and whatnot, and since he works full time and I have a looser schedule, maybe I could do it. Which annoyed me because I don’t know which pieces of brick-a-brack are hers. I’ve packed up everything in her room already but there’s a ton of nerdy figurines and action figures and shit in the living room – but she and The Dandy are both nerds and both kinda hoarders so how the fuck do I know which items are whose?

Anyway, I’m glad I got to the root of my anxiety, but it didn’t make my back stop hurting so I guess this really is a purely physical thing.

And I’m annoyed all over again because tonight I started angsting over whether this might be an actual spine problem and not a muscle thing. I asked The Dandy if he would Google what a slipped disc looks like and then take a close look at my back, just to make sure. The next time I passed by his room, I noticed he was looking at a web page with a diagram of a human pelvis and some arrows pointing to the tailbone and I thought “Oh cool, he’s actually helping.” But when I asked “are you learning some things about pelvises and tailbones?” he chuckled and said “it’s amazing the weird things that come up when you’re reading about medieval history.”

I was like “…Ah. And here I thought you were actually Googling spinal things like I’d asked. I didn’t want to do it myself because when you look up medical stuff on the internet, there are always alarmist blogs and whatnot that come up and my anxiety would have a field day and I’d probably convince myself I was dying. I wanted someone calm and sensible to parse out the real information from the scary stuff for me. But hey, learning about shit that happened hundreds of years ago is obviously just as important as my physical well-being, so I guess I’ll leave you to it.”

And I stormed off to my room to angry-type this blog entry.

A little while ago he came in and petted my head soothingly and told me that he’s not trying to downplay the pain I’m in or anything but his understanding is that a slipped disc is a huuuuge damn deal that will incapacitate someone, and I seem too functional for that. Okay, that’s probably fair.

I said though that he needs to understand that my fellow art models (the ones who’ve been doing it a decade or longer, anyway) have all grimly told me that the job dooms everyone to chronic pain eventually – back pain in particular gets mentioned a lot. And from what I can tell, I work a lot more than most models do (or I did, anyway, when I lived on my own and my expenses were so high). And I’m middle aged and my body was never especially robust or good at healing itself, anyway. So I have pretty legit fears.

I also pointed out that maybe I just power through extreme pain better than most people. Like okay I do think if I had an actual slipped disc it would probably hurt too much for me to walk around or work or anything. But the fact of the matter is that after a couple of decades of my mom dismissing any sort of discomfort I ever felt, I’m convinced that I’m a faker; I always tell myself that whatever pain I’m in is probably not that bad, and I’m too embarrassed by what a stupid drama queen wuss I am to actually say anything or stop doing whatever painful thing I’m doing.

I did a pose at work, once, with a string of Christmas lights playfully wrapped around me. This was my idea. I thought it would be cute. Two of the bulbs were sandwiched between my ribcage and the floor, and became first uncomfortably hot, then excruciating,¬†like to a point where sensations like “hot” no longer have any meaning and it’s just my skin screaming and my brain filling with panic chemicals. I often count off the time in my head when I pose, even if I’ve set my timer, and I can tell you that when things got to the excruciating point, I was about two minutes in. I told myself, though, that it probably wasn’t that bad. They were mini-lights, ffs; you touch those and they feel warm at best*. I was probably just being stupid. And I held the pose until the end – eighteen more minutes. And when I got up I saw that the Christmas bulbs had blistered my skin.

So yeah. Ironically, years of my mother telling me I’m a wuss who can’t deal with pain turned me into someone who can lie there serenely smiling for twenty minutes while getting second-degree burns. This happened shortly before Christmas of 2016 and there are still visible scars.

My point being that The Dandy can’t necessarily judge my health by how incapacitated I seem because I have a tendency to push myself inhumanly hard.

Oh and by the way, two days ago I was on the bus to work and it was standing room only and I hurt my right arm trying not to get flung when we went around a corner really fast. I feel like I tore my triceps or something; when I do certain things with the arm I get huge, shooting pains. So that’s going on in addition to my back constantly feeling under pressure/borderline pain.

I’m thoroughly pissed off at my body right now. And I’ll probably have to have a few more talks with The Dandy about why the fuck he still wants to be in contact with Dandette. And I’m afraid there won’t really be any resolution on that.

 

*Of course, touching a mini-bulb and pinning it between your skin and the floor so the heat has nowhere to go are two very different things. As I found out.

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Oh shit I’m a moped.

There’s a shitty old joke that fat chicks are like mopeds: fun to ride, but you wouldn’t want anyone to see you on one.

And indeed, I’ve heard fat women say that often there’ll be guys who want to fuck them…but not¬†date them, not be seen in public with them, not let the world see that they’re attracted to someone who’s not thin.

I think I’m getting kinda the same treatment, but in the context of work.

On a whole bunch of different occasions, it’s the first time I’ve posed for a particular art class and the organizer comes up to me during a break to tell me “You have the most fantastic poses” or “you have such a great energy; your poses are so interesting and different from other people’s.” He (it’s always a he*) says this with a starstruck expression, and usually reiterates it several times during the course of the session. These dudes aren’t paying hollow compliments, is what I’m saying; they really do seem kind of…entranced. And they hire me again and again.

But it would seem that despite the artistic community giving lip service to diversity, the trendy body type for art models is: thin to the point of ribs and hipbones being clearly visible (I think of ballet dancers and gymnasts), small breasts, long hair, conventionally attractive face. I say this because when these art guys show off their drawings on their blogs or Facebook pages, or use one of their drawings to illustrate an ad for their life drawing night – guess what body type they choose to showcase, almost always?

And I’m really pretty tired of it. You think I’m so amazing and different from the rest of the models?¬†Show your support of what I do by posting pics of me sometimes. Those drawings you post act as publicity for the models. At present I’m not getting any of that publicity; to someone who follows art blogs but doesn’t necessarily go to classes, I am functionally invisible. Meanwhile, other women – women who are not necessarily as good as I am, women who may not work nearly as often as I do – get their faces and bodies¬†everywhere.

Funny story: there’s a Facebook page for the local arts community and some models were having a discussion recently about how pay rates really need to be raised soon. I mentioned that posing is actually really strenuous work and it’s not like the schools pay us benefits, so some of my pay goes toward Epsom salts/physiotherapy/chiropractors to keep my body functioning well enough to work, hence the need for a pay raise – gotta cover the cost of living and the cost of staying healthy, y’know?¬†Another model – one of the slender ones whose drawings pop up everyfuckingwhere – chimed in to say yeah, it’s one thing if you only model now and then, but once you get up to 15-20 hours a week at this, it makes you really sore! Which is true. But I found the statement hilarious, for two reasons:

  1. She (a twentysomething year old athlete) was acting like 15-20 hours of posing in a week was almost more than a human body can bear, and I (a fortysomething year old with no background in athletic stuff at all) have done twice that amount pretty consistently. Okay, maybe when I say it’s “hilarious” that she said this, I really meant “validating.” I’m not crazy for feeling exhausted all the time to a point of nervous breakdown! Huzzah!
  2. By the number of drawings of this chick circulating online you would think she was just about the only female art model in my entire city, and now I knew that she was only just starting to score 20 hours of gigs (7-ish classes) a week. Innnnteresting.

No hate for the skinny chicks, by the way. I’m sure some of them are as good at the work as I am, albeit in a different way; the drawings they inspire are lovely. I’m not at all suggesting that thin women get work only because they’re thin (or that people with other body types only get work by being talented; there are a lot of places that’ll basically hire anyone willing to get naked and hold still. For real.).¬†And part of drawing a body well is understanding the underlying structure, so it’s good to have models where you can actually¬†see that there’s a skeleton in there.

But it’s important to see and understand fleshiness, too. And drawings of me are also lovely; I am soft and curvy and I project emotions when I pose, so a good drawing of me will have a¬†feeling about it; it’s not just a rendering of a chick sitting still and being bored.

Hell, some drawings of me are even make me look conventionally attractive – I know how to work my angles. But even¬†those¬†images never see the light of day. And it’s weird and it’s frustrating and I’d like to get the same free publicity as the pretty girls kthx.

 

 

*By which I mean that most drawing classes around here seem to be run by men, but also when a woman runs one she does often post drawings of me.

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Meh.

Today’s art instructor rubs me the wrong way. Literally, almost; twice now she’s gone to point at some part of me while explaining stuff to the students and doinked me with her finger by mistake. She apologized both times, but still: there’s no excuse to fucking touch me. If you go to point and hit my skin by accident, you are¬†too close. And she should have goddamned figured that out after the first time.

She’ll also, like, walk across the room while I’m posing (to talk to a student on the other side or whatever) and pass by me uncomfortably close when there’s plenty of space around me that she could have used.

I don’t feel like any of this is a power play or a sexual attraction thing. Some instructors who behave like her definitely give me that vibe, but not this one. I think this chick just thinks of me as a bowl of fruit or something instead of a person – which in some ways is worse. A person trying to sexually intimidate me is at least seeing me as a human being with boundaries and preferences – even if they’re deliberately violating them. Today’s chick just flat-out dehumanizes me by not even thinking that I might not want to be touched, or that I might not enjoy her passing so close to my naked body that her sleeve practically brushes against my tits.

She also tends to micromanage me as if I’ve never modeled before. I forgave it the first time we worked together, since she didn’t know yet how competent I am, but she did it on subsequent sessions, too. Mind you, the second time we worked together she evidently thought we’d never met before. I’m six feet tall with technicolour hair and parts of my head shaved but why would she ever remember me, right? ūüėõ

And to be clear, I don’t mind if an instructor or artist has a very clear vision of what they want, and asks me “can you do¬†this pose?” (I might not always be able to do that exact thing they want, but I don’t mind people asking.) I also don’t mind people giving general suggestions of a mood or direction to face or whether to sit or stand or things like that.

But today’s chick will say “let’s do some five minute poses. And Cowgirl, could we maybe have you leaning on a chair for some of these?” – and she drags over a chair and demonstrates – “You could do¬†this or¬†this or…” YEAH THANKS I KNOW WHAT “LEANING ON A CHAIR” ENTAILS. I believe last time we worked together she asked for some five-minute poses and wanted them to include a reclining pose where I showed my back (and started launching into a big description of what that meant…) so I made the very first one a reclined back-pose and a few poses later she whined that she had wanted a reclining back-pose and I hadn’t given her one. Jesus Christ.

It’s a good-paying gig, though. And it’s in some rich lady’s house, in a room with comfy chairs and a fireplace. And I like all the artists, just not the instructor. So, y’know…I’m just gonna keep on hiding my irritation and being as sweet and professional as I can.

 

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Model Mayhem – first impressions

Modelmayhem.com is a social networking site for models, photographers, makeup artists, etc. I’ve known of its existence for years but never really poked around in there too much. Recently, an artist/photographer acquaintance of mine said I really should make a free account on there to promote myself as an art model. I thought the site was more for, y’know…fashion models, not so much life models, but he insisted that getting on there would probably help my career so okay. I’m on there now and have been having a look around.

I find it…depressing.

First off, I’ve learned to double-check people’s gender because a lot of male photographers use a picture of a woman’s face as their avatar. Because why bother taking a self-portrait for that when you could just decorate your profile with a photo you took of some chick, right? Everyone knows chicks are just decoration and that it’s totally not-weird to make people associate your name and identity with the face of an entirely different human being.

Secondly, a lot of photographers post photos of models without crediting the models at all. Which is rude as fuck because it prevents people who like the model’s look from being able to easily track them down and offer them gigs, and also gives the impression that the photographers think that it’s their own talent – and only their own talent – making the photographs good. Like they somehow manufactured these images of out of thin air and nobody else contributed at all.

And so many dudebro photographers’ galleries are full of pics with no particular artistic vision or skill involved beyond pointing the camera in the right direction and making sure it’s focused. Like…so many of these pics where the model is uncredited are just straight-on, full-body pictures of a hot woman standing around. And people are commenting “great shot!” on these photos and the photographer is like “thanks!” and nobody seems to be acknowledging that the model is literally the only thing making these photos at all interesting, not any big talent on the photographer’s part.

Does anyone remember the kids’ story Charlotte’s Web, in which Charlotte (a spider) makes friends with Wilbur (a pig)? My memories are hazy and I’ll be paraphrasing but at one point, I believe Charlotte saves Wilbur from the slaughter by spinning a web above his pen that says “SOME PIG.” A group of people notices the laudatory quote in the web and they’re like “well obviously the pig is special so we can’t kill him.” One person pipes up “Isn’t it the spider that’s kind of amazing here? After all, she figured out how to write human words using her butt.” But everyone else was like “Well that doesn’t make any sense. It’s clearly the pig who’s the special one. The spiderweb says so.”

You see where I’m going with this, right? Some photographers are, well…pigs. ūüėõ

As a life model I already am assumed to be simply raw materials for people’s art, and I’m mostly okay with that – especially since I primarily get drawn or painted, so if someone’s work is beautiful it really is mostly because of them. Photography feels like a whole different thing. In my view, a front-on, full-body photo of a pretty person is pretty because of the model. The model showed up and was pretty, and the photographer just managed not to fuck it up.

When there’s an interesting composition or interesting cropping or the photographer played around with depth of focus to really good effect or there’s some other thing about a photo that looks like an intentional choice, then the photographer is displaying talent. TBH though, a good model has lots of ideas of their own and knows how to pose well, so awesome photographs may well be more collaborative than you think.

tl;dr: MODELLING TAKES TALENT. CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE.

 

 

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Awkward

A few years back I signed up with a company that does marketing focus groups. It’s a nice source of income. Although they don’t call me much at all and I’ve only ever ended up qualifying for one thing they called me about.

Anyway, heard from them the other day about a group they wanted me for. These groups are always looking for people from specific demographics so the lady had to ask me questions about my life to see if I qualified for one of the remaining slots. She asked me how old I am, if I live alone, if anyone in my immediate family works in promotions or publicity in some capacity (I guess the focus group had to do with that and she was checking for conflicts of interest) and eventually she asked me what I do for a living.

Shit.

I worry that my job as an art model is so “out there” that it wouldn’t count under any of the categories in their system. And I don’t like bringing up my job to people I’m dealing with in¬†any “official” capacity because it’s a naked job, and¬†a job most people don’t really understand, and I don’t feel like having to explain it to people outside my normal sex-positive, body-positive, non-slut-shamey social bubble.

But when I’m put on the spot I’m usually too slow-witted to lie, so I went ahead and said “art model” anyway. And that was the beginning of a very frustrating conversation.

The woman interviewing me clearly did not have English as her first¬†language, and I would imagine people who aren’t involved in the art world at all might not have any idea that art modelling is a thing. But damn, dude, I explained it a bunch of different ways – in simple terms, enunciating carefully – and she just was not getting it at all. It was like:

“And what do you do for a living?”

“…I’m an art model.”

“You…you’re an artist?”

“No, I pose for art classes.”

“So you paint portraits?”

“No, people paint¬†me.”

“…”

“When art students are learning how to draw a human body, I am the person they draw.”

“…”

“I go to art schools and I stand there and the students draw or paint me.”

…Uh…

“I go to art classes¬†and the¬†people there¬†learn how to draw a person by looking at me and drawing me.”

“So…you do¬†what kind of art?”

Sigh.

Finally she went and talked to her supervisor, who apparently told her to just put down “model.” Which is what I should have said in the first place, I suppose. But¬†the word “model” all on its own carries an implication of conventional hotness that I know I don’t live up to so I avoid it. Even telling doctors etc that I’m an art model, I see this fleeting look on their faces sometimes of “Really? You?” – they don’t say it out loud but it’s clear.

Anyway, after all that I didn’t end up being in the income bracket they were looking for so I didn’t get the gig.

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I hate “normal” jobs

The thing about conventional jobs is that usually there’s a boss you have to work pretty closely with and usually¬†that boss will have some kind of terrible personality quirk. Maybe they can’t admit when they’re wrong. Maybe they tell you to do a thing and then¬†decide they want the opposite thing instead and somehow it’s your fault for not reading their mind. Maybe they forget to tell you important things and can’t admit that they forgot so they throw you under the bus for it. There’s almost always something.

I’ve mentioned before that I took a part time job at an art gallery to supplement my model earnings. My boss has many good qualities. She’s not around much; she gives me a fair bit of freedom; when she does pop in, she always hugs me and thanks me for my work when she leaves; when she forgot I’d booked a day off, and then saw the multiple emails and texts we’d spent talking about it, she apologized to me for accusing me of not having told her I needed the day off.

But she’s inconsistent, and inconsistency drives me mad. One day she’ll point out that the gallery is slightly in disarray from an event the night before and that I should have restored things to normal first thing. Another day, I’ll come in to find some disarray and work my ass off to get things to normal and she’ll see me doing this and tell me I should have done some other thing first instead. Some days it’s like “why is that chair still there?” and other days I’m asking her where I should put this random chair and she’s like “Ehhh, just leave it.” She’s not horribly mean when I’ve displeased her, but still – I’m a perfectionist who wants to excel at work and she keeps moving the goalposts around and I hate it. I want clear rules that I can learn and win at.

The most annoying thing happened just recently.

The gallery does life drawing some mornings and I model for it from time to time (it’s how I met the owner and got the desk job). At one time she was booking models and offered me two gigs in the same month. I asked if she was sure; my understanding is that artists like variety so it might be a tactical mistake to have any one model¬†pose too much (I felt like I was shooting myself in the foot to point that out but I really wanted her life drawing days to thrive, dammit!). She said she loved my work and would happily have me pose every single week if I wanted to.

Then back in December she told me to go ahead and book myself some model days in January if I wanted. Those were her words: some days.¬†January starts off slow for me (the schools are closed for the first week and then it takes a while for them to start booking) so I figured what the hell and I wrote myself in for two different days. Boss lady had said she didn’t mind me posing all the time, after all, and it was a month where I could really use the cash.

Turns out the gallery closes for the holidays and wouldn’t reopen til later than I thought, so I had to cross off that first day that I chose. And¬†the remaining date, I wrote in my calendar wrong somehow. Those things are both entirely my fault; I own that.

Long story short I showed up to model the other day and so did one of the gallery’s regular dude-models. Boss looked at the calendar and it was indeed supposed to be the dude-model that day. But she also saw that I had written myself in on two days in January (and crossed the one out). She told me that she’s the only one who books models and always has been. She got this quizzical, why-are-you-so-crazy¬†expression and said “You can’t just¬†book yourself in.¬†And on multiple days!” I said that she’d¬†invited me to do exactly that last month and she briskly said “No. I wouldn’t have done that.” And I had no way of proving anything because she’d said it to me face-to-face, so I had to just suck it up and apologize. Goddddd that infuriates me so much.

I think it’s blown over now. It doesn’t look like she’s gonna do some big exaggerated thing of re-explaining the basics of my job to me or acting like I’m not trustworthy (as other bosses have in similar situations). But still. Fucking hell.

(The dude-model gracefully stepped aside and let me have that shift, btw, because he lives ten minutes away by bike and he knows I live across town. So that was lovely. I owe him one.)

The art instructors I work with have a lot fewer opportunities to be inconsistent like that. Sometimes they’re wishy-washy about booking me, or write a booking down wrong and then automatically blame me when I don’t show up on the day they mis-wrote, but for the most part it’s pretty smooth sailing. They usually don’t ask me to do anything specific in class – I choose my poses – and times that they do need me to do a particular thing,¬†it’s pretty cut-and-dried: they ask me for the thing and I immediately do the thing. There’s no time for¬†them to forget what they asked for and claim that I was doing something different,¬†and if they did try that (nobody ever has) I’m in a room full of witnesses who could attest that it didn’t go that way.

Normal jobs suck. ūüė¶

 

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Pseudo-rich

Some of my gigs pay cash and others pay by cheque or direct deposit. I generally try not to touch my bank account at all – rent and other autopay type bills come out of my account, but for food and entertainment and everything else, I do my best to just spend the cash I get and not make any bank withdrawals. I’m poor enough now that I get charged for bank withdrawals, for one thing, and plus I think it helps me keep an eye on my spending when I can physically see a stack of bills dwindling.

Art modelling work has dried up considerably because the art schools are shut down for the summer. But my remaining gigs mostly pay cash, and I have one private client in particular who pays me exceptionally well and has been seeing me a lot lately.

So the wad of bills in my dresser drawer is up over a thousand bucks now.

Clients rich enough to hire me privately are also usually rich enough to go on fancy summer vacations that last for weeks, so I can’t count on my current income, really. It’s entirely possible that this thousand bucks (plus whatever dribbles in from other sources) will have to pay for all my groceries for the next three or four months.

But I still like to take the wad of cash out and look at it and count it and spread it out across my bed and admire it sometimes.

Incidentally, that rich private client responsible for most of that thousand bucks just came back from a trip to France with a bunch of her artist friends. She told me that they talked about how cool it would have been to bring me with them so I could pose for art sessions in their posh French villa whenever they wanted.

I’m not sure how serious she was, but if she ever did ask¬†me to go on a trip like that, I might consider it. I mean, in exchange for them paying my airfare and all my expenses while I was there. Hell, maybe I could even get away with asking for a stipend on top of that- but I don’t know, is the thing. I’d hate to sell myself short but at the same time I wouldn’t wanna ask too much and have them be like “WTF, spoiled brat much?” and withdraw the offer entirely. I guess I’d have to be cagey and ask what their terms were rather than proposing my own.

This is all moot of course because it was probably just idle chitchat about a fleeting, pie-in-the-sky, silly idea.

Still, though. An interesting thing to daydream about.

 

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