Art in Orlando!

topic posted Sat, November 25, 2006 - 9:29 AM by  Sarah Kate
I am an Orlando-based artist's model with extensive experience at area colleges, universities, art schools, and private studios. I joined to connect with other bellydancers, but I think this tribe is a wonderful place for artists and models to network.

I myself am available for modeling in the central Florida area, but I'd love to chat with other artists and models as well! I'd also be happy to provide a list of open studios and classes in central Florida for anyone that's relocating to the area. I know many people here are living in the Bay Area (AMAZING artistic and cultural scene) but Orlando can hold its own ... you just have to look a little harder :-)

I also have a question to throw out : what is the normal pay rate per hour for a life model? I understand that in the Bay Area $20-$25 is the norm, but that's much higher than my usual rate of $15/hour, which is consistent almost everywhere I go. Then again, we don't have a model's guild here. Comments? I'd love to hear from people in other parts of the country.
posted by:
Sarah Kate
  • Re: Art in Orlando!

    Sat, November 25, 2006 - 2:10 PM
    Hey Sarah Kate,
    I'm also a life model and have extensive experience in the local colleges, university, and private studios. I work mostly in Salt Lake City, Utah, but also go down to the Orem . That's BYU territory to model for a college there, Utah Valley State College. The Profs tell me that they have had an extremely hard time getting reliable models, and this last semester is the first that they've used nude models (I was their first.) The going rate here is between $15 and $20/hour. It's hard to break into the circuit here, but once you're in and they know you're good and more importantly reliable, you tend to get steady gigs.

    There's certain things I do to maintain my credibility and to keep getting referrals; I'm always arrive early to sessions, if I have to break an appointment, which is extremely rare, I'll give them as much advanced notice as I possibly can, I make sure when I'm doing gestures that I give all the artists a chance at both profile, full front, and full rear, by turning 90% for each successive gesture, I usually start with easy poses, then give them some difficult poses where foreshortening is an issue. I hold the pose no matter how difficult it turns out to be, and I return to the long poses as accurately as possible (i.e., I note the location of each finger, etc. as I break the pose, and do my very best to return all body parts to the exact location/position they were previously.) Probably as important as staying absolutely still is I always try to put energy and life into my poses. I've heard too many times that other models always look bored.

    Here, young, thin women have a much harder time getting gigs than men and older, more full figured women (there seems to be a plethora of them here), and that the models, in general, are terribly unreliable.

    I've been a figure model for over 30 years now, off and on, and presently, I'm really enjoying it. I love being a part of the process, helping the professors teach young artists, and inspiring artists in their work. It's also amazing to watch the drawings and paintings evolve as the sessions proceed.

    • Re: Art in Orlando!

      Sat, November 25, 2006 - 2:36 PM
      I've heard that it's difficult to get reliable models here as well. For some reason, I think that many models don't think of it as a "real job" so they are consistently late/don't show up, and think that it's their perogative to leave early if they feel like it. That's a shame, because if the artist/teacher/students are being respectful of the model, there is no reason the model should not treat them with the same respect.

      On the other hand, there are also reliable, courteous models--most of them, I've found, are neither young nor thin. In fact, I think that my age has at times worked against me (I'm 22) and that I've only consistently gotten jobs because I go out of my way to be on time and have flexible hours.

      It's wonderful that you've been modeling for 30 years. I LOVE my job but at some point I'll probably have to give it up because it's difficult to scrounge up enough work to make it full time. That's the single drawback about being a model--there is absolutely no job security, and no benefits.
      • Re: Art in Orlando!

        Sat, November 25, 2006 - 2:57 PM
        Modeling is certainly not my main occupation. It's barely a part-time deal. I've worked as a scientist for the last 25 years, thus I have to schedule carefully so as not to adversely impact my regular job. It would be nice if it were my full-time job, but there aren't anywhere near enough artists or schools to make it as a full-time model.
        Good luck and enjoy,
        • Re: Art in Orlando!

          Tue, November 28, 2006 - 9:32 AM
          I just totaled up my earnings since August and have made nearly $1000 figure modeling, I have two more sessions scheduled this week, and I there's still several sessions for which I haven't received checks (one of the school's accounting system is very slow). Money for a new saddle. ;o)
  • Re: Art in Orlando!

    Tue, November 28, 2006 - 11:43 AM
    I'm the model coordinator for a private drop-in figure session in Phoenix. We pay $15 per hour and our sessions last 3 hours. Our group splits the fee evenly, with a minimum fee of $5. I always round up to the nearest dollar. Most nights the model will wind up with $48 to $50 for the sessions. It's common for some drawers to leave tips as well.

    I've been fortunate to work with professional models. We have had a few flakes who had trouble showing up, or worse not returning phone messages. I always call the model a couple of days in advance to confirm the appointment. I do think modeling is either a part time activity or a good way to earn cash while either a student or between jobs.

    If anyone is in Phoenix, or thinking of moving here let me know.
  • Re: Art in Orlando!

    Mon, December 18, 2006 - 7:36 AM
    I am a life model in Rhode Island...have been doing it for years on a very part-time basis but now that I am retired from my full-time career, I will be spending more time modeling. Up here, the predominant rate for academic work is $15/hr and, at the moment, it is easy to get work at the schools. Drawing groups pay $15-$20/hr - they are fun because they are much more informal and the model usually selects all of the poses. At 61 years of age, I know that reliability and the ability to provide what the teachers, students, and/or artists want will always result in more work. It seems that around here the younger models come and go and sometimes just don't show up...needless to say their tenures are brief!

    I may be coming down to tampa/st. pete for a vacation this winter...if you know of a good one night gig, sara, please let me know!
  • Re: Art in Orlando!

    Thu, March 28, 2013 - 12:14 AM
    Hi there!

    I've never done any life modeling before, but I'm very interested in trying it out. I'm pretty self confident, but I think doing some life modeling might help me gain even more confidence, and become more accepting of my body. I also think it would just be a wonderfully fascinating experience.

    I was wondering if you would mind sharing some insight or advice about modeling for artists in the Orlando area, and what studios or classes might be looking for new (to them and to the field) models.

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