You might think this article is about creating adult content, but you’d actually be surprised! You can get paid to get naked for educational purposes such as art.
One of the best ways to do this is to get involved in nude art modeling.
What will I learn?
What is Nude Modeling?
Nude art (and nude modeling) is a profession that’s been around for literally centuries. If you’ve ever been to an art museum, you’ve seen the results of nude modeling without even realizing it.
You see, one of the most common ways artists learn how to draw the human body is by drawing nude models. It’s the easiest way to observe and understand how the body looks when in certain poses or lighting conditions.
You might be wondering why artists would ever have to do this. In everyday life, artists can try to draw random people based on observation. However, people tend to move too fast and clothing can obscure many key details.
This is why nude models are so important to artists. They can observe things like muscles, how skin looks in different lighting, the planes of the face and body, and so on.
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In a physical setting, the model stands or sits in a certain pose for a few hours while students draw them based on observation. This has been the most common way it is done for centuries. However, in these modern times, nude models can also sell photos online for artists to reference when creating art. And thanks to the internet, it is easier than ever to make money selling your art online.
Things You Should Know Before Starting
Obviously, nude modeling is something most people have no experience in. To help you out, I’ve compiled a list of things you should keep in mind when first delving into this career.
- If you plan on working in person one on one with an artist, make sure you discuss the details of the job before you begin.
- When you arrive, if the artist asks you to do something that wasn’t discussed, remember that you have every right to refuse!
- Artists are supposed to observe their models. They are not supposed to touch them or make any sexual remarks about their model’s bodies. Don’t put up with a client that does something like that. If an artist does this, they are being extremely unprofessional.
- When you’re first starting off, I’d suggest only taking jobs from colleges. If you’re nervous about starting a job like this, having a professor involved in the process can help remind everyone that this is an academic process.
- Before modeling for a class, you might want to ask for an explanation of the professor’s classroom policies. You want to make sure they have a strict no-cellphones policy.
- You also might want to ask for a class roster to make sure there isn’t a student you know in the class!
Do I have to really get naked?
In most cases, no! You don’t even have to get completely naked.
But depending on the project, you might. That said, if you don’t feel comfortable, you can always say no to that particular gig.
What do I have to do?
The key to being a perfect nude model is staying extremely still.
The professor, if you’re working at a college, or the artist will tell you how to pose and may give you a hand in positioning your arms or legs if you require it. Then you just stay in that exact position for an hour or more.
Sometimes an instructor may require you to stand in different positions to give students more angles to observe and learn from. Sometimes you might not even need to take off all your clothes, as they might only be studying one aspect of the human body. Every job is different!
Remember that with a job like this, you’ve got to sit or stand still for several hours. Make sure that this is something you are capable of doing without getting too bored or too fidgety.
Do I have to have a runway model body type?
In fact, you’d be surprised how often artists don’t want to study a skinny, traditional model body type.
Anyone can be a nude model. It doesn’t matter what weight you are, what gender you are, how tall you are, or how old you are. Professional artists will want to learn to draw all types of bodies.
There’s actually quite a market for models who aren’t thin or young, as its harder to find extensive references for more unique body types.
How to Make Money as a Nude Model in Person
Trying to find an in-person job for this can be quite daunting at first. After all, most people don’t know where to look when they want to model nude!
The best places to look are:
- online job boards
- local Facebook groups
- local colleges
- local art studios
- Newspaper classifieds
Be extremely careful if you decide to check places like craigslist, as there are scammers out there who might try to trick you!
The best place to go, in my opinion, is local colleges or art studios. Don’t be afraid to even call up the art department to your local college and ask if they need nude models. Most art professors are glad to have extra sources for their students to reference when learning to create art.
You can also check out this site or Indeed to find modeling jobs near you.
How to Make Money as a Nude Model Online
Thanks to technology, people are now able to sell reference photos online to artists who need to study the human body. There are a number of benefits to this kind of job, such as:
- You don’t have to be nude if you don’t want too, and instead wear nude-color leotards.
- You get to choose which poses you do based on your own comfort level.
- You can get creative with props or model something as simple as hand poses.
- You can set your own prices.
- You don’t have to set your schedule around when other people want you to show up.
To get a general idea of what these photos may look like, here are some popular sites that do them:
In order to sell photos like these, you’ll need them to be professional quality. This means having a tripod, decent camera, a non-distracting backdrop, and any props you might want to work with. A good adjustable light would also really help make your photos look decent.
There are many sites that you sell your reference photos on. Some of my favorites are:
You can also try advertising your reference photos on Ko-fi and DeviantArt. Some models will release new reference packs if their monthly donation goals are met.
How much money can you make as a Nude Model?
This honestly depends on who is hiring you. Community colleges aren’t going to pay as much as universities. An independent artist probably can’t afford to pay the same price that a big art studio could.
The average annual pay for an art model in the United States is $54,797 a year, according to ZipRecruiter. They also report that the average nationally is $26 an hour.
Tips & Trick for Getting Clients Online
Let’s say you decided to sell photos online. How do you get clients?
The first thing you should probably do is ask artists what kind of poses they want to see. Check the comments of other photo reference sites and see if anyone asks for a specific type of pose.
Sometimes people are looking for:
- Crouching poses
- Forced perspective shots
If you have a unique body type, even doing popular poses is a good idea because artists might not know how someone with your body type looks like when doing a certain action.
Another way to help get clients is to do freebie photos. Every time you create a set, give away one or two photos for free and use that as a way to advertise the entire site.
My final tip is to be social! If artists have questions for you about a certain pose, don’t be afraid to answer them. Remember that this is a learning experience for them and that they’d probably love to hear your input!
Nude Modeling isn’t something everyone will want to do, and that’s okay! But there’s also no shame in doing it either.
Not only is it a unique job to get into but its also really educational for artists! Plus, you might just be helping someone create a piece of art that will end up in a museum one day. How cool would that be?
And if you’re not looking for a full-time job, this is also a great way to earn some extra spending money by modeling a few times here and there.
Do you know anyone that has tried art modeling? Have you done it yourself? Let us know about your experiences in the comments below!
I love that
I’ve done nude modeling for artists before. It was straight up professional. The artist always drew his models nude. He said he draw clothes on them later but clothing was too much of a distraction for him. I also modeled for an art college.