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Jul 23

Make money as a life model

Reading Time: 5 mins

Working as a life model and performing different life modelling poses is a creative way to make money from your body.

The Register of Artists’ Models (RAM) recommends a rate of £15 per hour for your trouble. Obviously, a big part of the job involves stripping naked, so you’ll have to work out if that’s something you really want to do. If it is, you will get to see yourself recreated in a host of (hopefully) beautiful paintings and sculptures. What’s not to like?

 

 

Life Model Wanted: What does life modelling involve and is it for me?

Elderly female life model

The main thrust of the job involves complete strangers staring at you intently – whilst you’re naked of course – for hours on end.

  • You can expect life modelling sessions to last around three hours, with a couple of breaks for rest.
  • Remember, you don’t have to be beautiful or in top shape – if anything, you’re likely to be in more demand if you have a unique look or an interesting body shape – so don’t let any paranoia about your looks stop you.
  • However, you need to be comfortable with both nudity and a certain amount of discomfort and boredom. This is a very important thing to remember when considering life modelling.
  • You may also be asked to create your own poses, so practice in front of the mirror and consider taking some lessons as a life model to get a feel for what art directors may want you to do. If you have a partner, ask them for their opinion on your poses.

It is also fairly common to ask two models to pose together – you may be asked to pose with a member of the opposite sex so ask yourself honestly how comfortable you are with the idea. If you have some doubt, then this may not be for you.

 

Life Model Wanted: Are there many life modelling jobs?

Female life model

These days life modelling is a professional occupation and most employers regard life models as employees.

You will probably find there isn’t much work going that pays in cash so prepare to have to work on PAYE and supply a National Insurance number.

Your first port of call should be local art colleges and education centres. Here a couple of contacts to get you started.

  • The Art Academy, 020 7407 6969
  • The London Sketch Club, 020 7352 8209, contact them to offer your services to members
  • Also keep an eye out for adverts in shop windows and local papers too.
  • Your local Gumtree website may also throw up the odd life modelling job too so check in every now and then.
  • It may also be worthwhile posting on Gumtree yourself stating your availability as a life model.
  • A good place to check for jobs are general job searching websites such as TotalJobs or Indeed.
  • If that doesn’t muster up anything, try social media websites, as sometimes ads are put out in Facebook groups or via Twitter.

Always be careful with any advert you see online, and always make sure you are using a reputable company.

 

The Register of Artists’ Models (RAM)

There’s also a mega handy website The Art Models Register (RAM) – a sort of unofficial life modelling union – which features jobs all around the country. All the jobs are restricted to RAM members only – but membership only costs £35 per year (£38.50 to join) so it’s probably worthwhile signing up if you’re struggling to find work elsewhere.

Being on the public list of RAM members could make a big difference. Some colleges and private art groups only employ RAM members and Bare Facts model booking service for London also only supports RAM models.

  • London applicants must audition at the life drawing workshops in Holloway or Richmond but RAM does state that most applicants are accepted.
  • Outside of London there is no need to audition so you join as an Associate Member initially. Then, once you’ve sent two tutor references from jobs you can convert to full membership at any time, for no extra charge.

 

How much can I make as a Life Model?

Male life model

Pay varies widely but you can expect, on average, between £12 and £15 per hour depending on where you live in the country.

  • In London you should expect to make about £15 an hour (that’s what is recommended by RAM) and it will be around that amount in large cities.
  • Outside of the cities and in the regions it’s likely to be a couple of pounds less than that per hour but it does vary from venue to venue.
  • Don’t be afraid to have life modelling as a side job. Many people do this as it is an easy way to top-up your main salary.

 

 

Alternatives to life model jobs

Male life model from behind

If you decide being a life model isn’t quite for you, there may be work out there as a hand or foot model.

  • Check out websites Body London and Derek’s Hands for more information.
  • Or you could try to find work as a regular model. It’s easier to do than you might think, in fact there are companies out there like UK Model who you can submit an application to and wait to find out what they think.
  • Alternatively, you may have decided that being a model just isn’t for you. So instead, why not try being a life model director or tutor? You can join RAM as this for £10.
  • If you’re not interested in life modelling at all, there is something called wild life drawing, where instead of drawing naked life models, you draw animals instead. If your drawing stands out, you could make money from them.

 

Have you tried working as a life model? Share your experiences by commenting below – we love to hear about your money-making tips and experiences.

 

Other ways to make money

 


 

Neilson

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matthew
matthew
10 years ago

hi my name is matthew and i am 20 live in the reading area and am willing to travel i work 5 days a week, and would be looking to start life modelling, sculpting or body painting as a side job have no previous experience and would like to try at least once please feel free to contact me on 07541085821 i am not a physically fit person so have no muscular definition.
thanks for reading this
matt.

Sophie Ridge
Sophie Ridge
10 years ago

Hello

I’m organising a classy hen party for 10 girls in Bath on the bank holiday weekend in June.

We’re looking for a male life model to pose for around one hour on Saturday 2nd June.
There will be a generous fee.

If you’re interested, please email me with a photograph and any other information that you think would be relevant.

bathhenparty@hotmail.co.uk

Thanks

Sophie

Thomas
Thomas
10 years ago
Reply to  Sophie Ridge

Hi Sophie
I sent you an email. Get in touch if you are stuck if you like.

Sophie
Sophie
10 years ago

Hello, I’m organising a classy hen party for 10 girls in Bath and we’re looking for a male life model on Saturday 2nd June.

We’ll only need you for 1-2 hours during the day, and we’re willing to pay a generous fee.

If you’re interested please email henpartybath@hotmail.co.uk

Thanks

Sophy

Alannah Knowles
Alannah Knowles
10 years ago

Hiya,

I am 18 and from Southampton and am interested in being a live model.

I am 5 foot 9″ female with olive skin and a naural tan.
I have short dark brown hair with a fringe.
I am a size 12-14 lower body and a size 10 on top.

I have no experience, however i used to do drama so am comfortable and confident with myself and am able to pose still for a long time.

Thankyou for taking the time to read this.

Geoff
Geoff
10 years ago

Hi Alannah. I am looking for good models for sittings and classes in Alton. This could be a bit too far for you to travel but please drop me a line if you’d like to learn more.
altonartist@hotmail.co.uk

camilla
camilla
10 years ago

Hi I’m 19, female, and based in Birmingham. I have already attended several life drawing classes, I don’t have any experience being the life model but I would like to start. comfortable with one on one or group settings. Please contact me at 07923071573
Thanks

Thomas
Thomas
10 years ago
Reply to  camilla

Hi Camilla
I’m a male life model in Rubery. I have not sketched other models before. If you would like to pose for me and then I could pose for you. I could give you tips and advice about modelling.

Tom
Tom
9 years ago
Reply to  camilla

Hi Camila,

Are you still modelling and painting? I am based in Birmingham and looking for a female model having only worked with male ones this year.

I would be happy to pose for you too. I am slim, 5,7, 30 year old male.

All the best,

Tom

Geoffrey
Geoffrey
10 years ago

Hi there,

I’d like to do some life-modeling in London; I’m a 21 year-old man, 6f-132lbs, rather skinny and very visible muscles (abs ands pecs), with androgyne face (full lips, big eyes, sharp jaw and semi-long hair). I was a painter myself before, and I can understand what an artist is trying to accomplish with his/her work.
Thanks in advance!
Regards,
Geoffrey

Jasmin
Jasmin
10 years ago

I am 22 years old in Buckinghamshire area looking for some life modelling jobs. I have no experience as of yet jchope@hotmail.co.uk

Mark
Mark
10 years ago

Hi I am male aged 43 interested in life modelling in and around Northampton. 07709 555481

Eloise
Eloise
10 years ago

Hi, I am looking to try my hand at life modelling for the first time. I am young and would like to know if you need any female life models in the Cambridgeshire area, preferably Peterborough. I am currently available at any time.
Many thanks, Eloise

Lewis
Lewis
10 years ago
Reply to  Eloise

Hi Eloise

Would you consider lifecasting? I’m willing to pay £10 per hour to make a cast of a female hand and lower leg for a special effects project (NO nudity), i live near to Peterborough. If you are interested, drop me a line at:
livefrogs@live.co.uk

Thanks:-)

simon
simon
6 years ago
Reply to  Eloise

Can you contact me please on 02076898186 or 07866773309

Polly
Polly
10 years ago

I am a female life model and am 5 months pregnant and wonder if any art classes in Leeds/Wakefield area are looking for a pregnant form to draw?

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