The Model

WARNING: this post contains amateur drawing of nudity.

My sister-in-law is a very talented artist. She and my other sister-in-law—also a very talented artist—wanted to practice figure drawing. They stumbled upon a Craigslist ad by someone volunteering to be a nude model. I can understand why someone would be willing to pose, sans clothing, for artists, but I was really struggling to find a motive here. (Spoiler: we never figured it out.) They asked me to tag along for a little extra security in case things got weird.

The model seemed nice, like I imagine most serial killers to be. He didn’t seem a bit deterred by our gang of three. We were not a very intimidating group, but I did expect to see some recalculation happening in his facial expressions. We met him at someone else’s house who had a studio. Not only did this guy volunteer to pose nude, but he went through the trouble of arranging a complimentary studio space.

I tried to wrap my head around the situation and asked as many questions as I could think of:

“Do you do this a lot?”

“Oh, whenever I can.”

“Are you an artist?”

“No, never had that talent.”

“Are you interested in becoming a professional model?”

“No, not really.”

Not only was he doing this for free, he was all business. It wasn’t like the guy in As Good as It Gets, where the model was confused. This guy had a full quiver of different poses at the ready. He ran us through a few warm-up sketches, followed by a longer pose. We just sat there and sketched. I suddenly realized I had wasted the opportunity by not bringing paint. I started to worry that the model would be disappointed in my professionalism or ambition—that I wasn’t as serious about my craft as he was about…his.

After apparently going through the agenda for the afternoon, we thanked him, packed up our supplies, and drove home. The sketches recently resurfaced during a move, so if anyone recognizes this guy, PLEASE ask him why he volunteers to pose nude for people. No judgement. I just want to understand.

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