So, as you know bob, I work as a figure model with some degree of frequency. As I do this more and more often, I’m developing a sense of what one should have available while on the job — Bootblacks have their creme brulee torches and spritzer bottles of champagne; Strippers have their theatre foundation and packages of Wet Ones; so, too, a figure model benefits from having certain things on hand.

So, here we go:

1) A sarong.
This is primarily to be used in place of a robe or other easily-removable garment that you wear when not actually posing (trust me – frequently, the private studios, community centres, and class-rooms you’ll be working in are kept at a temperature that is good for people who are clothed and moving. You will be neither. You are going to want a way of warming yourself up again when you don’t have to be naked). I’m suggesting a sarong, rather than a robe, because you can also use a sarong as a prop, if you need one, and – more to the point – it can double as a surface-cover if you forget:

2) A towel.
Ideally, a large grey or black towel, although anything will work.
You need this because you will, almost definitely, not be the only person to ever set your naked ass and/or genitals on the stage/square of carpet/throw-pillow/chair/etc that the life-drawing class/club provides for your use. Be kind to your fellow models (and look out for yourself) by bringing a surface cover from home.
The reason I suggest a large towel is because you’ll be doing a wide variety of poses, some of which will probably be “reclining”. Having something soft and clean to put between the length of your body and the linoleum/wood/foam/etc is never a bad thing. The reason I suggest grey or black is because – in addition to their being neutral colours that can provide a good contrast to your skin – art studios (particularly in schools) tend to be covered in charcoal dust. It’s going to get all over everything, particularly your feet. Using a towel that won’t get stained by the heaps of black dust it comes into contact with is a good idea. It’s also a good idea to bring:

3) Baby Wipes.
Due to the aforementioned charcoal dust. No, really. It won’t get it all off. But it’ll get the worst of it off, and your feet will thank you.

Beyond that, you may want to invest in:

4) Masking Tape.
This is less of an issue if you are doing short poses. If, however, you’re doing hour+ poses with breaks in the middle, it’s a good idea to have a roll of masking tape on hand so that you can have somebody mark the angles and major lines of your pose. This way, it’s much easier to find your way back to the original pose after having a stretch (which you will definitely need to have, believe me).

5) A Timer.
The cheap, battery-operated kind from the dollar-store, or an app on your phone. Either way. They should be as uncomplicated and easy-to-deal-with as possible. Without one, you may (sometimes) find yourself counting to sixty over and over again in order to keep that five-minute pose.

6) Flip-Flops.
Or some other kind of easy-to-pack, slip-on, bare-feet-appropriate shoe that you can toss on if you’re working in a studio where the bathroom is down the hall. It saves a little bit of time and it means you get less charcoal dust in your socks. Handy!

I have… most of this stuff. But not all of it. Next on my list: Masking tape and a timer.


Ms Syren