The Unrequited Art Model Crush

You have yet to rattle my composure, honey. But you’ve gotten close. Very close. For now, I hide my attraction behind the cloak of my professionalism. I bury it so you can’t see it. But it is very much alive, in my head and in my heart. And it’s all happening inside me, just a few feet away from you.

I have taken poses “for you”, but you’re unaware. I have posed standing – with poise and balance – all the time feeling weak in the knees by your presence. But you’re unaware. In a studio full of artists, I am supremely conscious of you and you alone, consumed with thoughts and fantasies of you. But again, you are unaware. So I work. And keep working. Dutifully. Like it’s just another class among the many classes I pose for – but it’s not.

I see you there. Sitting and drawing. I peek at you at every opportunity. I feel your eyes rolling over my body. My nude body. Observing every part of me. And it excites me. What are you looking at, baby? A life model? A woman? Or both? I fear that I exist only on your paper, as a subject, a practice exercise, an anatomy study. That breaks my heart 😥 Because I have needs and desires too. I am human too. I have a life off the platform. And I have thoughts about you being in that life . . .

You are serious, dedicated, and gifted. You create ink drawings that are loose and visceral. I’ve seen them. You have beautiful brown eyes. I’ve seen them too. And your smile . . . . oh, your smile 🙂

You are young. Younger than me by at least a decade. But I caught your wink, sweetie! Yes, I did. And I melted from your close, tight hug that day. I didn’t want it to end. Those two fleeting moments are all I have from you. And probably all I ever will. But maybe . . . if you ever . . . if you share my attraction . . . please . . . come to me . . . say something . . . do something. Because I will do nothing. I can’t. I won’t say a word. I’m afraid. I’m a pathetic coward.

So darling, if you want to, please, take me in your arms, put your lips on mine . . . touch me . . . caress me . . . Yes . . . It’s okay . . . I want to . . . yes . . . I say yes . . .

Dinah Washington, sing one for my honey . . . the object of my affection . .
“come to mama, come to mama do” 😉

26 thoughts on “The Unrequited Art Model Crush

  1. lkwinter says:

    Aww : )

    This is interesting because if a guy falls for a girl, well, automatically he’s got some semblance of a chance because tradition has it that a guy does all the initiation: if a guy don’t ask, a guy ain’t gettin nowhere (a stamp I’m learning all to well). : \

    But for a girl, my my, what to do. Wait and wait for the advance? But what if it never comes?

    I’m feeling for you friend, and I’m hoping all your dreams come true. Strange realm it is, that realm of humanly attraction and desire.

    luv

  2. artmodel says:

    Scott,

    Yes, “what if it never comes?” It won’t. I know it won’t. Students RARELY, if ever, ask out models. Besides, I have absolutely NO idea what he thinks or feels. It’s all pretty hopeless.

    But thanks for your good wishes, friend 🙂

    Claudia

  3. Ouch!
    Some people don’t like to mix work and personal relationships, let him see you outside that environment.

    Be brave, ask if you can see some of his other work, check he’s not married, give him the opportunity but don’t over do it. He may be shy too, no one likes rejection, but don’t just leave it, do something. Find out where he lives and be in the right place at the right time! Don’t be put off by seeing another girl in his life (could be his sister), all’s fair in love and war. You have great assets, first as a great person (we can feel that on this blog) and second in his “field of art”.

    And it works both ways, if a guy thinks you are unobtainable he will not want to notice you. Meet him by “accident” in tight jeans and your hair down, or woolly tights and a tartan skirt if that is more your style! Be mysteriously interested in him and he will notice you, watch his face for clues, if he avoids catching your eye that could be shyness or trying not to encourage you. You will probably be able to detect a certain chemistry which is either there or not. Use ever feminine wile you have Claudia.

    And remember

    “If you go in
    You’re sure to win -,
    Yours will be the charming m..
    Be your law
    The ancient saw
    Faint heart never won fair lady”

    From Iolanthe by WS Gilbert

    So help him and do yourself a favour.
    Good luck, we all wish you great happiness.

  4. dougrogers says:

    I knew that kind of thinking was going on… crossing the border is so difficult

  5. exbrun2 says:

    I frequently see women I find attractive when I am posing for figure drawing sessions. Once I take the platform I shut all that out of my mind. I sometimes think about them afterward but when I’m modeling it’s about that moment in front of the artist- the pose, the energy, the performance.

    Afterward I sometimes think “wow! she was attractive” but I know it’s all for naught. To the artists I am a figure, a momentary pose, an object to be drawn. As you say, they rarely speak to me even during breaks. They speak to one another about their lives outside of the artistic environment, their daily travails, their hopes, their loves. They speak right in front of me as though I wasn’t even there. In some sense once I’m off the platform I’m not there- my function as a model ceases once I step down to the floor. I am not an artist like they so I do not rate their attention once I am out of the context of the model.

    I sometimes find life modeling to be a solitary and lonely vocation. Depending on the venue, I often go through a whole modeling session speaking only a few words to the instructor or proctor. I find it to be a reflection and microcosm of my greater existence. I arrive alone. I depart alone.

    In my day job I work around the same people everyday but I do not spend time with them or see them outside of the context of work. To them I merely a part of the work environment which they leave behind when they leave for the day. I do my job each day and then I depart to my solitary life away from the office. I arrive alone. I depart alone.

    Ironically most of my “human” contact comes through media like the comment fields in someone’s blog. I talk to people more through electronic media and cyberspace than face to face. I think the filter of the internet makes it easier for me to express myself and expose my inner persona. It feels like the medium mitigates my personal risk in doing so.

    I empathize with your situation, Muse. I haven’t had that great of a personal attraction to any of the artists I have encountered but I do understand that should it arise my role as model would make crossing the gulf of the model-artist dynamic to establish any kind of meaningful relationship extremely difficult. It doesn’t matter if it’s a romantic relationship or just a friendship- that gulf is a yawning chasm sure to swallow up any attempt at contact.

    Take solace in the fact that at least you can express your feelings, emotions, and thoughts on your blog to the sympathetic ear (or eyes) of those who follow your blog.

    I wish you everything you want.

  6. artmodel says:

    Robert,

    Thanks for all the advice, and your nice words. Hmm, my “feminine wiles”? I haven’t used them in a while! Glad you reminded me about those 🙂

    I’ll think about it. But I suspect I will chicken out. Given the professional environment, it’s probably a disastrous idea.

    Claudia

  7. artmodel says:

    Doug,

    Oh yes, that kind of thinking is definitely going on. And crossing the border is difficult indeed. Given the circumstances, it’s one of the oddest and trickiest situations to navigate.

    Claudia

  8. artmodel says:

    exbrun2,

    You are a much better person than I am in your ability to “shut those things out” of your mind while you are posing. Like I indicated in my post, I am still able to carry out my posing professionally. But my THOUGHTS throughout are still mine. It’s my private little world. It reminds me that I am more than an object. I actually take comfort in it.

    I should point out that with this person, he does talk to me on breaks, etc. We talk quite a bit, in fact. But my imploring for him to “say something” was about him saying something other than casual conversation – something more personal and intimate 😉

    I have known of the artist-model boundary being crossed. Here in New York, I’ve known of many INSTRUCTOR-model boundaries being crossed. Even INSTRUCTOR-student boundaries! Yeah, it’s happening all around. It’s inevitable, don’t you think?

    It’s difficult because we’re often cautioned against getting involved with people in the workplace. But for those of us who work full time, often many hours, the workplace is our only opportunity to interact with others and meet people we like.

    Exbrun, you mentioned that the artists rarely talk to you. I do hope that changes for you. Certainly, there are artists who keep their distance from the model when he/she isn’t posing. But sometimes that’s because they think YOU want to preserve that distance. It could be an innocent show of respect, not necessarily aloofness of their part. I have forged many great relationships through my art modeling. And I value my friendships with artists and models alike. Don’t feel isolated. This idea that art models must maintain detachment to be perceived as “professional” is simply not true.

    I get chatted up a lot at work. A lot! Im a pretty approachable person, and I’m very warm in real life. People sense that right away. And it serves me well in my work. We all get to laugh a lot and have fun. Everyone knows that I am not one of the cold, “diva” art models. My persona and identity is the polar opposite of that.

    This guy is very sweet to me, always. If nothing happens – which I doubt it will – I will still cherish knowing him, and having posed for him 🙂

    Thanks for your comments.

    Claudia

  9. doug from canada says:

    Claudia, if he’s chatting you up then he probably likes you too, so go out for a coffee, get to talk with him away from the canvas and see if the two of you are interested in each other in a personal way. My guess is he sees you as unapproachable on a personal level(most artists I’ve befriended have always admitted to being in awe of confident models and they’re never sure if we want to converse on a normal level) so the ice break for conversation and friendship usually comes from me.
    I have a life long partner but I certainly can relate to finding many artists interesting and attractive and as you express “posing just for them” which some realize and some don’t. For me it’s all in fun and helps give the sessions a little more spice.
    I know it’s a tough call, relationships always are at the beginning but I’m hoping for you that you find your way to finding out the answer to your desire.
    doug from canada

  10. artmodel says:

    Doug,

    It’s interesting what you say, but I am fairly certain that it has nothing to do with my being “unapproachable”. You’d be hard pressed to find any person – artist or otherwise – who would use that adjective to describe me.

    It’s also news to me that artists are “in awe of confident models”, to the point where they are reticent to converse with us. Really?? I’ve never known that to be the case. Hmm, I’m starting to wonder if this is a regional thing. Judging from yours and exbrun2’s comments, one can infer that life modeling sessions have a different quality and observe different propriety than they do here in NYC. I don’t know, but it’s starting to seem that way. Down here, no one holds back from talking! Which, by the way, is not always a good thing! We have the black eyes and punched noses to prove it. Just kidding, 😉 I tease. I tease NYC. Just teasing . . . . tee hee.

    Anyway, I appreciate your support. Thanks!

    Claudia

  11. doug from canada says:

    I’m sorry Claudia, I didn’t mean it to sound like I did – geez, you must be starting to think what kind of nut is this guy. I’m sure you are very approachable and I never intended to suggest you were, you sound like a terrific person!
    Yes artists in my City are also talkative and quite friendly and I most certainly enjoy being with them and always try to project a relaxed personality so they can enjoy their time – I guess what I tried to suggest when I said “in awe of confident models” is that many artists(especially in a school setting where new ones taking art classes are just learning to draw or paint people) see us doing confidently and easily what many people list as their worst possible fear – being naked in front of other people – and their reaction may be to be shy to talk with us until we talk with them first. At least thats been my experience. I do find workshop groups different though because there there is a familiarity and friendship that builds over time and talking is done quite freely during the session.
    Phew, sorry again, I guess I’m not used to this blogging stuff, be patient, expressing myself will get better.

    doug from Canada and best of times every time

  12. We are very very complicated animals. In your very unique occupation as a life model it becomes one of the most complex situations of all. I can think of no other human situation like it.

    Thousand of generations of wearing cloths as a protection, from snow, wind, rain, sun, getting pregnant, being left on the shelf, power, physical armour etc etc, and you have abandoned it all for a very tiny proportion of the population called artists.

    We artists are an odd lot, but with the same backgrounds as everyone else in the long term past. We have to cope with the extraordinary situation we find ourselves in; fully clothed with a single, often very beautiful person, of the opposite sex, naked. If this happens in a group situation things get even more complicated.

    First of all the artist has the problem of getting used to a person without cloths on; in our culture that’s unusual. Second he/ she has to try and behave professionally too! Only look “when he needs to” and then only in a very “professional way” to avoid anyone spotting that he is thinking thoughts that are ‘less than professional’. A middle road is preferable, the Model must be respected above all but we all have a job to do; but none of ever lose our sense of humour.

    The artist has another problem; confidence. What first of all will the model think of the artist’s work? Will he/ she be offended by his / her efforts? What are the other artists thinking of his / her work? Is there too much detail!!!? What about the critical analysis at the end of the session? What will the model think about that? Will the artist be praised or criticised ? All very difficult when it comes to any sort of romance!

    Although there is no ethical problem between model and artist being romantically inclined, there is a ‘professional’ barrier to break down on both sides. Many artists are going to be careful about chatting up a model, as you put it, in a group situation. It opens him or her up to allsorts of criticism from their peers. A public put down from a model for what ever reason would be very humiliating. You can therefore understand that Models could be considered dangerous to artists. You could be playing with fire! So an artist will often avoid normal conversation with models unless they make the running. I will not now go into the problems of ‘hang ups’ which will also make romance difficult.

    A Life Model is very special to the artist, so special that normal social intercourse is tough. So if you want to speed things up, put your cloths on and converse on the same terms!

    That is why this blog is just wonderful.

    Claudia, be brave, wash him out of your hair or catch him as quick as you can, life’s too short. Good luck.

  13. Brian says:

    I think I feel my heart breaking (a least little) all over again…as foolish as that may sound.

  14. Rog says:

    Claudia,

    Some guy somewhere in Manhattan is going insane right now. Talk about a great flirt. Yes, you are.

    …rog

  15. artmodel says:

    Doug,

    We must get you to stop apologizing! No need, friend 🙂

    Actually, you made a good point that I should concur. Yes, when a model is NEW to a class, and the students are all strangers, seeing him/her for the first time, definitely they will be reticent to talk. Especially if that model performs very professionally. I shouldn’t dismiss the possibility of artists feeling a bit intimidated. See? You are right!

    I think in my experiences and professional situation – which was the topic of this and many other posts- I’ve been modeling for some time now, and rarely work a job where I am completely “unknown” to everyone in the room. In fact, I haven’t worked a brand new gig in quite a while. So I’m used to being treated in a friendly, congenial manner. But certainly, many models are in situations where the familiarity level isn’t there – or hasn’t yet developed.

    Doug, I appreciate your comments. Please keep them coming!

    Claudia

  16. artmodel says:

    Robert,

    Your comments are great, and insightful (always). You’ve reminded me that artists have tendencies toward, lets’ say, somewhat complicated personalities. And models aren’t much simpler! What a mess all around 😆

    People should always be respected in professional circumstances. And as a model, I try very hard to appreciate the artists’ situation, which is one of the reasons I don’t want to make waves with the guy I posted about. I’m willing to carry around my crush unreciprocated if the alternative would create awkwardness for him. But I really, really want to grab that cutie and plant a big, sexy kiss on him 😉

    Claudia

  17. artmodel says:

    Brian,

    Not foolish. But don’t feel that way, please . . .

    Claudia
    xoxo

  18. artmodel says:

    Rog,

    Me? A flirt? Never! 😉

    And it MIGHT be Brooklyn. (Just thought I’d cause more mischief)

    Claudia

  19. robert bent says:

    Claudia-
    Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had an idea you were the bomb!!! It was just an idea, a feeling that sort of slipped thru the cyber connections. Not that you speak for all female life models or that I have the same point of view of all heterosexual male painters but the “boundary” that seems to be the subject of your posting and the cascade of comments which followed has had my attention on several occasions. What happened? Anything? Would you have allowed yourself to feel the attraction if you saw the man standing at the subway stop day after day? It maybe would be easier to approach someone when you have your clothes on, certainly but what part does the setting play, if any? Not that you aren’t anything but the consumate professional..I’m certain of that….and I don’t mean to offend. Will you talk more about this??? As I’ve said to you before, it’s the margins where the energy collects… and disipates, too. Rob

  20. artmodel says:

    Hi Rob!

    Great to hear from you. Where have you been????? 😥

    So my true nature is seeping through cyberspace, is it? I’m not surprised. Deception and equivocation aren’t my thing. I’m terrible at all that, so rather than be someone I’m not, I might as well lay it all out for the world to see – hmm, kind of like art modeling!

    I have felt attracted to men on the subway. Most definitely! And I’m pretty certain that this particular guy would be attractive to me in that setting too. But I can’t deny that the art environment through which I know him adds a certain something to the equation, that “energy” you speak of.

    I will talk more of this since it seems to generate a lot of discussion, understandably so. Whether that boundary gets crossed with this guy, I really don’t know. I’d like it to! I said in the post that I’m a bit of a coward. But I do have an idea or two percolating 😉

    Thanks for commenting, Rob!

    Claudia

  21. lkwinter says:

    After reading my comment and your response, I felt terrible at even the slightest notion you wouldn’t be wisked away by your Knight. I’m a dunce, so I hope you can forgive me. Love is a bizarre process, so maybe ten years from now you’ll be sitting on the beach with him somewhere and smiling about these discussions. : )

  22. artmodel says:

    lkwinter,

    Nothing to forgive! You didn’t suggest even remotely that I’d never find my knight. Actually, I think I’m the one who did that! :slaps self in face: So don’t confuse my pessimism with your alleged “dunciness”.

    Besides, I like your scenario of me and my crush sitting on a beach somewhere. Sounds divine!

    Claudia

  23. ColdSilverMoon says:

    Thanks for another great post, Claudia! I certainly hope things work out with this unrequited crush!

    I personally don’t think any lines would be crossed by you approaching him – or he you. One of the great things about art modeling, especially nude modeling, is that it exposes us thoroughly – not just physically, but emotionally and at times spiritually as well. I allow my thoughts to run where they may while on the stand. If it’s to the attractiveness of a female artist sketching my figure, then so be it. I’m glad that you are honest with yourself both off the model stand and on it. That makes for better modeling from you and thus a better experience for both you and the artists. I think the last thing artists and students is an empty shell of a figure on the stand. Bravo for your emotional honesty!

    And again, I don’t see anything wrong with approaching him before or after the session. Interaction from the model stand probably isn’t a good idea, but outside that I would definitely treat it like any other situation. Happy hunting!!

  24. artmodel says:

    ColdSilverMoon,

    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your terrific comments. In fact, you’ve touched on an aspect of our profession I believe in very strongly; that is our complete “exposure” up on the model stand. An emotionally honest and “available” model generates great intimacy and freer expression for everyone. In my experience, artists respond powerfully to a model they perceive as genuine, truthful, even vulnerable. I’ve known many of those “empty shell of a figure” models that you mentioned, and I can tell you (as you already know) that they are rarely in any artist’s list of popular, preferred, or best-liked models in this city. Everyone should understand that artists do not “connect” with a model’s body part. They connect with their spirit, energy, and humanity. That’s the whole point of working from life.

    Great hearing from you, ColdSilverMoon. And thanks also for your good luck wishes regarding my crush! Stay tuned . . . . 😉

    Claudia

  25. Sheramy says:

    Hi Claudia–I love this post. So romantic, so sensual. I’m intrigued and want to know what happens next!

    Must be tough. It’s one thing to have a workplace crush with one’s clothes on. Can’t imagine what it must feel like with one’s clothes OFF. 😉 And when the person is drawing you? Rwwrrr.

    Bon chance!

  26. artmodel says:

    Sheramy,

    Hi and thanks! Glad you liked this post. Geez, everyone seemed to like it 🙂 Generated a lot of reaction, but I guess honesty and openness will do that.

    Yeah, the nudity thing can make a crush more complicated – and more intense! Certainly different than the average workplace crush.

    I will let everyone know what happens – IF anything happens. I’m not getting my hopes up. But we’ll see.

    Thanks for your comments!

    Claudia

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