Spero Meliora

Discontent is a peculiar thing. You think you can pinpoint its source but you can never really identify it with absolute certainty, no matter how much you turn yourself into knots. Where is it coming from? you ask yourself. My nonexistent romantic life is the problem. That must be it. That’s not it? Then it’s my dwindling bank account. That must be it. You seek to expose the pesky germ that is rousing your troubles. Because if you can just identify it then you can crush it, and everything will return to normal. Or so you believe.

Two nudes in studio, Jan Sluyters:


I could, for example, point the finger squarely at the business aspect of art modeling and some of the untrustworthy and/or two-faced people who, through their egos and passive aggressive behaviors, make this field far more complicated than it need be. This isn’t brain surgery after all. I could also wonder if I should accept that a callow 20-something millennial has been placed in charge of bookings at a school upon which I depend for my income. And I could further wonder if it’s appropriate for said millennial to say to me, a 40-something model with years of hard work and experience at that school under my belt, that the reason she neglected to call me for work was because, in her exact words – “I don’t who you are, sorry”. Is that rude and hurtful? You bet it is. And I wonder how my journey through art modeling, to which I have devoted body, heart, and soul, has devolved into one insensitive, disrespectful and dismissive remark from the mouth of an art school-coddled child.

Model Sitting, Edward Hopper:


On the other hand I could point the finger squarely at myself and wonder – in a wrenching exercise of humility – if I have, to some degree, worn out my welcome. In some circles that is, not all. Certainly not at Spring Studio, which is an exception in so many ways. Or I could wonder if I’ve lost the ability to let personal slights simply roll off my back, a skill I used to think I was pretty good at. Are my own insecurities and need for validation distorting my perceptions? Maybe. I don’t know. I wonder if I, as a 45 year old woman in New York City, am due once again for a “bob and weave” in life. Changing and adapting is the crucial key to survival as we all know. If you can’t bob and weave, you better learn.

The Model, Ilya Repin:


While my love of art and art modeling is intact, my disillusionment with the art community and some of its players has grown exponentially over the past year. But that’s my problem, nobody else’s. Nor can I say for sure that the frustrations of the art modeling business are to blame for the way I’m feeling now. The seeds of discontent are nebulous. They refuse to show their faces and announce themselves. We are dodging an unseen adversary. Well, maybe not an adversary. Maybe – just maybe – the rumblings of discontent are not adversarial at all, but a signaling force agitating with good intention. Maybe it is the spirit of growth trying to tell you something.

18 thoughts on “Spero Meliora

  1. Alan Appel says:

    Would you be willing to come to White Plains to model?

  2. coondude says:

    Don’t give up. You’re a superlative model and you just encounter jerks every now and then.

  3. Tom McGohey says:

    Ignore the rudie; heed Virginia Woolf: “But if we are so exacting as to demand who the best people are we become involved in a labyrinth from which there is no returning. Nothing exists in itself. What good is society? It is the society that the best people believe to be good. What is wit? It is what the best people think to be witty. All value depends on somebody elses opinion. For it is the essence of this philosophy that things have no independent existence, but live only in the eyes of other people. It is a looking-glass world, this, to which we climb so slowly; and its prizes are all reflections.”
    frm essay “Letters to Lord Chesterfield’s Son”

    • artmodel says:


      Thank you so much for this. Virginia Woolf provided many sharp insights through her writings. I will certainly heed her over the “rudie”! Thanks again.


  4. Bill says:

    Look, you’ve had a tough year — between the break-up and the break-in, it hasn’t been easy. You have to be a little nice to yourself, okay?

    BTW — do you have a Plan B in your back pocket? Even if it isn’t time for that “bob and weave” yet — and I suspect that it isn’t — it’s just nice to have a fall-back position.

    But here’s the good news . . . Summer’s coming! I’m going to put away my snow shovels soon.

    • artmodel says:


      The Nat King Cole totally put a smile on my face. Thank you!
      As for a Plan B, I can’t say that I have one that is well-defined or well thought-out. So in other words, no 😆

      What you said is true about the past 12 months being lousy in many ways. It’s beaten me down quite a bit. I just have to start climbing out with more vigor and determination.

      Thanks for your comments!


  5. Dave says:


    I hope the discontent fades soon. I can’t speak for NYC, of course, but the occasional annoyances I encounter here in Michigan do not seem to happen because anyone is trying to be rude or disrespectful but because of inadvertent thoughtlessness. Of course, it’s a lot easier for me to shrug off a slight because my livelihood is not at stake (I don’t know anyone here who models for a living).

    Here’s hoping that you have a string of great gigs where you get the respect and satisfaction you deserve.


    • artmodel says:


      I really appreciate your kindness and support. No question that modeling as one’s sole source of income and modeling as a part time supplement are very different things. Full timing is tough, for several reasons.

      Thanks so much for your comments. Always good to hear from you 🙂


  6. Derek says:

    G’day Claudia
    I sympathize with what you are going through and you are not old. Don’t say that. You are young and so full of life and you have so much to give for. I found a link so you can help yourself . You still have the body and soul of a 21 year old. You do some incredible poses like a floower and an angel. Don’t feel bad this shall pass. Anyway I found link for you to look at
    I never fancied the title but here are some schools that you may give it a go
    but feel free to check it out.. After all you are a young woman with so much to give for and so much talent, and a great inspirattion to us artists.


    • artmodel says:


      You are very kind to help me and express such warm, sympathetic support. Thank you so much. You’re probably right that this “shall pass”. These phases usually do. We’ll see. I’ll figure it out. Got a call today for an art modeling job this week and next, so that’s a start!


  7. Jennifer says:

    I read this last week but was unable to comment at the time, so it’s interesting to read the help that people have been able to offer, in terms of offering support but also some have been able to give you modelling jobs. That’s brilliant for the bank balance and also validation for your standing as an art model. But I suspect that still leaves a lot to deal with, that you’ve lost what sounded like a long-standing gig at a place where you could rely on regular work, simply because the booker has changed – and changed carelessly, if she’s not been made aware of who the normal models are. It sounds like this particular and important gig has unceremoniously ended. As a freelancer myself, I know only too well how this works, that you go over and above for a client over a number of years and then suddenly, you’re pushed aside – and as a freelancer, you don’t merit any kind of explanation. Or (in my line of work) the project manager changes and you’re just dropped, because the newbie doesn’t know who you are – which appears to be what’s happened to you. It’s scary stuff when you’re supporting yourself by freelancing, as you are.

    I’ve been reading Museworthy for six years or so and, strangely, one of the first posts I recall reading was about a problem with a booker, which clearly got sorted out and your career has gone on since then with very few hiccoughs and as a result you haven’t had to think too much about Plan B. But perhaps losing this regular booking is an indication that Plan B, whatever that might be, is now going to have to be thought about. I only know you through your writing, which is very skilled and eloquent, so perhaps you could consider trying to write some articles for magazines/newspapers. Still freelance and therefore unreliable, but it might supplement your income a bit. You clearly also have many other great loves, such as children, the environment and animals, so perhaps some regular work could be found there to supplement the life modelling – which of course all of us readers at Museworthy hope you will continue doing for many years to come!

    Bill is right – you’ve had a very tough year, with the break-up and break-in, and the last thing you need is to be dismissed by a snit of a girl who suddenly has too much power. I sincerely hope it’ll all work out for you.

    Thinking of you,
    Jennifer xx

    • artmodel says:


      I read your comments three times. They’re so thoughtful and helpful, thank you. I especially appreciate your empathy with freelancing and the unpredictable nature of it. You’ve been there and know firsthand, as I’m sure many other Museworthy readers do as well. We’re never really on solid ground not matter how much time and effort we’ve put in, or how good we are at what we do.

      I’m taking into consideration all yours and everyone’s advice offered in the comments and also in the wonderful emails I’ve received. Most of all, I’m taking comfort in your kindnesses.

      Thanks again, Jennifer 🙂


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