Art Modeling as a Career Path

There are so many different ways to be a model, and now more than ever, there is room for everyone in the modeling industry. One type of modeling that is a good fit for every adult model no matter what kind of shape or size they are is the oldest form of modeling: live art modeling!

Exactly What Is Art Modeling?

Art modeling involves posing for an art class and its students or, you can pose for a single artist interested in painting or drawing the human form. A live model is an invaluable resource for an artist learning to create portraits, which is a very challenging skill to acquire. Art modeling can be not only an excellent way to get comfortable with the act of modeling but also a good way to earn money—especially if you’re working towards your bigger career goal of being a fashion or runway model.

Art modeling is also an excellent option for confident people who can stand still in front of a group for a long period of time. If you’re not comfortable, or confident, in front of crowds, then leaving the comfort zone and putting yourself out there will help you gain the confidence you need to work in front of others.

Of course, there is one big catch: art modeling often requires nudity, but by no means does that mean it’s always a requirement. And, art modeling—especially when done in a professional setting such as an art class at a reputable school—is almost always done tastefully. Also, many art models can remain clothed, or partially clothed, so if nude art modeling doesn’t sound like something you could or would do, don’t discount art modeling altogether.


One of the greatest benefits of art modeling is all body types and ages are accepted. Art models are essential elements in art classes where students are learning how to draw live figures, but models also benefit in the process. If you haven’t made it big in the modeling world and are looking for ways to make extra money, art modeling makes a lot of sense—and looks good on your resume. It’s a much better fit than waiting tables, for instance. Most art models working in an art class are paid between $20-$30 an hour, and sessions tend to last at least three hours.

Poses are held for five to twenty minutes, and models are given small breaks in between. If you are modeling for a photographer or single artist, you will generally be paid more, but may be required to pose for longer periods at a time.

Finding Work

If you’ve decided art modeling might be a good option for you, there are a few different ways to find work. One of the best ways is to check job boards for ads looking for models for local art classes. Of course, you’ll need to do your research about the ad and make sure it’s from a credible source. If you don’t find any ads after searching online, call local art studios, local colleges, and art schools yourself and inquire about getting hired as an art model.

Ask a lot of Questions

Before you accept a job as an art model, there are a few critical questions you should ask. First, you will need to know if it is a nude or clothed art modeling job because you don’t want to be blindsided. You will also want to know how much you will be paid, how long the session will be, how often you get breaks, how many people are in the class, and which poses will be required of you.

While art modeling likely won’t become a full-time career, it can still be a great part-time job and will afford you a lot of flexibility. You’ll also learn to pose like a pro while also becoming more comfortable modeling in front of people, both of which are essential skills for models.