Art-school models: Ashleigh

Nude and interviewed, local art class models talk about what's it like being naked in front of strangers. TONY gets the bare facts on nude modeling.

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  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

Photograph: Marielle Solan


How did you get into art modeling?
The first time I modeled, I was about 20, living in a trailer park in Northern California. The guy in the next trailer was a comic-book artist and was looking for models. I grew up in a house filled with drawings of barbarian and warrior chicks because my dad was into old-school science fiction, so the image of a nude woman to me reflected those strong archetypes. I was comfortable with the idea starting out.

So you’ve modeled in different situations then?
You could say that. I was on the cover of one fantasy book, but they made me blond—a blond elfin princess. I also posed for comic books before, but mostly for friends and acquaintances. And I have been in some local drink-and-draw marathon groups, which incorporate music and costumes and some performance.

What goes through your head while you’re modeling?
I’m not one of those people who Zens out or removes their mind of anything. I might write a rap song in my head, or compose a letter to somebody, or analyze the previous day’s events. My eyes wander, sometimes, even though they’re not supposed to, and I check out the room and the people in it. It’s really a good time to meditate. It’s easy to get too busy to slow down and have time to think, so being able to stand still gives you an excuse to do just that.

What kind of rap songs do you write?
Well, it’s not my preferred medium. But I might write one about Joyce or something like that. Or a love song. The point is that all types of stuff could be going through my head, like strange alternative ideas for products.

What do you do when you’re not modeling?
I occasionally take a graduate course in art therapy. I already have a certificate and I did an internship a few years ago. Taking other people through the process of creating something, rather than just dwelling upon their problems, is really quite fulfilling, but also draining. I’d actually like to have time to do more art and sculpture projects, and to do more writing.

Has anything strange or embarrassing ever happened to you while modeling?
Not so much embarrassing. I sometimes work at a community college, and there are definitely people there who seem like they’ve never seen a girl before. It’s a diverse  place with people from all types of religious backgrounds. One time, there was a guy with a big cross who kept praying. I don’t know what he was saying, but I have a feeling he was seeking absolution for drawing a nude female.

What makes a good art model?

Obviously being able to stay in the same pose for 20 minutes, and being able to remember it or get back into it. Some people have muscle memory, and can just go right back into the same pose. It’s also good to be flexible.

What do people say when you tell them you’re a nude model?
I like what I do and feel proud of it, but have learned to have a certain filter. I don’t want to unnecessarily provoke a negative reaction. One time, a guy asked me how I felt about being in a socially unacceptable profession. He followed that up with, “You know, you look good enough to be onstage”—meaning, why are you doing this when you could be a stripper?

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Users say

4 comments
Peter T
Peter T

I would like to model

James A
James A

Very very nice. She's absolutely beautiful. Interestingly, I've been fantasizing about MILFs alot lately, and this totally hit the spot...

Tara Ashleigh
Tara Ashleigh

Some of the quotes on here were actually misquotes, but it doesn't make for a bad article ;)