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NYC art-school models: Shjon

Nude and interviewed.

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?
Well, actually, I just kind of walked into it. I passed by a school and I went in and inquired about it, because it's something I had thought about doing for a while, and I just linked up with the model coordinator and that was it.

What does it take to be an art-school model?
It's not something everybody would be able to do. It definitely requires body confidence. You have to be able to be personable and good working around people. You also have to have respect for art and for the artist's vision, because not everybody is going to portray you in exactly the same way.

What do think about while you pose?
Sometimes I just zone out; it's just very relaxing. Sometimes I think about the next pose I'm going to do, so I think about the art books I've seen, and all the poses in them—and also, in comic books, weirdly enough. I used to read them a lot.

Oh? What was your favorite comic book?

Do you suffer from any job-related annoyances or discomforts?
I have high arches, so depending on the pose, my feet hurt sometimes, but very rarely.

What's the strangest thing that's ever happened to you while modeling?
Nothing much. I nodded off once. It was a drawing class at night, and I'd been running around all day, so I guess I was exhausted, because I fell asleep.

Did anybody try and wake you?
No! I think the students actually liked the fact that I was sleeping, and worked with that.

Have you ever felt objectified, standing there nude in front of total strangers?
Not at all. I never really learned to care about what other people thought of me, so it wouldn't really matter if someone felt that way because of what I do.

Has modeling changed you in any way?
It's definitely opened me up more to different views and meeting different people. But I wouldn't say that it's really changed me—just confirmed what I already knew about myself.

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