Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Essay Project: Models Responses (Melodye Joy)

Providing Models a space to speak in their own words their experience modeling artistic nudes:

Model: Melodye Joy
(Age: 23 , Regular Shoot: 1 times,  Nude shoots: 1 time before our first shoot. Has shot with me multiple times since 2007. Has since done 60 shoots - 22 times published.)

Nude Modeling; Cutting Edge or Cutting Ties?

For those who are not familiar with nude or implied modeling, you assume a model that chooses such a personal aspect of modeling career is a “porn star”. Am I close? Thought so. That is one man’s perception that somehow crept out into the world as the standard ideal of a nude model. 

Ancient artists drew nude figures, painted nude women, and constructed nude statues to capture a natural beauty that is within us all. Scholars praise these historical craftsmen and students fawn over their work. In today’s society, nude modeling has unfortunately become a misconceived notion that is cone sides with the porn industry. This is both true and false, depending on how you personally perceive the craft. 

Nude models are women who have built their career and for some, began their career in an artistic element. This nude modeling does not involve physical self-exploration, but a spiritual exploration and finding of ones self. For me, personally, nude modeling was a jumping off point into beauty & fashion. Being a petite woman, I did not think I would ever succeed in modeling. Having scars since birth, freckles on my face, wearing glasses…these flaws were always an eye sore (or so I thought). When my friend suggested I try modeling, I thought she had officially lost her mind! Me? Model? I laughed. But, something pulled me to look into the idea days later. The idea of being a model was foreign to me, and to this day, I’m not sure if modeling or acting enhances my nerves more? I have been blessed but never claim to make any money or a paid career of this business, it was just another way to remain creative and artistic…because we all know I can’t draw to save my life and any recording of my singing have already been buried deep in the back yard! LOL. 

My first experience in modeling was a nude/implied shoot in Downtown LA, on a rooftop no less! I was nervous, yet excited to begin my journey.  The photographer walked me through the concept, using creative light source and sheer fabrics as props. His kind wife was the makeup & hair stylist, which made my first shoot even more comfortable. I was never left alone with the photographer, never physically touched by the photographer, and never asked to perform any inappropriate act. This was all about the art, the artist & his muse. Those images, in fact, gained viewers and inquiries from beauty artists, fashion photographers & gained me three opportunities to walk the runway (which is rare for a petite model). 

About my 3rd experience in modeling, I came in contact with an artist/photographer, who enhanced the body in his nude pieces. The first time we shot, I traveled with my then boyfriend, who honestly, made the shoot more difficult and my focus less on the task. This of course, is something I later found out to be a deterring factor when someone inquires of collaborating with a model. However, in this case, the photographer enjoyed working with me and we worked on a few new projects together months later, this time without a personal distraction. He was patient while I prepared the first makeup and hairstyle and he had a separate room for changing or if on location, he had something to cover the area as I changed or undressed. I personally thought that was silly, seeing how I was going to be nude or implied nude anyway. But later, I understood. Even though our concepts were typically nude or implied nature, he remained professional. This of course, made the task not easier, but more calming. 
To date, peers and professionals alike have noticed our collaborative effort and we have each been recognized in print.  Aside from those accolades, I make use of what I have learned in nude modeling and pertain it to fashion, beauty and any creative concepts that may come along. Speaking of which…

Are the photos of myself nude or implied as such going to determine my career in modeling? Yes and no. Photographs that have been taken of me are in artistic form, accentuating my curves, my natural beauty. Photographers I have worked with in such a light have taken notes from those historical artists and used the body as a canvas, as a muse. Does that mean I should get every modeling gig, let alone TAKE every gig? No. I have been denied because of my portfolio, as much as I have been chosen for a particular concept because of that same portfolio. And just the same, I have declined work because some have assumed that because I did nude or implied modeling; I would do something of a sexual nature pertaining to say nudity. 

For some, this has become a lifestyle, which involves pornographic art, film, photography, & a closet of little clothing. And for them, that is okay. But we need to see that nude or implied modeling is NOT all pornographic. One could argue, why are we okay with a nude statue or painting but irked at a nude photograph or video? Is it because it is simply not human? After all, there had to have been a human in mind, wither physically posing for an artist or in ones mind as he chipped away the curves. I don’t agree with ALL nude modeling, nor do I agree that one need sacrifice their personal boundaries for a career in entertainment, fashion or modeling of any sort. I could go on and on, but I will simply end with this last few words….

I personally like all of the images I have taken that are of nude nature, however….

At the end of the day, modeling, like any art, is in the eye of the beholder. It is up to whom is viewing said art to determine its fate. 

By Melody Joy, petite model, actress, web designer & creative writer 

Do not copy or use any of the text here or herein without written consent. © Copyright 2013 Howard Hill. All Rights Reserved 

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