Expected behaviour while attending a life drawing session

Refrain from commenting on the models’ body

Do not use objectifying language around a models’ physical appearance/gender presentation. As tempting as it may be to comment, or compliment a model on their body, we recommend you refrain from doing this.

Don’t say:Instead, try:
Wow, you look great have you lost weight?Wow, you seem really happy.
I much prefer to draw models like you with a few curves, not like those skinny models.I enjoy drawing you. You’re so expressive/still/professional.
Are you a man or a woman?“Hi, my pronouns* are [e.g. she/her, he/him, they/them], what are your pronouns?”

*A pronoun is a word that substitutes for a noun or noun phrase. Generally they are used in place of a person’s name, e.g. she/her/her, he/him/his, they/them/theirs etc. Some models are trans or gender diverse, including non-binary (usually they/them). If you ask a model for their pronoun, please be prepared to honour them and use the terms the model has stated.

Never touch or approach the model when they are posing

Unless they have specifically asked you to, never touch a model when posing. Wherever possible, we ask you to refrain from walking around the drawing room while the model is posing. It is not only disconcerting to have people moving around, especially behind you, but can create drafts making it unpleasant to model.

No photography

In most cases, it is not okay to photograph the model, whether clothed or nude. Please refrain from taking photos of your work until the model is robed or no longer posing.

Be courteous and kind

Models and artists alike are human beings. A model is not a mannequin that can be posed in any which way. Being a life-model is a difficult job, and is influenced by many things including how well, energetic, creative, and safe the model feels in the class. Whatever you can do to create a sense of safety and professionalism is appreciated.

Be professional

Regardless of any relationship you may have outside of the drawing room, when posing, the model is there to do a job. As with any other professional service, try to keep interactions courteous, without being overly familiar.

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The Life Models' Society (LMS) is a collective of artists' models. We were formed in 1989 to provide a means for life models to get to know each other, and as a support group to standardise rates of pay and to improve our working conditions. Although we do not have the resources to act as a booking agency, we publish a list of available artists' models which is sent to all our subscribers, and updated several times a year.

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