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WHO ARE THE PROFESSIONAL MODELS?

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Recently modeling has been singled out as a get-rich-quick profession. Since the main push worldwide is to amass personal monies, modeling has taken on a whole new reverence. International arenas are encompassing artists' models, runway models, photographic models, promotional models, television and video models, and showroom models. The entire gamut covers every age and every ethnic group. Basically, anyone is a potential model. Artists and photographers enlist a wide range of models in all sizes and shapes. And if you are truly determined to be a professional model, you probably will find some work in one capacity or another. Commercial artists work with the tiniest babies to the most aged grandparents, with the thinnest to the most corpulent bodies, and with the entire spectrum of ethnic backgrounds.

ARTISTS' MODELS

Sitting for an artist entails being a figure or a face that inspires that artist's creativity. What appeals to the artist's taste or is needed to depict a certain idea will dictate what is required in the live model. Every body type and age group is included as the artist seeks inspiration.



Artists' models often start working in local art schools or for private painters, sculptors, or photographers as children. Sometimes it is the parent's wish that the child start working to make an income that will be used later for a specific reason, like education. At other times, the youngster is the one desirous of an early career. Working for an artist gives valuable training in discipline while teaching the model a bit about color, line, and style, if they are at all observant. The work entails holding a given pose for approximately five minutes, and then, after a short break, the pose is resumed. This can be very tedious to most individuals, and it is a very good test of potential patience for a future in modeling. If you are bored beyond belief, you'll not only have a tough time as a model regardless of the earnings, but you will not be a good model to the artist.

In addition, you will have to be available until the artistic rendering is completed, and that could be as short as a few hours or as long as a few months. Your patience and professionalism are critical, as many artists have that infamous artistic temperament. If you want the job, you'll have to be the one to comply, as most artists have very powerful personalities and strong convictions as to how their art will progress.

Art schools currently hire few, if any, child models, as they often have little discipline. However, you could find individual work or employment in some art schools for child students.

Most artists' models are between seventeen and seventy-five years of age. It is demanding work, but many choose to be associated with a talented artist as they enjoy the pleasure of feeling connected with the creation itself. Work can be found where artists gather, such as art schools, private galleries and studios, and classes held in art museums. You must contact these directly and follow their directions as far as getting an interview or an actual try out in front of a group of art students. There is also work to be found at college and university art and photographic classes. One job always leads to the next, so if you are mainly interested in remuneration from the modeling work, a little ingenuity goes a long way. The fashion institutes hire many models, and here is where the need becomes more specific. A female model must have the current fashion figure as well as poise and perhaps a bit of individual character. Often she must supply her own fashion wardrobe used in the model-sketching classes. Illustration classes also demand the model use her own wardrobe.

The pay scale in the New York area is around $10 an hour at the lowest level for the art schools and around $20 an hour for illustration classes. Different types of schools and individual artists pay varied scales as well. You will have to decide what you need and can afford to live on.

ILLUSTRATORS' MODELS

Illustrators are a special kind of artist used often in the fashion field to depict a more aesthetic face and figure than nature ever intended. For example, in our perversity, we like to see women who have no hips and look unnaturally thin. Somehow we think that clothing looks better on a creature unlike 99 percent of us because we are so unattractive. Well, this is where the illustrator comes in. He or she can and does make a drawing of someone taller than a tree and skinnier than a strand of angel hair pasta. Isn't it amazing to see the human model who sat for this rendering become stretched out like the reflection in a fun house mirror? There is a long established department store in New York City that has employed fashion illustrators for more than two decades for all of its advertisements. You don't have to look at the store's name to identify it as its style of illustration has become its trademark-a form of advertising in itself.

As a model to a fashion illustrator, you will be paid very well. Some illustrators pay in the hundreds, while famous ones pay models thousands of dollars for a layout. If a celebrity model is used, her enormous pay scale would be met here as well. Some illustrators work from a photograph of the model, while others like to use the live model to view the different angles and present several renditions to the client. It is often believed to be quite prestigious to work with the world's top fashion illustrators as they are recognized artists and their work is very respected.

PROMOTIONAL MODELS

As you wend your way through hundreds of these live models who are selling everything from cosmetics to cars, you will be aware of one of the fastest-growing areas in the modeling world. The huge makeup companies were the first to see the potential for larger sales by having the model wear the products and also personally hawk the items. The department stores in New York City alone engage hundreds of these promo models every day. Most of them are not subtle in their approach. With atomizer in hand and free gift-with-purchase enticements, you are inundated with hordes of these models. So much selling has come to be done in this manner that the ranks now entail live models as well as promotional personnel. But the model is expected to be more the image or illusion that the company is trying to establish with the use of its product.

Sporty men, too, are seen in the employ of the clothing/ perfume makers for men. They wear some costume to link them to the product's theme and try to catch your attention with their attire and giveaways. The employment level here is still very much on the rise. Even the most humble of the clothing manufacturers now are promoting perfumes, where the big money really is to be made.

Annual promotional shows like the ones held at the Jacob Javit's Center in New York City also hire live models. These shows are seasonal and pay better than most other promotional modeling due to the very short period of work. As you can see, some verbal skill is required here. You may do as little as answer questions about a yacht that you are babysitting, or you may need to know every minute detail about a canned speech. Whatever the client needs, you'll have to be flexible enough to provide. It is not unusual now to be on some sort of commission as well as a salary if you are a promotional model. In general, this type of model is hired as new products need to be presented to the public-by week or month. A ballpark figure is around twenty dollars to several hundred dollars an hour for a very chic product promoted by an up-and-coming model. Benefits could ensue if you became the prime spokesperson/model for a specific product. You could find yourself with many big perks and great connections vis-a-vis the lowly promo job. So don't pass it by even if your heart is set on the more glamorous modeling areas. They could still come about while you're earning your way doing product presentations.

To land a promotional modeling job, contact companies and department stores that you'd like to work for. They will guide you in the right direction.
 
GARMENT OR FIT MODELS

The area around Seventh Avenue between the high twenties and the low forties in New York City is known as the garment district. It is within this section that nearly all the high-priced clothing made in the United States will be produced. The names that you recognize as "designer" manufacturers will be found here. It is very common for a pattern maker to select one girl for that house's size for its sample. The sample size varies with the desires of the American woman to shrink mentally while remaining the same size physically. This results in the strange phenomenon of sizes that zoom up in girth though the actual number remains the same. Men's clothing is not prone to this problem.

The fit model is usually about five feet nine inches tall and weighs about 118 pounds, ideally. This allows for a large variety in length of the torso and dimension of rib cage, bust, and hip. If you are seeking work as a fit model, look in the employment section of local newspapers.

Garment district establishments manufacture every kind of clothing imaginable from infant clothing to sportswear. They advertise seasonally and are usually looking for young female models as women are the greatest consumers of clothing in the country. Everything is modeled, from undergarments to evening gowns, so there are plenty of job opportunities.

This is not glamorous work as the employers are often brusque or shockingly demanding. If you are well mannered, it might be a rude shock to you to work here, but it can be an experience that will help you assess your depth of desire to seek a modeling career. It is steady, pays the rent, and the good part is that if you can stand the pressure here, you can stand it anywhere. Jobs are generally by the week and pay approximately $100 to $150 per hour.

Seventh Avenue modeling is most beneficial if you can get work where you respect the designer and want to learn the ropes. Some girls are clever enough to make the leap from showroom to runway at the time of the seasonal presentations. It's rare but not impossible.

PHOTOGRAPHERS' MODELS

Here is the most desirous job in the industry. The women who have reached the pinnacle of modeling are all in this category. These are the now fresh-faced preteens who are astounding themselves with their quarter-million-dollar-a-year salaries. They arrive in the largest cities in droves with fame and fortune on their minds. The competition has never been more fierce, nor the ladder more slippery. Modeling has become the new road to riches for the eagerly independent, young neophyte.

A potential career in modeling has become so alluring to youngsters and their parents alike that we are now experiencing a frenzy to reach that goal. Modeling conventions have popped up all over the country and Canada; their fees, which are often in the thousands, make these popular events a gold mine for promoters. Young men and women believe that if they pay their way in they will be discovered. Unfortunately, only a handful out of a thousand will even get a callback, let alone a contract. A contract with any agent does not even guarantee you a modeling career! Open call by the agents themselves show that one in a thousand is given a callback.

Some wannabes have been persistent enough to go to one agent after another if rejected, and that would seem sensible enough. It would appear that with the given statistics, it might be best to just go to every open call that you can and leave your face-and-figure shot. Even young men are now in here battling their way to the agencies. It is obvious that the expectation, or even just the hope of success, will float the youngster. Great sums of money have been made by the super-divas, six and a half million to one celebrity for her year's efforts. But it is very unlikely that you're going to get the gold at the end of the great runway. So do try to be realistic. Years ago there simply was no celebrity associated with the modeling world, and thus there was less crazed competition even for the smallest job.

The photographic model includes everyone from the baby in diapers to the high-fashion mannequin in the international marketplace. Catalog work is still among the most common bread-and-butter work for all ages, sexes, and ethnic groups. There is a huge boom in the mail order catalog business, and it has and continues to guarantee many jobs for models. The pay starts at around $150 per hour and goes up, depending on your fees commanded by the agency.

"Real" people are used in many catalogs now as opposed to a few years back, when, for example, a totally unbelievable scene showed a buxom blond hand-mowing the lawn.

There are also "part" models that are not a totally salable package. They may have perfect teeth for a toothpaste commercial, an elegant and long leg for a stocking ad, or luxuriant hair for a shampoo clip. You can see how many niches there are in the photographic area of modeling. All of them pay exceedingly well, and many give you an introduction to the next job.

Photographic work is available in the smallest town to the most sophisticated city. There is a recent upswing of work in Texas and Canada in particular, as they enter the fashion world more fully. The number of modeling agencies in these two areas has tripled in the last ten years.
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