Life Modelling During the Coronavirus Crisis

I know many models are struggling and wondering what will happen to life modelling jobs.
First of all, if any of you are having issues with tutors or artists about not being paid for work you have been booked for, please let me know. I'll do what i can to help. Artists are in the same boat, don't forget. The arts 
industry is being decimated by this awful virus.

One piece of long awaited good news is that the self employed will now receive 80% of their earning averaged over the last 3 years. There are basic details here  and you should all also be emailed by HMRC. Basically, it's saying we can't apply yet and they will let us know when we can.
Can you please let me know if this will help you and what you are doing meanwhile. I know many of you have other jobs, but I'm imagining they may have been affected too. I'm trying to build up a picture of what is happening with life models, so I'll be really grateful if you can reply.

Another thing that is happening is that more and more artists are using online apps like Zoom and Skype to do classes and one on one work. Which is great! Please can you let me know if you are modelling for anyone doing this, how you are finding it and who the artists are. I'm also writing to all our artists to encourage them to work this way. And maybe you can contact artists you've worked with to see if they are working this way.

If you'd like to send me your stories of what you are doing to cope and how this is all affecting you, I might start a blog of them. No names mentioned, of course. I'd love to hear how you are doing!

Lastly, i know this is horrendously difficult, but we WILL get through this. There will always be art!

Be kind, stay safe


  1. When the government finally starts to make tentative moves to ease the lock-down, and allow the economy to start up again, there has to be a case for art to be an early candidate.

    The creative industries’ contribution to the UK economy is greater than those of the automotive, aerospace, life science and oil & gas industries combined. The sector includes advertising, graphic design, animation, video games and publishing – all of which use the services of artists and illustrators, and the models who work with them.

    It’s also the fastest growing part of the UK economy, so it needs the talents of newly graduating art students from institutions up and down the country. And all those students need the services of life models to help them learn how to draw the human form – so they can go on to craft the convincing super heroes, wonder women and humanoid aliens they may be expected to create at work.

    So, to suggest that life modelling is just an optional extra is plain wrong. It’s a vital contributor to the UK’s fastest growing sector.

    Of course there will still be a need for social distancing as parts of the economy slowly resume operations. But just because life drawing involves a nude model, that doesn’t mean that anyone’s health need be put at risk.

    Given a venue of reasonable size, it should be perfectly possible for the artists or students to keep a sensible distance apart from each other – and of course RAM codes of practice mean that no-one should be coming close to the model anyway.

    Finally, we need to have a care for people’s mental health as well as their physical safety. Everyone agrees that drawing and painting is a hugely therapeutic activity – especially when you can work in the company of other like-minded folk, with a skilled model to help you realise the vision in your head.

    So – for all our sakes – what about a campaign to ensure that art in general, and life modelling in particular, become early candidates for release from lock-down?

    Del Mikdit
    RAM member 4887


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