In the spotlight: Life as a nude figure model

In the spotlight: Life as a nude figure model

October 15
02:53 2015

Kyle Martin | Staff Writer

@Kyle_Martin35

Almost every art major at UNT is required to take beginner and intermediate figure drawing classes. Students learn how to correctly draw shapes, proportions and virtually every inch of the human body.

But they need bodies to draw, and that’s where Jared Friz comes in.

Friz, a computer science junior, has found his niche in nude figure modeling. He will walk into a room full of art students, disrobe and strike a pose. He allows students to inspect and draw every wrinkle, scar and dimple on his naked body from all angles of the room.

“You want to make it interesting,” Friz said. “You don’t just want to stand there.”

He is one of many figure models at the university who has applied and been selected as the subject for the art program’s figure drawing classes. The program looks for all different kinds of body types, seeking out the ones that are unique and interesting.

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Fritz poses for art students during a class on proportions. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

But being a figure model is no simple task. Poses can last anywhere from five minutes to an hour, and the amount of fidgeting must be kept to a minimum.

“If you’re going to be doing a 20-minute pose, don’t throw your arms over your head,” Friz said. “ They’d rather you do something slightly less interesting and not be fidgety and take a bunch of breaks.”

To preserve the integrity of the models, the program does not allow art majors to apply for the job. Friz is paid $15 an hour for his services, but he said nude modeling is more than a paycheck.

“What I think is important that makes you a good model, instead of someone just wanting to make a paycheck, is putting energy into your poses – wanting to be there,” Friz said. “You don’t want to dehumanize yourself, but [you have to] make yourself an object.”

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A finished drawing is turned in at the end of class after students sketched a nude model. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

Figure drawing classes are held twice a week, for three hours each session. Models circulate in and out of classes, and students will likely see a new model every other session, according to Friz.

New media junior Bethany Fout weighed in on what it’s like working with nude models in a figure drawing class.

“At first it could be a little awkward, but once you get more into it, it becomes an everyday thing. You get used to it,” Fout said. “It’s really professional.”

Out of respect and professionalism for the models, there are certain rules put in place. Models cannot be photographed or touched, and the door must be closed once a model has disrobed.

The lack of interaction between models and students can be a bit strange for everyone.

“It’s a weird thing to not make eye contact with a group of people you’re in front of,” Friz said.

Figure drawing professor Jill O’Brien points out that there is historical significance the university tries to tap into by using nude models.

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Practicing his proportions, an art student draws computer science junior Jared Fritz. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

“The biggest reason is that historically speaking, the nude figure has always sort of been the muse and sometimes may have been the idealized figure, if you look at Grecian statues” O’Brien said.

For Friz, there was more of a creative allure than historical appeal. The junior sees importance in inspiring and creating something from pure imagination and has found the ability to do that with figure modeling.

“This is a way for me to be a part of the creative process, and it’s very important for a person to be able to find that artistic, creative outlet,” Friz said. “Also, it’s fun. I enjoy the challenge, and it’s something new.”

Featured Image: Computer science junior Jared Fritz poses nude to help art students learn to draw better proportions. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

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