Standing in front of a group 30 people, a mix of familiar faces and strangers. Completely nude. 25 minutes into a 30 minute pose. Eyes closed, focused on breathing.
Iana is a regular participant of a live model drawing group at McGuffey Art Center in Charlottesville Virginia. Usually the model, and sometimes as a drawer, she has a unique perspective on the powerful environment that can be created when a group of artist come together on a regular basis to create art. We spoke one day after photographing and filming one of her modeling sessions on the power of creating art, from the perspective of the model.
Editor's note: The following story is in the artist's own words, excerpted from one-on-one interviews.
It's an Epic Story
Anyone’s creative process has an epic story to it, there’s something really grand about (thinking), I have this idea, what am I going to do with it, where are my limitations, where are my strengths, can I do this thing that I’m trying to do. Any artist has that inside themselves pretty frequently, so to be in a room full of people with that process going on, it’s kinda like a support group a little bit. In a similar way support groups foster camaraderie, it’s like that with artists sometime, the desire to create art can feel like an affliction, but the most awesome affliction ever!
Drawing from a Live Model
When you’re drawing a live model, there’s something about it,
Because there’s…A soul in front of you, someone breathing
There’s something about somebody breathing, Emanating heat
You’re getting to know them just by being around them
Time is passing and they are changing right before your eyes
The dynamism of life, as it effects the human body,
Is right there in front of you, and there’s an emotional correlate to that
That you feel about yourself, something about the emotional aspect of it
That’s what makes it unique
You feel an emotional request being made by the presence of this being
That has been born and is going to die, that is being vulnerable.
It’s an emotional experience.
There’s something about
how slow the process is
When someone draws you,
or someone paints you
How many choices are made
It’s very magical,
it’s like weaving a spell
The soul interaction is very deep
You never know how someone is going to render you. An artist will blend you with themselves, you’ll see features of them mixed with features of you… and then, sometimes, you get those moments where they capture something about you that you never saw in yourself. Suddenly you realize that this self that you are walking around with is more than what you perceive….you think your life is grand and mysterious and complicated, but to realize that how someone else is seeing you adds to that even more