As artists, we’re collaborating with models constantly. Let’s look at the different types of models and how they add value to our own work.
Fashion modelBlessed with near perfect genetic hand, fashion models are an odd sort. If the fashion industry is any indicator, they’re not expected to do much more than stare straight ahead and look too stoned to speak. Underneath, there is a human being in there, but on the surface they put on the air of living furniture. A beautiful, human shaped decoration. To me, there sounds like no stranger and more distant existence.
If you want reference for a character whose appearance goes beyond the banal and everyday existence of mere mortals, you must look to fashion.
DancerSeeing a professional dancer in motion is challenging. The outer limits of the human physicality are almost too awesome to parse, so it’s easy to mentally edit out or reduce what we are really looking at.
Using a dancer as a model is challenging because they have the capacity to push their body beyond what’s ultimately believable in an illustration. However, they are indispensable as reference material because they demonstrate the true boundaries of how a person can express themselves physically. Both as anatomy reference and as action reference, they are indispensable.
MimeMimes are easy to make fun of or ignore. So, it’s easy for illustrators to hide the fact that they are secret mimes and that they have a deep respect for great mimicry.
Without stunny beauty or near impossible physic, Sarah Forde has made a reputation as a model on DeviantArt. As a model she brings something truly valuable to the table, she’s an accomplished mime!