By Ginger Brown, Liberal Arts
THE CROFT/ Ginger Brown pushes themself beyond their comfort zone through modelling for life drawing classes and advocates for artistic self-confidence.
I have long been seduced by the idea of confidence, and for years have insisted upon stretching my comfort zones in pursuit of boldness. From a young age, I crafted ‘confidence experiments’: silly tests that felt radical in the moment, such as wearing baggy jeans instead of skinny ones during GSCEs (I very nearly went home to change). Nowadays, it is far more difficult to shock myself. This year I participated in every scary thing I could think of, from pole-dancing to polyamory – experiments which are often mistaken as more scandalous than empowering.
The first time I life-modelled, I arrived twenty minutes late to a room of artists waiting impatiently. This is because I wasn’t meant to be the model – only a dedicated drawer. My devotion to life-drawing meant I couldn’t let a room full of fellow artists go without a body to interpret… so logically, I dropped my pants. The experience was incredibly empowering, and surprisingly fun. I danced around the room, lovingly forced to accept myself.
Life-drawing, like many of my other pursuits, is often wrongly assumed to be of a mostly sexual nature. I’m frequently asked if it is difficult to separate nudity and sexuality, both in the context of drawing and modelling, and am taken aback each time. Like all of my favourite things, life-drawing focuses on confident self-expression. More obviously as a model, but also distinctly as an artist under a one-minute time limit, for example. With each life-drawing session, attendees painstakingly learn that quick, dramatic strokes are entirely necessary in order to finish before the next pose while also emulating the dynamism of the breathing form in front of them.
A misconception arises when activities that focus on boldness and self-acceptance are seen as sexual instead of simply empowering. I find that the only sexual aspect of a life-drawing environment, believe it or not, isn't the boobs – it's the confidence present in the room. So experiment. Because no embarrassment is worse than regret.
Featured Image: Ginger Brown