Skip to content

The Art of Modeling

Although the average person might not consider it so, modeling is definitely an art form. More specifically, a model is someone that is integrated into a work of art.

A model is someone that is integrated into a work of art.

When someone pursues an art degree in college there are two routes the would-be artists can take; one is commercial arts and the other fine arts. A commercial artist makes works of art to advertise products or services, and a fine artist creates works of art primarily for the purpose of being viewed and enjoyed in their own right.

Modeling could be divided into the same two categories. A model is either integrated into a work of art to help advertise a specific product or service, or they are simply the subject of a piece for the sake of art itself.

Both in visual art and in modeling, there are shades of grey between these two categories.

A magazine advertisement might be so aesthetically pleasing that without the lettering the image could stand as a work of fine art in its own right. In other words, the quality of the artwork isn’t the deciding factor by which a piece of art is placed into one of these two categories; the determining factor is what the work of art is used for.

Fashion Modeling

Probably the best know type of model is the fashion model. This is a type of commercial modeling where the intention behind photograph, runway show or video is to promote the clothing or accessories.

One of the most common misconceptions about modeling is that a person has to be a specific height and in a specific proportions range to be a model. In most cases, this is only true of a high-fashion supermodel. The measurement guideline for this type of modeling is set by the British Association of Model Agents (AMA). According to the AMA the ideal model is taller than 5 ft 8 inches and the ideal measurements are 34-24-34 (bust-waist-hips).

If you don’t come close to this ideal you might not make into the top New York fashion runway modeling realm, but what many people don’t know is that local fashion shows usually aren’t stringent about these measurements for runway shows.

Promotional Modeling

Promotional models are integrated into a work of commercial art for the purpose of promoting a product or service. The work of art could be type of media such as a magazine advertisement, a billboard, catalog, video, etc. or the work of art could be live show such as a convention, fashion show, etc.

Promotional models are integrated into a work of commercial art for the purpose of promoting a product or service.

If someone is interested in making some money from modeling, promotional modeling is probably the easiest type of modeling to find paid work.

Here we have attractive women manning the booths of conventions; often referred to as “booth babes”. There are models that stand in front of cars at car shows. At local events such as rock concerts models will often employed to man the merchandising booth and act as venders; called “running merch”.

Sometimes promotional models are hired to stand outside bars or clubs to draw in more customers or a promotional model can be hired to walk the streets and hand out fliers to help promote an event or concert.

Keep in mind that a fashion modeling is actually a type of promotional modeling.

Art Modeling

Art models pose for painters, sculptures, photographers and other artists as part of a work of art.

Models are sometimes employed for university art classes such as painting, figure drawing and sculpting. Sometimes as in a figure drawing class, the model may pose nude but other times not. When I took sculpture classes in college, a model was employed the entire semester to simply sit in chair and have her face sculpted. She was of course fully clothed.

Glamour Modeling

Glamour models are models posing for a work of art. The primary difference between commercial modeling and glamour modeling is that in glamour modeling, the model is the primary subject of the work of art – and in promotional/commercial modeling, the product or service is the primary subject of the work.

In glamour modeling, the model is the primary subject of the work of art.

Fashion models exist to exhibit clothes and even the bikini girl at the car show is trying to help draw more attention to the cars.

Glamour modeling put the emphasis on the model himself or herself, the model’s beauty or the model’s sexuality.

Here we have the posters of hot girls in a bikini lining college fraternity walls. Glamour models are featured in calendars, men’s magazines, posters, etc. We could also include here the fine artwork from master painters through out the ages of beautiful women.

Many glamour models are featured in men’s magazines and websites – such as Sport Illustrated, Maxim and GQ.  Some glamour modeling is of course nude or semi-nude. Playboy magazine for instance is best known for a style of photographer that could be a called a “glamour nude”.

There is a whole list of different types of modeling beyond the two basic categories of commercial and fine arts which I will discuss in the next article.

Mike Williams

Austin Fine Art & Glamour Photography

Leave a Comment