Today I had the privilege of sitting down with Anne of the fantastic London Drawing to pick her brains about art, life drawing and body confidence and appreciation. Enjoy!
A huge part of London Drawing’s work focuses mainly on Life Drawing. What specifically attracted you to this type of art?
I took part in my first life class at the age of 15 and I was hooked straight away, the body is an endlessly fascinating subject and for me was the perfect subject – I didn’t really feel compelled to draw anything else. Plus there is the human side to it – drawing a fellow human being is a naturally interesting thing to do.
As an artist and organiser of these events, how would you describe the relationship between artist and model?
It can be lots of things depending on the people involved but there is an intimacy involved of course: a mutual respect, a model allowing an artist to observe them is a privilege and as a result, there is a mutual respect and acceptance between the two people as well as an exchange of creativity. It’s also sometimes a mundane thing for lots of people, it’s not a big deal to take their clothes off and for the artist, it’s not a massive thing to draw them: but there is always an exchange.
I was pretty late to the Life Drawing party I must admit a) because I never thought of myself as an artist and b) because I felt hugely uncomfortable about being around other naked bodies because, in hindsight, I was so uncomfortable with the relationship I had with my own. In your experience, do you think this is common?
I think a lot of people do have a difficult relationship with their bodies – even those who do a lot of life drawing and who life model have things they may feel uncomfortable with but I think within a life
drawing setting there is a lot more acceptance and people are probably a lot less critical simply because they come into contact with a lot of bodies and body types and you have to be ok with that to observe
properly and draw and also to take your clothes off and be observed.
How do you think the world of art, and specifically, life drawing can help support the movement continue to grow momentum?
It is definitely already helping as there is a big movement towards life drawing in schools as a method of tackling body image issues and acting as a counterbalance to the way, the body is depicted in popular culture.
And finally Anne, as an artist, woman and all-around awesome human being, what would be your one message to the many men and women out in the world who are deeply struggling with the relationships they have their bodies?
In the words of RuPaul, ‘If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?’ It’s a bit of a cliche but it’s so true – you only get one life and it starts right here right now 🙂 there is a world of freedom out there and it’s yours. The more you explore it in whatever seemingly small way, the more you find people to cheer you on!
I can highly, highly recommend checking out Anne and her wonderful Life Models in action at one of London Drawing’s events. There are a good few on every week so make sure you drop in as it is such a beautiful environment to express yourself and be witness to others expressing themselves too. I know for me, getting comfortable with the Life Drawing and Modelling environment played a huge part in me becoming so much kinder, more loving and accepting on my own body. Find out more about London Drawing here.
Are YOU ready learn to love your body in an entirely new way and create the freedom to live a life you love because you’re no longer fixated on that endlessly repetitive question of “how do I look” and “what do others think when they see me?” If yes, then join me this September for the I Love My Body! Coaching Programme. There is ONLY 1 SPACE remaining!
Find full programme details here: I Love My Body! Coaching Programme.
Photo credits: London Drawing