January 24, 2011, I was featured in an article in the Kansas City Star Newspaper.
To the right is the article as it appeared in the printed paper. Below is the more easy to read text copied from webpage.
Posted on Sun, Jan. 23, 2011 10:15 PM
SO YOU WANT TO BE … A NUDE ART MODEL
Model Kent Van Dusseldorp knows the naked truth
By TIM ENGLE, The Kansas City Star
After Kent Van Dusseldorp turned 50, he wanted to shake up his life a little.
Did he buy a cherry-red sports car? Did he sign up for the Peace Corps? Did he enter a profession that requires him to get buck-naked in front of total strangers?
No, no and … well, yes.
That was about five years ago. These days, Van Dusseldorp, of south Kansas City, works steadily as a nude art model at area colleges, including the Kansas City Art Institute, the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the University of Kansas, as well as for artists’ drawing groups.
It just may be that you have the wrong idea about art models and what it’s like to be one. Here’s the naked truth from Van Dusseldorp, a onetime accounting and computer guy in the corporate world.
•You don’t have to be young, hot and ab-tastic. Art models run the gamut shape-wise and age-wise. What Van Dusseldorp, 56, brings to the sketch pad is a slim, toned, angular physique. He’s heard that his almost-bald head is an asset — makes it easier to draw.
A writer once described him as “hawk-nosed,” which he took as a compliment. Likewise with being told he resembles Gandhi.
•Don’t fixate on the nudity or think of it as exhibitionism. If you do, you’re probably not a good candidate to become a model. It took Van Dusseldorp some time to feel at ease modeling, and he still has occasional moments of “Oh, my gosh — I’m sitting here naked, and people are drawing me.” But it does help get him to the gym.
His thing is, he likes being around art and artists. And after all the hours he has spent standing or sitting or holding apples in classrooms, he has picked up a few tips — and started drawing. (He already had an artsy side; he’s also a graphic designer and photographer. And, since early 2009, a licensed massage therapist.)
•A sheet is an art model’s best friend. Van Dusseldorp takes two sheets (a light one and a dark one) to assignments. They can be used not only to recline on but also to cover up distracting backgrounds.
Other tools of the trade: a posing pad and, of course, a robe.
You never know where you might be changing, maybe a grungy restroom or a storage closet. He doesn’t make dramatic entrances; he usually arrives early and is in his robe by the time students show up.
•Strike a pose? There’s something to it. Limbs go to sleep, for one thing. And instructors might ask for specific poses, but Van Dusseldorp likes the creativity involved in coming up with his own. Typically, a model will hold a pose for a good 20 minutes. Classes usually run three hours, with breaks.
•The pay: $10 to $20 an hour. After reading an article about art models, Van Dusseldorp ran across a life drawing class in the Communiversity catalog. He called the teacher and asked about modeling. “Well, you aren’t weird or anything, are you?” the instructor said. That gig got the ball rolling.
And, yeah, maybe it is kinda weird, stripping down to your birthday suit in public. But it has helped Van Dusseldorp get over inhibitions and self-doubt. It has helped him accept his body, accept who he is.
“We all have bodies. What’s the big deal?” he says. “Why should the naked body be such a taboo thing?”
To reach Tim Engle, call 816-234-4779 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.