In 2009 we already felt there was a need for auditioning in a fair way when some were already charging Life models to be able to work in the UK, so we Started something never heard of before that I was hoping would attract the attention of TV and radio again, which was Best Life Model Election on that year.
Those were the days where the Art education world stood still. This was the first events of the kind where dozens of models would be posing separately and together as a Tableau vivant. I'm sure a few models do remember and smile remembering.
We were using our biggest venue until then and the most unlikely to have been suitable, "The El Paso Cafe" on Old street were we had up to 75 artists there on such occasions.
This was happening after a few years after I rose the wage of Life models from £3.20 to £10 which led to having thousands of people wanting to life model when before it was dozens.
We had an election for 3 years and also had a life model group and agency where we would not dare to exploit the models. Because I was responsible for this change I was spending time training and educating them on what classes were expecting but also how to deal with private modeling. Unfortunately this didn't help my relation with those who were trying to make a living out of them and still today. A few models occasionally get coerced to defame a few people including us so they can only maybe get offered a few jobs. This will never stop and I'll never stop improving whatever I'll get involved in. That's just me.
What have I heard recently that will gives you an idea of the huge problem: Someone found a Job ad of mine on FB and messaged me to say that she reported me because someone told her that I allow Artists to record Life models against their will. Hahaha! All our models have to sign a Video and photo model release or we cannot record anything and they do because video is part of our world now and will stay that way. In the past I had so many problems with artists at in person classes that I had to let go even long term regulars as they filmed without asking. Recently I stopped someone from using a recording of one of our artists, not even a model, in clothes and heavily insisted as absolutely everyone has to agree to be filmed. So this person who happily reported me heard from a model who needs work from the other model agency group and by defaming automatically and completely the model would just hope to be useful even in the long term, anonymously and if anything would happen in their favor they'd then say "I did it" to hopefully get a job or two. All very tricky, not clever but simply ruthless/nasty competition (which they never were). This is what has been happening for about 10 years on a regular basis for not just trying but for changing our Art World for good. Thank you for the hundreds of passionate Artists who still follow me and simply enjoy this new Art World like myself with headphones on so they never hear this worse than worst possible behavior, that even the Police/justice cannot fix.
I may Start a page for those who enjoy horror film and stories and give all details of what has been happening for 12 years in Fact when my Facebook account was automatically reported no matter what it was, so that Facebook didn't have a choice but to close them 4 times, until someone there, years later, realized the conspiracy theory... I wouldn't read this page after 4 pm on any day :)... Let's see if we have a demand for Horror, but real, stories here, send me a private message... Now you know why our World and economy is stuck to the ground, I can explain another time :). When I say our economy, it means that even being French originally, I have become British with time and would do my bit wherever I am, except that France would have been ten times harder and maybe impossible, just don't know, but knowing the French system well enough, that my opinion.
Now, we are going from a system, that was allowed to prevail, where Art schools and Art teachers, even a few Artists would pay a regular membership so that they could occasionally benefit from having FREE Life models to audition, to the fairest of all system where at the end of every class we run with a highly paid model (recently raised their minimum wage again to £20/h), where anyone has the chance to show and prove that they are reliable and able to do a great job.
In fact we encourage other schools and Art teachers around the globe to allow auditionees to come for that before or after their paid Life model at Online classes. No more scared, trembling, shaky, exploited Life models having to pay to work and audition and even having to travel to audition, what a disgrace this was and still is... Please share this with models and anyone who need to know that this is now in the Public sector/knowledge so no need to pay and get coerced anymore. The sun is now shinning again. If you are a journalist please talk to me before doing anything as Authorities are also involved.
No matter what let's continue doing our bit for our Art World and for people desperate for work, money who need a chance to show themselves.
This can also turn into something new and that could change everything again so let's hope you see what needs to be done...
Good Old Tony.