To be able to work with any Model or Life model we need to establish a situation of Trust and inform them on what they absolutely need to know such as the Life Drawing scene where we are based for the last 17 years here in the UK.
Because something has gone slightly weird there for the last 10 years and going worse everyday we thought you should know as much as possible so you can decide to work with us and even help the situation or simply leave it there and see what will happen next.
Everything you'll ever need to know since 2003:
2003: I started the first truly Drop in Life Drawing class in the UK, made classes £4 when they were £12 and a few month later tripled all Life models wages.
2004 from 1 class a week started to grow to 2/3 classes with the help of Gumtree but made a lot of enemies but mainly one.
2005: My original name which is Tony James Picanco, could not be used any longer on FB as someone was systematically reporting everything. I opened a new account and called it Tony James Picano, same thing happened again, then Tony Pianco, same again, then Tony Picano, finally in 2006, when I also spoke to facebook explaining that some criminal activity, business related was happening so the left my account alone until today. Those people have possibly tried all tricks possible to have me banned again. In fact I found out in 2010, I think that it was only one person who ran the Life model agency we all know who really tried everything already with the help of whoever would help in exchange for a job or two.
This was the time when I was regularly appearing on Tele and Radio as for me the only way was up, only trying to save Life drawing classes from guaranteed extinction.
At first many colleges and schools nearly reacted as I even noticed some coming to spy Live at some of my classes, but they realised, I suppose, that i wasn't there to pose myself as a Business threat at all. That's all they were concerned about and in fact all of them took advantage of this mini revolution, such as Central Saint Martins or later The Princes Foundation on Charlotte road.
This enemy I made that will continue her deeds because she thought she had to help her clients the big schools, continued and never stopped until today. She simply did her best possible intelligence job when on my side nothing was planned, plotted, seen as a business at all and I was simply enjoying the success or fixing a huge problem.
While she was hoping to find a way she realized that by tripling the Model's wages I 20X their amount, she decided to make a business out of it by originally charging Life models little for her service of sending them to jobs with schools as they weren't many independant classes in London apart from mine which soon changed as well. Now she had about 4 to 500 models who were also in my books X5. Unfortunately I couldn't offer work to thousands of models every week so she took advantage again and improved her website a bit, lied publicly saying she raised Life models wages.
Now came the time in 2009 possibly, when they were about 20K people in my books who just wanted to draw, the seed was planted. What grew was 1, 5, then 10, then 20, then 50 of my members started their own classes wherever I wasn't able to get to as I simply could not stretch anymore. Some where friends who one day became business enemies and still are. A cash Industry was born, and good old innocent, bohemian, friendly, Artistic Way of life Died for me.
Everyday members would come to me at every class, go for a drink afterwards and tell me their wishes for all sorts of classes that I didn't come up with yet as I love the inventing part of my job.
Some ideas were classical some weren't such as Boudoir Life Drawing. Simply because I come up with The Burlesque concept, some with non artistic motives came up with Erotic concepts but I wasn't too keen as I do not believe in mixing Adult commercial stuff with Art, never was and never will be for classes. Privately is different as whatever goes privately anywhere and everywhere in our world between men together, hetero or women together. After months of asking and insisting because a very succesfull business was nearly doing it and suddenly stopped called "Rodinesque". I finally agreed to try couples interaction as Love to capture but not just for Artists but also for Photographers and videographers so all creators were invited, no more taboos about Love for Art.
Unfortunately things went a bit weird after the session where about 40 people came and had a great creative time. You can guess that the models were spoken to and scared by this model agency who used words to their maximum power to scare them and be provided with emails and messages. Finally she could make this as an Adult Porn performance that is a big nono in the UK when it wasn't. She finally had the leverage to get her chance of getting rid of a problem that would not go. She extracted emails, messages, texts from dozens of life models who trusted her authority, still do and put together a mini dossier and contacted Meetup.com. She knew that I was the first to strat Life Drawing there with huge success, so she hoped that would be the end of it. On a cold blue morning in 2009, with help of retired lawyer who spent the previous 10 years modeling nude for free with her. Meetup simply didn't have a choice as they would not allow Porn, again I was hoping to keep away from that. They closed 5 years of hard work, 12 groups, 40K members in an instant. I obviously regretting trying to please my audience as a man who grew up in the 60's/70's. Without her trying to grow her business and reputation, nothing would have happened that I am going to explain now. I would have gone more and more succesfull, would be running an Art school, which I tried to open in Netil House in east London. Huge things would have happened, creative buildings would have been built as I can do that, this would have travelled around the globe.
Unfortunately this person, who was a Life model, who took the job nearly by force, who advertises herself as agressive feminist, publicly calling men Dogs was simply the bad luck nobody needs...
Now Meetup people know everything about it and know that this wasn't what it was made to look like so we are friends now. Luckily because I felt the wind was turning I created a separate Network to prevent anything bad like that to happen. WHich is what happened with the Life Drawing Society I was running on a website on Ning platform where I manage to bring about 10K members before this happened. SInce dozens of classes florished only run by female organizers with erotic style also on the edge of Porn. This woman would obviously help them with models if needed.
Now she nearly succeeded and had to raise the bar. SO using her succes with meetup, she would then start asking other female models to help her get rid of her problem finally and they would simply send private messages to members of the Network. Luckily Ning allows for closing the access most of the time but about 400 members left, maybe another 1000 were contacted but knew me well enough. Now what happened next is that this new 200 classes competition I created would pull those 9.6K members to their own classes and this women would again take advantage and provide models to them as well as trying to become their buddies.
By then she had so many Life models in her books that from seeing a few of those ex-members of mine, succeeding with busy cash led classes, why couldn't she do the same thing and so she did using the cheapest hall in London in Islington and made herself into an Art teacher using life models in her books to never ever pay for models and with mainly a 100% female Artist attendance.
By then I was obviously running less classes as my members were lost in Nature but started Office classes as I was the only one doing it. This woman having problems to just about survive with her Islington class, decided to use male Life models I used regularly because they were muscular and she came up with the idea of Hen Life Drawing classes, all by herself. Except that they were a disaster with clients complaining afterwards to the models about how strict and rude she was with the model, so not much fun.
Those models asked me to start my own with the most hilarious and entertaining ideas that would never be anything adult/porn.
So I was then running more classes than her, had better models, took over classes she couldn't do, so she went really hungry. She would then start to teach offices and cut the price of Hen Life drawing by sending Male models with the equipment they'd need to pick up, without any teacher or instruction, This was anger and desperation as now competition was huge also for me with people who saw the new golden egg industry. Now people had teams and proper websites but I still had about 4 classes a week, 6 with offices. She was ready for the kill for far too long now.
In December 2014, after I had a foot injury due to pulling and carrying too much weight for too long to classes, I was running a fab class in Bethnal green in a Comedy club, which is only then that I found out who was being all that happen. This is where we came after most of our venues were contacted with a Blog that was professionally built by a Journalist, Doctor for a big Aids organization, who advertises herself for years as a Saboteur, also a Life model, created an Evil work of Art Blog, mixing messages that woman extracted from life models, which were nothing special and lies they managed to make them say. This is like the formula of deadly poison using all sorts. This Blogger woman is a very talented writer who did the bad woman a huge favour again in exchange for job or maybe because of feminism used to wrong way, who knows.
They just had to find a way, waited for a model to say anything a bit bad about tony, used it, went to the Police station, the Police interviewed me and told me how sorry they are to see this happening as I explained all this to them. This Saboteur knew exactly what platform to use, how to phrase things as a well intentioned samaritan so not even the Police could do anything to help. From then they simply never stopped using every succes as leverage, lying more and more, asking life models to find ways, contacting whoever i'd work with. Here is about 1/2 of the people they contacted and that I had to stop working with:
- Cassart Art Supplies - Groupon - ITV - Groupon - Airbnb recently - Youtube also recently - The inpendent Light Cinema - Saint-John Church - A School off Hackney road - Any venues I ever used so maybe up to 100+ venues.
Recently Posters have been Posted in FB and Instagram asking Models to keep away using rude words where the Mercia Police could not find the source, Life models have been asked to create problems where there isn't and some were pretty creative, some wouldn't model at the last second for silly excuses,. So All models I use have to have a new model name but still some people are paid to spend their time researching all photos I use to try to match them to find the real identity of those models simply because without them I would not be able to run classes any more. The best we can do is to build a case, write everything down, which I do, so that when cames who knows what they can finally pay for their crimes. Even what is written nowadays on their website about Barefacts charity is again 1/2 truth to protect her from answering to the dozens of lies she fed her people with, the fact she supported dodgy groups exploiting more life models as in cas eyou don't know they must Pay to be allowed to work and Audition for free. She would then send models to be auditioned by Art teachers who'd pay a membership for that. She would find volunteers for paying customers when those poor model would hope to get anywork whatsoever, she would only list faraway Art teachers locations on her website to send life models to knowing that 5% only could take the job offered.
What will happen next: This will go on until they loose the plot and one day go as low as getting personal as I am not planning in any way to resign and be bullied by her to go as I love what I do, love what I do and find it so easy to make myself useful. No one really cares or is bothered but I do so there is plenty of space for me to evolve.
I also learned with 17 years of persistence that I can't please everyone for diverse reasons from looking a bit too latin, not getting younger now, Not being English but French originally, being not the person that smiles or talks for hours and for not being as succesful as I could have been because of one person that's trying to run Models, Artist and Art organizations...
Their latest deed is for them to now talk to people I work with anywhere in the World so recently been ignore by the Seattle, San Francisco, LA Organizer on Meetup.
All Models and life models will be from now asked to read this page or anyone I work with, so that they can help and provide me with the material/intelligence I need to collect for the next who knows how many years....
If you think you won't be able to cope with the stress and wouldn't help anyone in such a situation no matter how hard they've worked, no matter how much they contributed, then that will be fine. I'll say buy with a warm smile and best wishes.
At the moment they manage to find one model a week and provide them with terrible picture of me so it is another Virus spreading everyday that perfected it's lying abilities for about 15 years, mainly using her models to do the dirty work for her, anonymously mainly.
I have plenty of ideas for classes and ways to help life models so just can't give up really. I'm getting used to this now with something happening around every 2 days. Even if I could rewind, that criminal, that exploites and manipulates thousands with words used as weapons would still be there. This is just bad luck or Karma as they say.