I desire to feel the high of posing nude in front of searching eyes.
September 3, 2020
I am human, therefore I am insecure. I don’t think insecurity is a weakness but rather an asset that we can use to identify the things we love about ourselves and acknowledge that, although we have the power to change a lot, we cannot change everything. My parents, my mom especially, have always told me how beautiful and spirited I am. Without their encouragement I would most certainly not be the person I am today. I am forever thankful that they made me feel special and loved. I try to share that with others and my hope is that by spreading a positive attitude others realize how effortless kindness and joy really are!
I thrive being surrounded by other people and I feed off the energy of diversity. So quarantine hit my soul pretty hard! Forever an optimist, I instantly reached out to friends to start building a foundation for new and cool things to do in order to support my own needs and the needs of others to connect and inspire. I met Lindsey Adelman, lighting designer and artist extraordinaire, at a yoga retreat in Nova Scotia in July of 2019. I shared with her my passion for figure drawing and modeling. Growing up with artist parents who adore Helmut Newton and Herb Ritts, dancing through childhood and becoming a professional dancer, majoring in studio art and graphic design in college...let’s just say I have had a long time love affair with the human form.
Lindsey invited me to join as a figure model for her studio’s creative gatherings called Sip’n Sketch and I began posing on a regular basis in her New York City lighting studio. Our last in-person session was on March 10th. Covid lockdown began days later and we were hit with the reality that we might not be able to come together as artists for quite some time. Consequently, Zoom Sip'n Sketch was born.
Adapting what is usually such an intimate exchange between model and artist to a much more foreign environment of subject to screen to viewer was a challenging journey for me. Eventually I learnt how to shift my perspective so that I could make the viewing experience the best it could be for those who were choosing to spend their time with me. In fact, working with the computer has been a great opportunity to play with angles and depth—visual tools of manipulation that you cannot necessarily control in an immersive setting. But with the computer I can position myself and use props to create unique viewpoints and then see how the artists interpret them in their own ways.
I desire to feel the high of posing nude in front of searching eyes. I know all of this will return to me in the future and I will exist in solidarity with my fellow artists.
The performative high of being in front of an audience is something I have always longed for and thrived in. There is an expectation that an audience brings with it, one that the performer strives to fulfill and, if successful, is rewarding for all. In the initial moments of settling into a pose I make slight adjustments and critique my posture so that the pose is as dynamic as possible. Once I’ve landed in place my thoughts range. If I am looking at the camera I try to gaze deeply so that the viewer feels connected. I curate playlists each week based on a theme and I often find that the music dictates a character that I can submit to. My attempt is to embody the character and the posture. It is very cinematic in my head and I am continuously pushing myself to exert that mood through my thoughts, look, expression, and placement.
My feelings before, during and after a session are like looking at a heart monitor of someone who is jumping out of a plane. Prior to a session I am always anxious and nervous. My stomach is in knots, my mind is racing and my focus is razor sharp. The moment I start a Zoom, I find the most peaceful state of existence, as if I was floating or soaring. Once a session comes to an end, my energy rocket ships with pure joy and enthusiasm for the works created.
I am so honored that people attend my figure modeling sessions. There is a level of flattery that is like no other that stems from vulnerability and acceptance. Seeing the art that is created within an hour blows my mind every single time! I have learned to look at the artwork as a third party rather than looking at pictures of myself. This allows me to see the beauty of what people have created rather than judging myself and my body.
I have never struggled to attain confidence, but I have challenged myself to strengthen my confidence in all the arenas of my personal and professional life. I have discovered or perhaps reaffirmed that it is best to be honest and true to myself. When I am feeling emotional, I tell people. When I am feeling insecure with my body, I tell people. When I am feeling sad or lonely or lost or scared or frustrated, I tell people.
Sharing with others enabled others to share with me, which through all of this, has been my biggest reward. I have established new friendships with fellow models and artists. I attend other figure modeling sessions and continue to challenge myself as an artist on the other side of the screen. Whether or not I am satisfied with a performance, I always feel more confident because I have learnt from the scenario, I have gained knowledge that can better myself and my craft in the future.
I am Lauren Gerrie, a Southern California-born sunshine loving girl, living and thriving in New York City. You can find me riding my bike, walking my dog, sailing the seas, soaring through the skies, twirling and whirling on dance floors and in kitchens, striking a pose for a crowd or a screen. Whatever I’m doing I’ll have a smile on my face and a giggle in my heart. @laurengerrie︎︎︎