My father has coped with multiple nightmare visions with regards to his daughter, the nude model. Most of them, predictably, involve me in small pieces in the woods. Others are a bit less gruesome. He shared one of them with me about two years ago, when I began modeling full-time and in multiple cities, including Indianapolis. My father has lived his whole life there, and not surprisingly, has a well-established base of friends and family in the area. Some of them like art. He expressed concern over the potential that somebody that he, or we, knew, was going to wander into a gallery and unwittingly come face to face with me. Naked, and framed.
I forget how I reassured him in this particular regard. "I promise it will be tasteful? I look really different without clothing or glasses, so most people won't recognize me? There's hardly anybody in Indiana who wants to hire me, anyways?" In any case, it was a topic that passed largely undiscussed after that.
Today I was talking to my mother, and she asked if I'd received an e-mail from my father about the Stutz. I immediately started laughing and asked, "Oh geeze, he found Travis' studio, didn't he?" Sure enough, my father wandered into a studio and unwittingly came face to face with me. Naked, and framed.
My father has seen relatively little of my modeling work. He has seen some of it along the way, but not much. Most of our conversations about my job revolve around travel and taxes.
But, if his e-mail to my mother serves as any indicator, he wholeheartedly approved of these pieces. And I can't say that I'm surprised. Travis is an exceptionally talented painter, and I'm proud of every one of his paintings that I've been a part of. Given a choice of whose work I'd most like my father to stumble upon, Travis would be at the top of the list. So I lucked out in that regard.
Putting yourself out there, as a model, truly does mean putting yourself out there for the world to see. Years after I've stopped modeling, representations of me will still be floating around. Photographs, paintings, sketches, sculptures-- they will last well after I'm no longer active as a model. And they'll be out there for all the world to see. Even Dad.