I have had two RL requests to write a book and record everything I know about modeling. Until now I always had second thoughts about doing that because I was not sure if the aspects of SL modeling applied to RL modeling.
After reviewing numerous published modeling books and dictionaries, I am surprised to find that there are several basic truths that have not been covered or that I could not find, so I decided to give it a shot.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a model as: “One who is employed to display clothes or other merchandise.” I found similar definitions in other dictionaries I researched. In my opinion, the definitions are incomplete. No top model gets a million dollar contract to “display” clothes. Any mannequin can do that. Models get million dollar contracts because they SELL clothes!
A model is someone who can make clothes and other merchandise look so appealing, that they inspire others to buy them. This is the definition I have defended from the beginning of my teachings at my modeling agency and it’s the one that I write about here.
What separates top models from the rest? Simply two abilities: (1) The ability to make anything look appealing; and (2) The ability to communicate in a way that raises interest to retailers and the public. The first is done backstage. The second takes place on the runway or under the photographer’s lens.
Established RL models do not worry about the first ability; this is usually taken care of for them by professional make up and hair artists. But this is not the case if you haven’t really made it, and it certainly is not the case in the virtual world.
Most virtual fashion designers do not get involved in how a model styles an outfit, which I find very strange. God knows if I was a designer, I would be all over the models instructing them to change their make-up, hair, skin, shoes and everything else. Maybe that is why I am not a designer; no agency would ever want to work with me.
So what makes a great model in Second Life?
1. The ability to make any outfit look absolutely fantastic.
2. The ability to choose walks and poses that present the outfit you are wearing in the most interesting possible way, without detracting from the product, and with the intention of selling it to the audience.
3. Perfect execution of scripted items like Animation Overrides, poses, and walks.
4. A professional attitude.
Number 1 is the most difficult but can be learned through observation and practice. Number 2 requires a fierce attitude and the focused intent to really communicate to the audience, in an interesting way, rather than deliver a mediocre and robotic performance. Number 3 is easy to learn and Number 4 is plain common sense.
Like a poet communicates with words, a model communicates with movement.
Models usually have a mere 20 to 30 seconds on the runway to sell the outfit for the designer that hired them, so be sure you make every pose and movement count.
If you don’t, you will let everybody down. If you do you will make it all the way to the top and designers will love you.
There are no other secrets.