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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

The man behind the mural

Life model, Jacob Authier. Photo credit: Gina Allstun

Hornet: How long have you been a model?
Jacob Authier:
Five years. I’ve been all over Fullerton, Downtown L.A. and the Getty. There are various artists that I’ve met over the years.

Hornet: How did you get involved in this work?
Craigslist. Just looking around for work and it just popped up.

Hornet: How did you feel the first time you modeled?
There was that initial moment of like I’m naked in front of people and then you hear the pencils on paper and you just go with it.

Hornet: What is the hardest part of the job?
Taking a pose that you don’t think through all the way. When I first started I got into some pretty precarious positions and trying to hold that for a certain amount of time gets harder. You quickly learn your limits.

Hornet: What’s the typical time you have to hold your pose?
It ranges like doing gesture work it’s anywhere from 30 seconds to three minutes to 25 minute poses. Anywhere beyond that you break up. Like today was 30 minutes which I split in half and took a little break.

Hornet: What do you think about while in pose?
It depends on the pose. For certain poses it’s a lot of circulating my center of gravity, different muscle groups that are supporting my body so I don’t wear myself out. For shorter poses, I’m thinking of the next pose. Some poses I get into an elaborate physical positions so I’m using my muscles to hold me but structures that I could build like boxes and chairs. For those poses my mind can wander a little more. You usually have to be present. Your muscles start to throb and places start to get warm. When that happens you have to watch out.

Hornet: Have you ever been in an uncomfortable situation working with an artist or working in class?
Yes, but those situations I went in with both eyes open. Like I knew what I was getting myself into some shady stuff. But not at schools. At schools I’ve never encountered anything like that, not from students, not from teachers. It’s a pretty safe environment for a male model. For women, I know it’s a whole different ball game.

Hornet: Have you ever not liked someone’s representation of you?
No. Generally not. They are all so wide and varied. It’s a hodgepodge. There’s been a few that have been interesting but none that I’ve actively disliked. In fact, the more grotesque, the more interesting, I think.

Hornet: How important do you feel your role as a life model to the artist and the process?
I think a body is a body. For the students it’s not that different. Some days I have more energy than others and I put more into it. On those days, I feel more of a creative resonance between me and the students. The more energy I’m putting into the poses, the more energy they’ll put into their artwork sometimes. It’s more of a benefit to the teachers, to be punctual and dependable because when you as a teacher are relying on someone to be there for instruction having them be late is extremely stressful.

Hornet: Do you have any advice for anyone that is thinking about becoming a life model?
Go for it. There is no standard way. Every school has their own hiring process. Just call them all up and it’s a very slow process. It took about two years to really get everything up and going. Most schools have models in rotation, so when somebody drops out. Somehow I got my foot in the door. The first semester I worked here I only got one day. Then the next semester a few more. You have to establish yourself.

Hornet: Is this your only job?
Pretty much. There are a lot of art schools in L.A. and Orange County. There are a lot of artists that I work for in general, photography work. Every now and then I fit in an audition. So, it works out.

Hornet: I hear you were the one in the mural upstairs (in the 1000 building), how did that happen?
Authier: I don’t know. Apparently someone took a picture of me in the sculpture class and they used that as a reference. They told me ahead of time that it was happening, but I didn’t believe them until the unveil.

The mural in the east stairwell in the 1000 building. Photo credit: Gina Allstun

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