Volunteer Modeling

Maya-vertIf you are interested in being painted this information may help you to better understand the artist’s process.

Modeling with Craig Tracy has two distinct avenues. The first option is a commissioned bodypainting where the model pays the artist for the process of being painted and the second option is a volunteer model where money is not exchanged. He never uses agencies or websites to acquire models and 99% of his models find him through either his gallery in New Orleans or through the web.

Volunteer modeling usually involves, Craig photographing the potential model completely nude. This photo session is called a “viewing” and as many as 30 poses can be taken. At the end of a viewing all photos are then reviewed by both the artist and model. A complete viewing session can take from 30 to 60 minutes including the review of photos taken. He then has that potential model cataloged for future review and use. Viewings are offered indiscriminately to those interested in being painted however actually being chosen to be painted is another process entirely. Shape, proximity, personality and inspiration are all factors that help the artist to choose who he will or will not work with. Considerably less then half of all potential models viewed will be painted. MeltHowever many potential models find the viewing in and of itself a unique and worthwhile experience. Volunteer models have no input regarding the painting and it’s creative direction but they are shown in advance of the scheduled painting exactly what the artist’s vision is.

His less common but increasingly promising “spontaneous” bodypainting process can also allow a potential volunteer model to be painted. These paintings are usually abstract and very expressive. Spontaneous bodypaintings require a certain element of luck and chemistry to compensate for a lack of preparation and research. Most of these paintings are painted on models that do not live in or near New Orleans.

All models who are painted will receive a quality, signed and numbered print from the artist.

Commissioned Bodypainting

"Magic", Model: Ana, Photographer: Max TromblyCommissioned bodypaintings are where the artist is “hired” to paint a particular individual or couple. Commissions allow the clients some creative influence regarding style and subject matter and commissions also guarantee a painting will occur on the agreed person and or model. Craig Tracy’s commissions are generally done in his studio in New Orleans and they usually follow the procedure below.


  1. An initial discussion between the artist and the potential client/model starts the process. This can be a personal, telephone or email conversation.
  2. An evaluation of the model’s body must then be made as to establish possible poses and angles to be painted. This is most often and best done with the artist doing a photo shoot personally.
  3. a deposit is then paid to the artist.
  4. The artist then designs the painting and has it approved by the client.
  5. The painting day is scheduled.
  6. The painting is created and the balance of the commission is paid to the artist.
  7. The client decides upon a type, size and quantity of prints desired. (Prints are a separate option and are not included as a part of the commission fee.)
  8. Clients have a variety of options regarding the ownership of the image created. Shared ownership with the artist is the most common and least expensive.

A spontaneous commission is also possible requiring less preparation and time invested by both artist and model. These commissions are more about color, style and spontaneity and less about specific designs and concepts. If you are interested in either option feel free to contact the gallery directly.

"Sanctuary", Model: Lynn, Photographer: Craig Tracy

Craig Tracy Gallery
827 Royal Street
New Orleans, La 70116
(504) 592 9886

Once I have worked with a model it is as if they are a part of my extended family

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