WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A couple’s side hustle requires bravery.
Jane Durden and Joseph Winstead are figure models. The two pose for art students. Sometimes, their work requires nudity.
“The idea of being nude in front of people and having them study you is nerve-racking but I grew into it and I really love it now,” Durden said.
Figure modeling started for Durden when she took a class and her friend was the subject.
“After seeing her do it, I was like, you know what, maybe I can do this," Durden said. "It took a little while before I jumped into it. It was something I had to think about a lot. I was more nervous in the beginning.”
Over time, she got more comfortable with being nude and with her body.
“I feel like it helped me become more body positive,” she said.
When she started dating Joseph a few years ago, she urged him to try it.
"I felt like it was a challenge to my bravery when Jayne made me try it for the first time,” he said.
Now, the two model regularly at art classes at UNCW, CFCC, the Cameron Art Museum and private studios.
Jane is a full-time student at CFCC, where she studies art.
Joseph works seven nights a week for a janitorial service, cleaning medical offices and businesses.
So for him, it’s a chance to stay connected to the art world and to his girlfriend.
“It’s such a big part of our life," he said. "Everyone that knows us knows us as models. It gives us an opportunity to stay tied into the creative crowd of Wilmington that since college I don’t necessarily get to participate in all the ways I’d like.”
Besides the nudity, the other challenge of being a figure model is standing still.
“Being still is definitely tricky,” Durden said. “Over time, you get really good at it. You get in a meditative state.”
Winstead compared it to a workout.
“I would say 20 to 30 minutes would be the longest you would want to pose without having a break,” he said. “You’re flexing your body and trying to give people the best version of your body and what happens is it builds up a lot of the same tension as a running or lifting weights and you get sore you get cramps and you get worn out by it.”
They say the pain is worth the gain.
Seeing what the students come up with is gratifying.
It may not be for everyone, but for Durden and Winstead, it’s a chance to put a little extra money in their pockets.