My Japanese teachers found me a job as a model for an art class in Sapporo – two mornings, two hours each. The class members wanted a non-Japanese model, so I fit the bill (no experience was necessary). All I had to do was sit still, which was a little more difficult than I thought it would be. The teacher of the class “arranged” me, sitting in a chair on a little platform with one hand on a small side table and my head looking to the left out the window. One of the students made a chalk outline of my feet so I could get back in the same place after the break. The ten students were positioned in a little semicircle around me, so each person had a different view. Some people drew with pencil or charcoal, some painted with watercolor or oil.
I couldn’t understand much of what was said, but I did hear “gaijin” (foreigner) and “muzukashi” (difficult) a lot! There has been research in the criminal justice field about how difficult it is to identify a person of another race, so maybe the same kind of thing applies to drawing a person of another race. I really wanted to see what they drew and painted, but they didn’t offer to show me and I didn’t feel comfortable asking.
So, anyway, being a model wasn’t on my bucket list, but it was fun and I’m glad I had the opportunity to do it.