Probably you have met me when I was a kid, joyful happy with loads of big blonde curls, if not, it could have been in school, black curly hair and slightly insecure. Perhaps we encountered after that, the partying model, mostly drunk and didn’t really care about anything. If you have met me after this phase, you know that I was working hard to make my dreams come true. 
On social media, you probably knew me as a model, or as an influencer and then I completely shut down everything to start up again everything about 5 years later and change the subject of the order, because now I am an artist and stopped modelling and I am sharing with you my story why.
So let’s chat.
Since I am a kid, I knew I wanted to be an artist in literally any type of art, if I wouldn’t succeed I would just become a model. I guess everyone had its own dreams right.
So I find myself at the age of 18 and I was doing neither. I brought one of my friends to a photo shoot and 15 minutes later I found myself in make-up. The lady was very nice and the Italian girls were very funny, so they decided to do a makeover, just for fun. 10 minutes after that a photographer, my friend Johnny came in and took a picture of the situation. He talked in Italian to another guy and showed the picture, who immediately started to make a fuss. The girls started searching for clothing and dragged me literally outside, put some jewels on me and bam… 
I became a catalogue girl.
I didn’t hear anything for some time and then agency called me if I would fall in for a girl that cancelled, so I said yes. That day I met my best friend. Trudy is the most courageous women in the whole world, her size misleads you easly of the energy and empowerment she gifs. She is truly an inspiration. Quickly after that, they invited me to Italy. Then she taught me how to do my own marketing, get my jobs and how to model. I came back and I started working as a model. This truly led me to some very strange and very good experiences.
So during this period, I decided I needed to go to art school. Because in my mind if I had the possibility to become a model, for sure I could become an artist. That part of life has not come that easily.
So I went back to school, I still worked some modelling jobs on the side, until I went for the exchange program to France. I actually never really thought to quit, like I actually never thought about starting, it just happened, but my artschool was against it, my boyfriend at that time really didn’t like it and when I tried to move France, I didn’t get a clear overview of how to organise myself. At that moment, I have made about every picture I wanted and some I didn’t like at all. So I decided to just it give up. The only thing I still wanted was to be painted by somebody.
About 2 days later a painter DIRK BAL contacted me and I told him the truth, but that since it is my wish to be painted I would gladly work with him. Now we are friends, he is truly a great person and he gives always the best advice.
About a month ago Dirk knew I was coming back to the Netherlands and he told me, that he had a gift for me. So I visited his new studio, met his wife and saw their beautiful new house. During coffee, his wife asked me a very interesting question, how I feel to have been painted by him.
It took me forever to write this post, because of multiple reasons:
  1. How does it feel to be a muse? 
    We take pictures every day of every single thing, and it doesn’t feel special anymore, but to be painted or drawn is something very peculiar. It gives the notion of everlasting.
    I have been glamorised, like an apple or orange in a still life.
    My life got captured and frozen in time, it’s not just that moment, it is like he putted some of my soul inside of it. 
  2. Perhaps someday a painting of me could be in a museum and people will look at it, like they will look at the paintings of Rembrandt. 
    Will they see me? Will they know who I am? What I did or what I became? If not will they just look at the technique of the painting?
    Or maybe some painter in the future just decides to put some white over me and will erase my existence?
    There are so many questions that come with this act of creation, which overpasses the my limits of time and it is truly expending my thoughts in ways I didn’t question myself before. 
  3. So know I have this beautiful work in my living room and I know what I have seen in my painted eyes to make this painting happen and now I find myself inspiring and motiving me. 
    Which is completely crazy because of the fact that it feels like there is a mirror of me and my situation is not real but it is like I should go there because it seems so nice. It is like confronting me of the image that I present in the real world and it’s questioning me every day.
So how to say, I was a photography model and in general, I would not recognize me in most of the pictures, too much makeup, to much dress, etc. It was all so fake, like Hollywood. But this painting is like, my documentary of my past and my future.
Since we worked together I learned how to think differently about myself and my profession, but also realise that my influences that are presented in the world even after I die.
I am very proud of the works that Dirk made of me, and I am truly honoured that he chose me to be his muse, and if he would ask me, I would do it again without hesitation. 
For me and I guess Dirk has seen it as well, it is my moment that I left my past behind and I moved into my future and I thank him daily for capturing and representing that moment.
So in the end, I can say that I can’t explain how it feels to be painted, but I know it helps me, to grow in the better version of me. It gives me focus, it reflects me, it represents me and it shows my dreams, I never had a picture taken of me that makes me feel like that.
When I was a kid my parents have given a drawing of me, and I remember it gave me the same feeling. So perhaps its the medium that provokes this energy, the hours of work, the details, the handwork, the soul of the artist that has entered the image itself. I still believe it is one of the most magnificent experiences I have ever encountered during my job.
Thank Dirk, I am very grateful that I have met you. 
Posted by:wendynouse

Wendy Nouse is a female professional artist who is interested in social-political issues that she translates freely in visuals.

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