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The Model Mayhem Interview: Eleanor Rose

Eleanor Rose is a SoCal based nude model and model mentor. She’s been on magazine covers, PlayboyTV and even had an image shown at the Louvre. After years of trial and error learning the ropes of nude modeling, Eleanor Rose has taken it upon herself to start Empowered Muses. The resource is intended primarily for nude models, but has helpful information for anyone looking to turn modeling into a career. 

Eleanor Rose is still going strong in the modeling world while using her depth of knowledge to help those newer to the industry.


Model: Eleanor Rose; Photographer: Michael Magers

My goal is to make freelance modeling a safe, fun, empowering, and sustainable career.

Tell us a little about what lead you into a career of nude modeling. Did you dabble in other areas of the industry, or did you know this was your path at the start?

I actually started out as a model with “I don’t shoot nudes, I have morals” emblazoned in all caps across my profile, so I’ve definitely come a long way. Believe it or not, I actually fell in love with artistic nudes when I visited the Vatican on a mission trip. The art I saw there was captivating, and I became enamored with the art and equally determined not to take part in it. It was a long, slow process for me to finally come around to posing nude, but once I tried it there was no question in my mind about ever going back.

As for other modalities, I have dabbled with photography before and since I started modeling, but as much as I love the medium it never captured my passion quite so much as modeling has. Though I didn’t originally intend for modeling to be a career, I was hooked rapidly and have never looked back.

What has been your most amazing job to date? What made it so special?

That is a very difficult question! I’ve been a part of so many jobs that were amazing, and a lot of my greatest accomplishments were the result of shoots I never imagined might lead to them – I once got a text from an artist two years after we shot reference poses telling me to go downtown and have a look at the gigantic mural of myself he had painted. Another time I went back to work with a photographer a second time and he realized he’d forgotten to tell me that one of our images had been shown at a private event at the Louvre. That was quite a shock! Thinking about jobs that were amazing as I worked on them, my work with Nomi Nguyen and Scott Watson has to be mentioned. Nomi has a brilliant mind for artistic design and shoots with her are always fascinating. And my recent shoot with Playboy TV was quite fun. I had to pretend to be someone who had never modeled before, which was an intriguing challenge.

Do you think modeling is an art form? What makes it “art” to you?

Absolutely! It takes a huge amount of creativity in order to mold my body to a photographer’s concept. It seems like a lot of the people who think it’s not art have this idea that we memorize a set routine of poses and just work through them, but in reality we’re constantly exploring different ways to combine poses and angles and facial expressions, and to do so in a way that’s appropriate for the concept and mood of the shoot. Just like other types of artists we bring our challenges and successes, our moods, our history and emotions to the board and find ways to distill them into creative expression that will then evoke emotion in others. If that’s not art, I don’t know what is.


Model: Eleanor Rose; Photographer: Michelle Yoder

If a photographer could provide one non-essential thing at a shoot to make things more comfortable/ put you in your happy place, what would it be? (Examples: Juice, Floor Heater, Kittens.)

Kittens would not have come to mind, but since it’s been offered as an option, absolutely kittens. I’ve always wanted to pose with them! More realistically, however, my top choice would probably have to be coconut water. It’s one of my absolute favorite things to have at a shoot, but I rarely actually get it for myself. I always forget to add it to my shopping lists!

Safety is a huge issue in the world of online modeling. What do you think is the most important thing you’ve learned in regards to model safety?

Oof. I could write a novel on this topic. Picking just one thing is difficult, so I’m going to sort of merge two that are very closely related. Setting boundaries, both before and during the shoot, in writing, verbally, etc is absolutely crucial, and the best thing that modeling has ever taught me. Equally crucial, and essential to that process, is getting comfortable with saying no. I actually recommend that models practice saying “no,” clearly, distinctly and politely as much as possible. To the door to door salesman, to the person who asks if you want fries with that, to the guys at those mall kiosks… Get comfortable with getting the word out.

Tell us a little about Empowered Muses. 

I created Empowered Muses because I was fed up seeing talented models struggle and quit due to bad, misleading, and/or non-existent advice. My goal is to make freelance modeling a safe, fun, empowering, and sustainable career. To that end I provide a multitude of free resources in addition to my programs, which are designed to help freelance nude models who are tired of getting all the wrong gigs gain the confidence they need to attract plenty of great clients.


Model: Eleanor Rose; Photographer: Alan H Bruce

Setting boundaries, both before and during the shoot, in writing, verbally, etc is absolutely crucial, and the best thing that modeling has ever taught me.

If you had this resource when you started, how do you think it would have changed the course of your career?

It would have changed everything. I struggled for years trying to figure out how to make enough money as a model just to survive. I grew up in an entrepreneurial family, so I knew some marketing basics, but when I tried to find information specific to freelance modeling it just wasn’t there.

I know your focus is nude models, but it sounds like most of the information would be helpful for freelance models of any form. Do you find the program is just specialized to nude models?

This is such an awesome question, because I struggled with that for a while as I figured out where I wanted to take my business. It’s really important to me that all freelance models have the capacity to create the safe, fun, empowering, and sustainable careers I mentioned above, but when I started looking at creating programs I realized that my expertise really lays in nude modeling and similar genres. When I first started offering my free “Book Your Dream Gigs” Breakthrough Coaching sessions I had a few models sign up who were focused on fashion, and I just didn’t know enough about the genre to answer their questions properly.

Ultimately, the Model Success System that’s at the root of my programs would help any freelance model create a profitable career, but I also provide a lot of in-depth coaching on the specifics of each model’s situation. Right now it just doesn’t feel in integrity for me to accept a paying client who’s focusing on a genre that I can’t provide that level of advice for. So I’ve made sure that the majority of my free resources are created to benefit all freelance models, but the programs themselves are marketed to nude models specifically.


Model: Eleanor Rose; Photographer: Daniel Chase; Makeup Artist: Wenchi

Just like other types of artists we bring our challenges and successes, our moods, our history and emotions to the board and find ways to distill them into creative expression that will then evoke emotion in others.

Do you have a favorite city to visit and work in?

For the majority of my career my home base was the Bay Area, and I just moved to Southern California to be with family for the next year. I’m dying to get back up to the Bay, so right now that’s certainly my favorite city to visit! Before that, my favorite tour has been to Asheville, North Carolina. I fell in love with those mountains, and I can certainly wax romantic about the fireflies!

If you could be the muse of any artist, dead or alive, who would it be?

I’d have to flip a coin to choose between Boris Vallejo and Alphonse Mucha.

Are there any specific models you follow and adore?

That list is about 50 names long. Right now I’m finding myself particularly inspired by models Anastasia Arteyeva, Lillias Right, and Vaunt.

How do you determine your travel schedule?

Right now, it’s just a matter of figuring out what I can fit around building Empowered Muses, so I’m really not traveling as much. I increasingly want to tour by car and see more of the country, but I only have time at the moment for very short trips. That would pretty much entail flying out, spending the weekend, and leaving. I’m attempting to decide where to travel next, but all the places that would make such a short trip profitable are places that I want to take time to explore, so I’m still trying to figure out that equilibrium now that I’ve thrown another business into the mix. I’m certainly looking forward to getting Empowered Muses built to a point where the foundation is fully set and I can travel for a week or so every month!

What can we look forward to seeing from you in the near future?

You can certainly expect to see a lot more of Empowered Muses and fun new resources there. I’m getting really excited about the teleseminars I’ve just developed and the new ebook I’ve been working on! As a model, what I’m most excited about at the moment is the stunning art I’ve been creating for the Patreon account I’ll be launching soon. I’m really enjoying pursuing Patreon work right now – the more time I spend on Empowered Muses, the less time I have to model, so it’s been great to work some amazingly inspiring shoots into the mix. There’s going to be some phenomenal work added to my portfolio soon, and the complete sets that my patrons will have access to are just lovely.

Eleanor Rose was interviewed by Kelli Kickham for Model Mayhem.

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