My Interview with Art Model, Dekilah

A few days ago, a “ModelMayhem Edu” post came across my Facebook news feed that I read and found to be very interesting! The article was titled “8 Considerations for Potential Nude Models” and it was written by Art Model, Dekilah.  As the title suggests, it listed 8 important things that models should think about or consider before deciding to become a nude model.

Photographer & Model: Dekilah

Like I said, I found it to be very interesting, and it prompted me to search for more articles that Dekilah had written.  As it turns out, she has a fantastic website devoted entirely to advice for models and photographers. (Links at the end of this article). Anyone who is entertaining the notion of becoming a model, or becoming a model photographer, should check it out!  There is a ton of useful information there!

I was so impressed with Dekilah and the content of her website, that I did something that I have never done before, I decided to reach out to her and ask her if she would be willing to participate in an “online interview” for this particular article – and, she graciously accepted!

I tried to think of interesting questions that would not only reveal something about modeling in general, but also give a hint about the lady answering the questions without being intrusive.  The interview commences below.   And don’t forget to check out her website links at the bottom of this article.

Question #1: How old were you when you decided that you wanted to be a model? Was there some defining moment in your life that, in your head, said, “Yes! Modeling is what I want to do!”?

I was a bit older than most models when I got started and I actually hadn’t even really considered it as a teenager. I think I was about 23 when I first started thinking about it, but I was 24 when I actually did my first real shoot. It wasn’t so much a defining moment that brought me to try it, more like just an interest in trying something new. Once I tried it, I enjoyed it, so I decided to pursue it. My decision was actually something I thought about for a while, not a quick decision at all.

– Dekilah

Question #2: What other interests did you have growing up? (Dancer, actress, fighter pilot, etc…) Did you pursue any of them at all?

My biggest passion growing up was animals. I always had many, many pets and I loved spending time with them. I’ve always enjoyed writing as well and as I got older I developed that into blogging and my model advice articles. I did take modern dance for a year or so when I was 9 or 10 and then I took ballet, including pointe, from age 13 through 18. It was always just a hobby though, not something I wanted to pursue competitively as a career which is why I eventually stopped taking lessons. I was being pressured to compete and perform and that wasn’t my cup of tea. I also took a few different martial arts on and off while working at a training school. I’ve also always loved gothic and historic fashion. This is something I’m still working on pursuing as it can be quite expensive, but I’m hoping to find opportunities to model those sorts of things as I continue my creativity as a model.

– Dekilah

Question #3: Have you ever been an “agency model” or were you always a freelance model?

I’ve always been freelance and I think it works very well for me personally.

– Dekilah

Question #4: Were there any role models that inspired you along the way as a model , and if so, who were they, and in what way did they inspire you?

My sources of inspiration have always been numerous. I haven’t really focused on any one model, but rather I draw inspiration from many, many people and things like classic art, video games, nature, animals, emotions, and even whatever happens to be in the room with me at the time.

– Dekilah

Question #5: If a beginning freelance model approached you for advice, what advice would you give her on how to get “discovered” and find work? And would your advice be the same or different depending on specific genres she was interested in (fashion, commercial, glamour, runway, plus size, art, etc…)?

I usually send new models to my advice site ( so they can read some of the general information I’ve written about getting started and then ask me more specific questions once they have a sort of base to go from.

As far as getting discovered… I guess I’ve never really looked at it that way. I’ve always just made sure to network as much as I can, to be professional, and to promote my photos and portfolio. I don’t really wait for people to come to me, although they do, I go out and look for them.

If a model were interested in a specific genre or specific genres, I could certainly offer a bit more specific advice or send them to someone who could if it’s not something I have a lot of experience with. However, a lot of it is really the same: be professional, show up on time, and know your limits.

– Dekilah

Question #6: What do you like the most about being a model? And dislike?

I really love being able to explore my creativity. I love dressing up and I love creating characters and moods from my self. I also greatly enjoy meeting new people and collaborating with both new and familiar photographers, MUAs, and designers when I can.

The only thing I really dislike dealing with are people who do not behave like they should. It’s not been something I’ve had to deal with often, but sometimes it can be a bit frustrating.

– Dekilah

Question #7: Do you travel a lot because of your modeling career? What is the furthest away from home that you’ve been to because of a modeling gig? And for how long?

I’m a bit of an unusual case as I’ve never been a traveling model, but I do shoot at a similar level and such to many of the traveling models. However, I have had many photographers travel to me to shoot with me.

– Dekilah

Question #8: What are your own feelings, as a model and nude model, about escorts? Do you bring an escort to sessions?

I used to bring someone with me when I first started because I was incredibly nervous and it made me feel more at ease. I’ve never consciously brought someone for safety/bodyguard purposes. I’ve always felt that if I felt unsafe, I would just not book the shoot.

However, every model is different and every photographer feels differently. I just wish everyone would state their preference clearly and politely without being aggressive or insulting.

– Dekilah

Question #9: When you decided to become a nude model did you receive any “resistance” from family and/or friends? And if so, from your own experience, do you think guys or girls are more inclined to be judgmental? (I have my own thoughts on the second part of this question, but I’m interested in what your experience has been)

I didn’t notify people when I decided to become a model or a nude model. My boyfriend knew since he would drive me to shoots, but otherwise it wasn’t something I broadcasted (just as I wouldn’t broadcast any other new hobby). Eventually it came up and my mom knows as well as all 3 of my siblings. My mom is very supportive and I don’t think my siblings are really concerned about it. Most of my friends are either fellow creatives or they’re very supportive.

I’m not sure if it’s because all of my friends are pretty open minded or because I see and discuss my modeling as art, but I’ve had very, very few people be negative towards me personally about what I do. When I have had issues, I think it’s been about equal with males and females.

– Dekilah

Question #10: Have you ever had a bad experience during a nude session, something that made you uncomfortable, or unsettled your nerves – if so, elaborate if you can / or are comfortable doing so?

One thing that does annoy me is when photographers touch me without asking and especially when photographers move my hair less than carefully. While I may be very comfortable posing, nude or otherwise, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be respected. It doesn’t take long to ask, so I wish everyone would just take the time to ask. Thankfully most of the photographers I work with do, it’s just the few that don’t.

On a more serious note, I have also been sexually assaulted while on a session. It’s not anything that I want to talk about or elaborate on, other than to say that sadly this not that unusual for a model with my level of experience and the amount of time I’ve been modeling.

– Dekilah

Question #11: Personally, I would love to think that someday we as a society, could get away from this silly notion that nudity is something to be ashamed of, but I have my doubts that any of us will live long enough to ever see that day… What are your thoughts about this, do you find yourself frequently explaining your art form to others, or just sometimes, or do you just let people think whatever they want and go about your business?

Sometimes I am asked why I pose nude, but when I explain my inspirations from classical art and such most people seem to get it and if they don’t they usually just go away because I don’t care to get into arguments about it so it makes it less fun for them to try to argue with me. If someone starts being really rude and they don’t seem interested in learning, I just ignore them. I’ve been quite pleasantly surprised at the range of people who do get it and who are curious about what I do.

– Dekilah

Question #12: If you could go back and do ANYTHING differently with your modeling career, would you, and what would it be?

I thought about this and I’m not sure there is anything I’d change because I feel like changing something might take me away from where I am now and so much of my life has changed for the better because of my modeling.

– Dekilah

Dekilah’s websites: and