This will give everyone a really good idea about what it takes, took, to change the establishment so that something Artistic that originally wasn't making money in the UK, could survive, develop locally and thrive globally .
It is a page that should be read mostly by UK british people, Artists and models as this is were we are based for the last 18 years.
Locals can now learn what happens for industries that can't afford Lawyers and where fab people work their ---- off, confronted everyday with local competition/trouble/mad ones/silly ones, envious, jaleous, fame seekers, spies, anonymous lyers, paid saboteurs, ideas snatchers, paid to model perverts, exhibitionists, activists that also constitute part of our Local community... I can't think of anything better than truth and honesty for education purpose. Those with the same values should come and say hi!
If not from London or the UK, save yourself time and ignore this page so you can keep on smiling :).
Like any new Industry, as this is exactly what has emerged, you cannot control what happens to any new one that brings everyone together, from amazing, talented, awesome, to frustrated or not as well in the head people... It usually takes billions of £s to keep things going like for FB as an example.
Our Network was the first of the kind ever and still is, as it came from a single private individual, not supported by any established name, Charity, School, Sponsor, so completely vulnerable to anything and everything good but also terrible. Lots has happened since 2003 that I can now explain more than ever as things have gone much better, quieter now.
Nothing would have ever been possible if I didn't use newly born Gumtree when one ad would then give 100's of replies, or the fact I helped a disabled man in India financially and left him to build contact lists, which made me instantly succesful on Meetup.com that was also newly born. We were the First of many classes in the UK from Life Drawing to Drawing buildings, Burlesque Drawing, Multi models, even Erotic Art by demand. I invited 70K people all creative to meetup (they know), made classes 1/3 of the usual cost and paid models X3, ran up to 12 classes a week south, north, East, west, central of London and in Offices, went on TV, Radio, Press, just did what was necessary and just would rather not hide this truth I am rather proud of. Wikipedia will probably happen soon.
In 2003 a tiny amount of Art teachers were left to run independent Life Drawing classes and only about 15 classes were left in London. Models were paid the minimum wage of that time, £3/h and were very badly treated, so it became very difficult to find a surviving class or models to draw. I knew that those amazing classes/ workshops would soon disappear if no one did anything about it. Being a photographer by trade and corporate trainer at the time, I saw the near disappearance of film and darkrooms which influenced my action to do whatever it would take to save the Day for Paper Life Drawing classes...
Only the big established schools could then find a way to save their businesses using their reputation/name. Some would open their doors to foreign students.
In 2003 we had 20 classes left in and around London when in 2013 after bringing classes where no one has drawn before and after influencing others to do the same for 10 happy years, we had 650 regular permanent Life Drawing classes as I made the list myself, trying to help some of them with models or trying to help good models with jobs. Life models went from about 50 /100 in 2003 to possibly around 5 to 10,000 in 2013, of all ages, all personalities, sizes and shapes and in fact maybe 50,000 had a short go at it during this period (the population of a big city). Unfortunately around 2012 it became very difficult to find work in London for life models because of competition and so they started running their own with concept/ideas they picked up during their many years of modeling.
Our Network was previously called the Life Drawing Society and we were simply permanently under attack from all possible sides from the very Day in 2004/5, I trippled Life models wages without asking permission to who you might guess and who for years lied to millions saying that she did it :). Dozens of people would get paid to create false profiles everyday and spam across, had to be deleted everyday, Some who saw us/me as competitor and knew that we weren't supported by any establishment would spend their life and their models lives gossiping, making stories up, scaring people away so that they'd work with them and not us/monopoly.
I just don't play those games myself so I just managed to surf across all sorts of attacks that I had no choice but to ignore. The very reason they did was so that our Artist members would possibly find out and stay away. For the last 17 years we've been systematically reported to Facebook who simply didn't know what to do but to close our Account 4 times, but we simply started another again and again with a slight different name as I knew I never done anything wrong. While all this was happening I was busy taking this brand new industry to the media, TV, Press, radio which again was unseen until then and so I planted seeds for the future from Hen dos, TV programs like Naked Attraction, Burlesque and great costumes drawing, Performance Drawing, Sketchy Theatre (remove the seed for this one), influenced in every possible way, gave, while those people were systematically doing their Sabotage anonymously hidden from under the rocks. The very problem that can never ever be solved is that problems came from the very person who was already providing life models to many Art groups, originally for very good reasons but who decided to take and keep this new market to herself as soon as the amount of models grew 100's of times from me trippling wages. Whatever could be turned into a business she did, underpaying everybody and employing the unemployable to pay them less/keep them longer. None of those people can draw or paint but they certainly talk and write very convincing English all in broad daylight very succesfully.
Some models do occasionally pick up on what they say and do their little sabotage so they may get a few jobs and pay their debts/bills, some go much further and many disasters were peacefully avoided. Those models were basically innocent and only trying to secure themselves jobs but manipulated by someone who know what to say, how, to whom and who's been illegally charging/making an income out of people needing work desperately. They even use feminism to to give them more leverage when I myself would consider myself as a really good feminist even if I am a Man. Whatever could have been done or used against our Network has been done and since 2004 has been part of my everyday life. I kept quiet obviously to not alarm people but occasionally have informed everyone, lost a few and went out again to reach more new people.
Every venue we ever used, every sponsor we ever had, every teacher we ever worked with, Meetup, facebook, Youtube were innondated with the worst those guys could come up with from me not being able to speak English properly, be and anti-feminism even a Sexual Harrasser as a topper. The British authorities have told them off but they've spent 15 years acting under cover proficiently so they can only be warned and nothing changed or will ever change. So many made up stories have been made up that this has become the perfect conspiracy. She is like a mosquito sticking to the Established schools, made herself indispensable and did whatever she wanted legally or not. As Prevention is the only friend here, now i inform people about those forever saboteurs, before I start working with them from day 1, so they don't get shocked and all is really fine now, I came up with the vaccin for it this is the first jab...
Well it only took a year or two to get used to this and had no choice but to ignore it, still do, and always will as you never know what luck will bring tomorrow like Lotto to spent on lawyers. She might even decide to retire and live on an island in the Pacific Ocean. She isn't alone obviously so Saboteurs will appear and disappear/ go back under the floorboard/Stones regularly.
This is what all readers should take in from reading this, that anyone should think 10 times before going against the establishment and create a Public network as a private individual. It's tuff and very riskey. Before starting this crusade I spent 5 years on my own battling on a Building grand design project and no matter what, the bigger the challenge the more interesting it is for me. This is what is also happening now with Online Life Drawing as there is no limits on what can be done as long as we don't stay away from each other forever. Whatever I started in 2003 was about bringing and keeping people together doing what they all love, sharing the experience so that communities, friendships and more can happen...
Something else we do to keep this virus away is to change/preserve people's identity to keep our models safe from any verbal or privacy attack, we change their name and ask them to keep away from those saboteurs who charge life models to work/exploit them, which is illegal but strangely in the UK Art World they'd need to be proven guilty with very expensive lawyers, any help/ideas would be appreciated... They ran classes under our nose, for 15 years by using FREE models they'd audition, cheapest venues or she'd pose herself, being the Art teacher, maybe to gain popularity and save £ss :) :) :).
All this might have not helped us much but it helped many succeed in their own ventures, helped their lives, some created new families so it is all for everyone's benefit.
If anyone was to ask me what is the worst that ever happened because of those creatures, I'd say that the biggest one is when I start making friend with an amazing teacher or model and suddenly they become a bit distant and I have to wonder if someone has told them another made-up story, until one day they just can't take the constant bullying anymore and end up complaining about anything even if it's nothing just to get away. That hurts! Now you know why people's privacy/Identity should be kept safer than ever, changing their name.
I now have a much bigger challenge to take care of :), which is to help anyone anywhere in the World being able to run Drawing, Painting or Life Drawing classes with the best possible principles, ethos, ideas and hopes... Now that we all know what has been crawling in the Bush for 18 years and still is, we can get together and help make a better more creative World...
(eukart at msn.com or text first at 07951613705)