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The Divine Feminine

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The models come into the room with smiles on their faces. Rafael was confident Carmen used his description to find a model just right. He hadn’t done a simple project like this in a while. They both knew these weren’t the best clients to work for. He noted that the moment they met. “Cool model, promotional design, fine day,” was the formula to working through it.

the fact Olivia got comfortable with her models. One being the jewel that was Amanda Rollins. The work they women did together was always extravagant. He almost wanted to cry at how easy getting through three looks would be. Amanda’s body with such great technique applied- they were unstoppable.

“I never would've guessed.” he teased.

Liv hugged Amanda over her robe and rolled her eyes. “Oh c’mon. My design was made for Amanda.”

“They’re always made for Amanda!” countered Rafael, letting her playfully punch him in the arm.

Rafael turns back around to the producers completely forgetting he had his own canvas to paint on.

Sonny is nervous without a doubt. He’s about to get painted on by his idol. So much might go wrong,   but the experience would be great. Carmen assured Sonny of the fact Rafael had dealt with all different body types. Recovering anorexic wasn't one of them. “ Shit,” was the only thing he could think the whole time he awaited Rafael’s reaction.

It wasn’t too good.

Rafael took a long look at the lanky boyish figure feet away from him. Staring at a person wasn’t kind, but that is the job. Still, Dominick had manners, and that’s what mattered. They shook hands but Sonny had no time to introduce himself before  the artist called the producer and artistic director over to him. The blonde woman put a hand up to stop Rafael’s obvious observation from leaving his mouth. “Now I think it was a big decision on our part to bring in a unique model.” She babbled, trying not to be rude.

“You left that out of the email, but that wasn’t what I wanted to ask you.”

“Oh?! Then what was it?”

“It’s more of an enhancement, you see. I hadn’t worked this into our vision for this concept- this picture.” He stammered. There was nothing wrong with the Sonny’s body. He’s always open with his models about how appreciated they are. Maybe that was why Sonny felt a pit in his stomach.

At this point everyone, including Amanda and Olivia were staring. Not because he knowingly had two great pieces of art posing for the show. This shouldn’t make any difference though. For Rafael, a few changes weren’t a problem. 110 percent, like always.

“That’s fine. Forget I said anything. Let’s start.” He said, wishing to hear no more of the seemingly clueless woman paying him.

Unfortunately, Sonny’s mood had taken a dive. What’s worse than coming in ready to model and having this great artist not want to work on him.

It’s always so sad when your idol turns out to be an asshole. This same guy will paint his body for hours. Holy crap, Rafael Barba will paint me for hours...

During Olivia’s break she lends a little advice before Rafael starts. Pulling him aside she whispers “Please, don’t freak yourself out over this. If you ask me, he looks just like the sketch. Paint based off of that like you always do. You’ll do fine.”

Rafael shrugged it off. They worked together on the design. It’s a flawless layout. He was just so overly sensitive about getting close to someone else’s issue. Yet he prepared and worked like this the whole time.

They sat together and talked through the design as thought their meeting hadn’t gone the way it did. The way Rafael described all the details going into Sonny’s look was mesmerizing. He instantly forgot the insensitively blunt statements the artist said earlier. It was when Rafael told Sonny to take off his robe he shivered. It was July 14th in Manhattan.

Cold wasn’t the problem.

Everyone always looked at him like this flexible model people would play with. He was genuinely okay about being skinnier than most men that come to mind when you think “Model.” They also said things like “that was his edge.”

But Rafael getting flustered and nervous by his appearance was awkward. Honestly, I didn’t seem like such a big deal when signing up but being there acted as an eye opener. He kept his mouth shut and took the robe off, handing it to Carmen.

Getting the base on is easy. Rafael can get a feel for the structure of his models body.  Sonny hated this stage most. The back is his favorite part. With the information he holds it’s easy to appreciate the feminine curve of his spine. It’s one he wouldn’t have gotten to glide his tool on with someone unlike Sonny. He encountered this a lot while working his canvas.

The little things, I guess?

As Rafael brought out the gold stones to be placed along the spine, he took another look at his sketch. Olivia is right. It could’ve been a coincidence but the figure Rafael drew resembled that of Sonny’s. That went a long way in changing his attitude. They worked like they’d been together for a lifetime. Within the two hours they had Olivia was pleasantly surprised by how well they’d gotten along together . She didn’t have to stop yet another of Rafael’s breakdowns.

Sonny posed like a professional model too. He put up with the occasional inside joke between Rafael and Olivia. The constant re-adjusting to fit the camera angle. The useless comparisons between his and Amanda’s body. It was all in good nature since everything relied on technique and aesthetic to them. Both models expressed that in a wickedly sensual way with their innocent poses and forms

He couldn’t have been happier. There were so many moments allowing Rafael’s hands move him around so comfortably that made him nearly squeal “Thank you,” like he was drawing in his dorm room again. Sonny didn’t have to be the Rafael's “sad trans fan” anymore.

As he stood back to look at the monitor before the final picture. It’s stunning. having no time to admire what he’d done, they work on the second set.

The pictures turned out amazing. Both artists were so careful in checking so it’s all lined up on the monitor. The both silently enjoyed creating two more looks with each other. Sonny definitely loosened up to talk more. Rafael felt it only polite to respond. He loved being so proud of the his own work and accomplishments in his creation. But on Sonny’s body he couldn’t expect a better outcome.

Wrapping up after a great session was always calming. Despite his seamless formula, the day was hectic.

Everybody shook hands and filed out the room, leaving just the artists and Models in the room.  All cleaned up and dressed, Sonny and Amanda are eventually helping clean up painting supplies and stencils.

“You did a great job today.” Rafael complimented.

"You think? It was the first time in a while I felt out of place in a project." Sonny responded, shaking his head. 

Oh god. I did that.