Anyone who cares about the work they perform wants to have that work appreciated and respected. And while certain professions and high-level positions can elicit that respect almost automatically, people in many other fields have to build that regard from others over time. They need to constantly reinforce respect for what they do-- and most importantly, feel it within themselves in order to create it. Those in creative fields may have special challenges in building respect in a society that tends to look at what they do as unimportant, a hobby or sideline, or something they do simply to please themselves. Or their work may be regarded for its commercial or decorative value only. Today we’ll take a look at the ways artists and other creative people struggle to establish respect in the circles in which they move.
Unfortunately, stereotypes about artists are often not favorable. We may be thought of as self-indulgent, irresponsible, arrogant, and perhaps not fully contributing members of society. So, situations in which artists are disrespected, not taken seriously, or valued for their contributions are common. Self-respect is key to identifying and –ideally--reacting constructively to such situations.
Dealing with situations that involve disrespect can be difficult, especially for personality types that prefer to avoid conflict and let things slide. Lack of experience can also enter in, as disrespectful situations can develop because you are not sure what is expected or acceptable. For example, the first time you are in a gallery show or the first time you are asked to teach a workshop you may be asked to do things that are out of line with standard practice. But because for you it is unknown territory, you may accept them as the way things are done.
Most of us, no matter our level of experience or ability to handle conflict, have boundaries that tell us when to object or walk away. It’s important to become aware of when those boundaries are challenged and rely on our inner sense of self-respect to respond. Be alert for manipulation and unreasonable expectations from others that concern your art practice, and practice stating your needs and limits. You can certainly decide to live with some situations that are less than perfect, but that choice should include clear benefits for yourself that you judge to balance the equation.
It’s a difficult reality that we all run into disrespectful situations, and our personalities have everything to do with how we handle them. For many of us, letting things slide works for a while. But a situation that creates an ongoing sense of disrespect needs to be addressed. OPur work and self-respect are top priorities.
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Rebecca and her partner at Cold Wax Academy, Jerry McLaughlin are wrapping up an exciting Spring Quarter and have announced their lineup of topics for Summer quarter which begins July 7. Their weekly live, interactive sessions will focus on Mark-making, Composition, and on Setting and Following Intentions to create strong, cohesive work.
But you don't have to wait for the new quarter to join the Academy--All sessions are recorded and fully accessible in the Member Library, and you can watch and rewatch at your own pace. In addition, joining at any time gives you access to all the perks of membership and the benefits of being part of a growing, knowledgable community of other artists.
Here is what a member named Sandy has to say about her own experience:
"Rebecca and Jerry have presented the most professional, authentic and structured approach to a creative activity I have ever come across. Their selfless sharing of all their knowledge and encouragement is a gift in my life unsurpassed."
And just in --for a limited time, Jerry and Rebecca are offering a new membership level that provides access to their extensive video workshop only-- the cost is $249 for 6 weeks of streaming access, plenty of time to watch and rewatch all the in-depth content provided in this unique video.
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