Being Vulnerable

Episode 215 · August 7th, 2022 · 33 mins 19 secs

About this Episode

Situations in which we feel unsure, insecure, and vulnerable are a common experience for many of us. As an artist, that feeling of vulnerability may come with exhibiting your work, promoting yourself, explaining what you do, and even when you're alone in the studio making art. Today we will share some thoughts about what it means to be vulnerable as an artist. Is vulnerability something to avoid --or tolerate-- or even embrace? What can you learn from situations in which you feel vulnerable?

Feeling emotionally vulnerable means feeling uncomfortable, exposed, or having your feelings open to attack or damage. It applies to situations in which you acknowledge your shortcomings and insecurities, and when you fear that someone else is seeing them too. It can also mean that you are speaking your truth to skeptical people who don't know anything about art. Vulnerability can happen anytime you are not putting up defenses around your true self, either because you can’t just then because you are taken off guard, or you choose not to.

Your art is extremely personal and in the best case it is also authentic and honest in representing your true self. Being open and vulnerable in that way can lead to valuable feedback or meaningful discussions, and iit allows you to seem approachable. But other times you may find you have exposed yourself to an emotional attack that serves no real purpose, and these situations should be avoidedif possible. For example, you can control who comes into your studio or refuse to defend your work to someone who is hostile to art.

Finding ways cope with vulnerability is important in negotiating an art career. If you constantly avoid the risk of exposing yourself, you may miss opportunities. At the same time, taking risks that may make you uncomfortable can end up being positive. For example, being vulnerable to your own feelings about your work can help you undertand how to proceed. Other aspects of vulnerability are negative--they can stall you or distress you in ways that are not productive, and you need to set boundaries to preserve your dignity and sense of worth. Learning to distinguish these different kinds of vulnerability can be tricky, but ultimately give you more confidence in your career.

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What's new at Cold Wax Academy?
The Summer Quarter of Cold Wax Academy's membership program is now underway. Rebecca and Jerry's upcoming weekly live, online sessions will explore Personal Voice and Composition and continue the topic of Professional Development with some special guests. Member Critiques and Painting Clinics, Cold Wax Academy's new feature, are ongoing. You can join the membership program anytime and catch up with past recorded sessions at your own pace. Please visit for more information.

Also-- stay tuned for information coming soon about Rebecca and Jerry's newest project, Espacio, dedicated to providing beautiful living and working spaces for artists and writers. Espacio's first offering is Casa Clavel, a modern, fully equipped house opening this September in the beautiful cultural city of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. You can learn more and make a reservation by emailing [email protected]. A dedicated Espacio website is coming soon!

Here is what a member named Sandy has to say about her own experience with Cold Wax Academy:
"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."

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