The Personal and The Professional

Episode 216 · August 14th, 2022 · 41 mins 50 secs

About this Episode

In every field of work, there are some interactions that are professional and some that can be more personal, and the lines between them are not always clear. How casual, how revealing, how personal can you be while keeping a businesslike and professional attitude? In an art career, this issue impacts your interactions in many ways—in talking with dealers and collectors, when you give talks and interviews, in setting the tone of your website, and any time you are meeting the public. Today we’ll talk about the boundaries between personal and professional situations in an art career.

Self-promotion is an important area in which personal and professional may collide. We are often advised in marketing art to be personal, to tell our story, to let our audience into our private lives to some extent. At the same time, setting boundaries around what we choose to reveal and be open about can provide a comfort level for both our audience and ourselves. Treating professionalism as your default mode is preferable in almost any situation in which you are presenting yourself to the public.

Specific situations in which crafting a professional image include making posts on social media, creating your website, and in your relationships with galleries. For some people, feeling a little insecure and wanting to make a good impression can lead to over-sharing, while others with similar fears back away from revealing anything personal that could help others understand their work.

Understanding the audience you are aiming to attract is important, especially if you are hoping to engage with galleries, curators, and collectors who have high professional standards. We do need to be ourselves in interacting with people interested in our work, which after all is personal, and where our ideas come from are impoirtant. But in public contexts erring on the side of being more formal, more reserved, and more dignified is a good strategy. If you are showing your work, selling your work, you need to have a bit of remove from the work, an objectivity, and that is best expressed by knowing the boundaries around professional behavior.

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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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