The Confidence Game

Episode 219 · September 4th, 2022 · 33 mins 18 secs

About this Episode

As artists and as creative entrepreneurs we all know the challenges of building confidence—in our own attitudes and in our encounters with people we want to engage with our work. To a large extent, we invent ourselves as we go along, developing a vision for our work and an audience to appreciate it. And often we tackle all of this without much emotional or practical support, and the times when we struggle have a way of depleting our confidence. Today we will talk about understanding the role of confidence in your work and in your business dealings.

Self-confidence provides you with energy in the studio, optimism, motivation, and a positive mindset that can get you through the inevitable issues of a creative practice. It can also, unfortunately, be rather fragile if you don’t have a strong foundation of confidence.

Confidence in your work itself is basic, and has to come first. With focus and diligence you may find confidence in the privacy of your studio more easily than in your more public dealings with marketing, galleries, exhibits, and so on. For some people, the latter situation may always be a challenge. But just as with the need to practice your art skills, practice in engaging with the outside world can also build confidence, and sometimes it's important to take opportunities that require you to go beyond what you think you can do.

Confidence has its roots not in ego, but in a realistic and humble assessment of your own artistic development and goals. When you understand your own situation, your confidence can be maintained through inevitable failures and difficulties. Confidence can be built by taking action, building your skills, and committing to your studio practice. Making time for your work, finishing work, being patient and compassionate with yourself, and accepting cycles of more and less productivity all help grow your self-confidence. .

There are no easy answers to finding and maintaining confidence in your work and in dealing with the art world—but it may help to know how common this problem is, even for people who seem to have it all in terms of recognition and success. Dealing with the outside world is easier if you have inner confidence but accepting challenges that feel uncomfortable is also a way of improving your confidence in a more public way over time.

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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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