Making Assumptions

Episode 258 · July 11th, 2023 · 33 mins 46 secs

About this Episode

As artists we are often in uncertain territory when dealing with the world of galleries, exhibits, and other opportunities, and leaning on assumptions --what we believe you know about a situation --can help you feel more grounded or confident. But when you find out you’ve misread a situation, you may be left feeling angry or frustrated, or blame yourself for not seeing things more clearly. How can you maintain your objectivity and identify your assumptions as you navigate the ups and downs of an art career? There are no easy answers but today we will offer some perspective on this tricky issue.

The definition of assumption is "something that is accepted or believed to be true, or as certain to happen, without proof." But proof is very hard to come by when dealing with unknown situations. Nobody can have proof of everything in their lives let alone in the variable and diverse art world. We all operate on plenty of assumptions in our attempts to further our art career.

But some assumptions can come from being naive or uniformed about the situation. Many opportunities in the art world are totally legitimate but many are not. Some are basically scams in that you’re being led astray on purpose. This means you can waste a lot of your resources because you trusted that a venue was working in your best interests. But even with legitimate venues and opportunities, we can be led astray by unrealistic expectations and assumptions.

You need to be aware of any assumptions about a situation that are blinding you to what is best for you. And communication is always key in understanding as clearly as you can how to navigate various situations, whether you're dealing with a gallery, arts organization, artist residency program, teaching opportunity, or any of the other myriad opportunities that may come your way.

No matter where you are in an art career you probably grapple with the pitfalls of expectations and assumptions. Because there are lots of different scenarios you will encounter, it's hard to be on track in every situation. Give yourself a break when you recognize you’ve let assumptions play too big a role. Nobody makes the right calls all the time, but we do learn from experience in identifying our own assumptions.

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What's new at Cold Wax Academy? As Rebecca and Jerry reach the end of their third year of Live sessions they are launching a new phase of programming aimed at reviewing and reinforcing foundation topics--beginning with Color in their Summer quarter that starts on July 5th. This summer's sessions will also mentoring and professional development topics, as well as a painting clinic and a member critique. As always, Members of Cold Wax Academy have unlimited streaming access to over 100 previously recorded sessions. And a table of contents to easily find specific topics in the recordings will soon be available. For more info and to join CWA please visit

Please visit for more information as well as basic information about using cold wax medium.

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."

Also-- please visit to learn 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. A few booking openings are still available in 2023, so please incquire if you are interested.

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