Let’s dig deeper into professionalism, shall we. The credentials for professional vary and the idea is understood in different ways.

Is there something such as professional pride? Pride of doing one’s job as well as possible, as well as one is able and knowing what it means to do job at hand well, any job? I have come to learn that such pride is not what it used to be, when work was your signature, pride and measure of worthiness in the eyes of those who enjoy fruits of one’s labor. Are we so spoiled already that work is not who we are in the meaning that it only makes it possible for us to live and express ourselves outside work? Is that what being spoiled is, to have free time to express oneself and feel free? I think it is. How does this effect the way we work and do our work and most importantly appreciate as work? Work must make a decent living, be valued as craft and expertise, worker be valued as someone whose effort is noticed and appreciated. Someone who just has a job is not enough, we want more than that because we are fully what we do for work. Job must be something which can be valued as modern and an achievement, an extension to one’s personality, fulfilling ambition, one being able to show talent, capability, proof of all this existing in this one person.

Fair enough, we are entitled to this luxury, aren’t we. Be appreciated and be paid for what we are worth, what our work is worth, our labor input. What other things follow hopefully are plusses. We are entitled to search for fulfilment via work and be tormented when this does not happen. It is unfortunate when work does not involve exchange of money, it is possibly not considered work but something else, a service. Naming is important, exchange is too, interaction. Is what you feel important in this matter? Money is there in one form or the other, work as money possibly. To work and make can be seen as means of exchange, value is in what was made and done and how the exchange happened. Our values are largely bound to money as is our way of living, making money is valuable as such, having money, looking like you have money. How is that the biggest one value there is and why there does not seem to be enough ever? Money gives value to people and money only? Is how much the most used question and basis for understanding value? Value of work done where does it lie? Important seems to be who does the work: gender has an important role in creating value.

My quest is to understand professionalism and how we understand what it is. For most the pay check is proof enough, the title, education, network and being busy, accomplishing and achieving, making progress such as getting more money and more fancy titles, getting ahead on career path. I have been wondering this issue because there seems to be a huge misunderstanding or collective mind-set, one-way path, what it takes to do one’s job well, what is achieving something, having a path, pursuing goals and why this pursuing goals which self-evidently belongs to choosing careers is important to take up and obey, choosing up one’s career. What is a career, who validates it, is it given or taken?

Interestingly rules for professional in business are tightly tangled with art which makes it curious to be an artist when to create something new constantly and being one’s own boss, at least for me, are at risk of becoming something else. Artist should be a brand, a product to sell her art. Ways of becoming a brand and product is very business culture obedient more and more. That is not good news for art. Something goes missing easily which is personality, uniqueness and following path of one’s own despite what happens, doing what I want to do contradicts the business savvy heavily for a reason. What is expected of you is to obey.

When art is an investment what are the expectations and when art pursues not fulfil expectations but move further what happens? When the interest lies in ways of presentation, what and how expensive one’s equipment is, who do you know and where you live, are based, as it is said nowadays, where are we based exactly, where do we base our priorities? What is lost in this kind of interest in showing off and thinking the tools make the art more than you ever can, professional emerges when one possesses the right kind of kit? Yuk. Freedom of making out of scratch, out of nothing without need to impress by things, places and domains, play a role in making something worthy nowadays. Sure to look nice even presentable is what you are looking for go for it, but to expect that be the professional way is corporal setting and harnessing, waste of something good and turning into mass product, likeable and following instructions for professional outlook to impress as professional. Who is the artist in this picture and why the need for grandiose and expensiveness is so important to make an awe, an effect, spectacle and produce value which is bloated ready to explode? Is it business as usual we should have?

Size of one’s studio, sizes of cameras, how does an artist look like, what is the street credible look for an artist, in which city to dwell, where to show one’s art and what kind of art to make? Large prints, monumental paintings, what is the it thing, if it interests anyone? Maybe the contents will tell the value??
I also ask because to come across people who consider themselves professionals due to positions they have been granted, things they deliver and give back do not often strike as well done, having done one’s homework kind of thing at all, quite on the contrary. Professionalism is one issue where trickle down effect goes wrong, something gets in the way, like lack of will to share and contribute. So where is the professionalism when you have to put yourself on the line, your career and what does it mean to do one’s job so that there is pride, ability there in the right way, not in the way that the work serves only you and interests of yours but something larger and as we do not live alone in the world, our work affects others too pretty profoundly.