Finding Success as an Artist
It took me a long time to figure out what success as an artist meant to me. Originally I thought it was for my work to be recognizable by peers and patrons, then to be published and/or accepted as a professional artist, and finally, to have a modicum of sales which would ensure that I could continue on this sometimes lonely but not inexpensive path. At one time I felt like a success when my work was published alongside Pavarotti in the Avenue Magazine in Calgary, or when I was interviewed for Shaw and Global television.
But these days I tend to feel most successful when I work...even when the work isn't exactly heading in the direction which I had initially planned. Just being in my studio (or on occasion in the garden or garage) and working stems more ideas and really gets those creative juices flowing. I find that the more I work, the less critical I am of myself which allows the work to flow more freely...though it doesn't mean it's all good, but rather that it's just part of the process. I love the process now more than anything and sometimes become saddened at the end which is a far cry about how I used to feel.
In the beginning it was all about quantity over quality. I think much of my life was like that. Amassing more rather than focusing on what matters. Maybe it's my age or just gathering experience over time but these days I like to think that success is trying rather than not. As my husband likes to say (he's full of sports analogies) never, ever, ever give up (Vince Lombardi paraphrasing Winston Churchill).
1/13/2015 09:46:42 am
I've come to the same conclusion. The process makes me feel very excited and most alive. The business end doesn't...so doing the work is the path at this point.
1/13/2015 12:42:42 pm
Jeanne...I'm finding it interesting that I experience more material success when I'm not looking for it and rather focus on the work instead.
1/13/2015 03:03:37 pm
Yes! Experiencing the joy of making! All the sudden I had several works done and while shsring the making process had enquiries about purchases so by the time they were all done they were all sold! It was magical! And it reminded me...I need to make what I want to make. If my love and passion is in it, others like that too. And even if they don't it's ok as I love what I'm doing!
1/14/2015 01:02:49 am
Isn't it interesting, Stacy, that when we love what we do others can't help but love it, too? I think the energy that goes into the work is infectious...and that the right audience will find it.
1/14/2015 01:03:36 am
Thank you very much Michelle.
1/14/2015 04:31:53 am
Hello Veronica, it has taken me a while also to come to the same conclusion. For the best part of 2014 I worked in isolation and I loved it. I withdrew from most distractions, well apart from studying other artists on the Internet. Check out Agnes Martins writings, they are inspirational. Cheers Ave
1/14/2015 12:55:47 pm
I've done that, too...actually moved to a farmhouse in the middle of the prairies with no internet and it was a great time of creative growth for me. And thank you for the suggestion.
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