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).
AIRdirondack Art Project