Sunday, September 28, 2008

Welcoming Success

Since I dropped my regularly paying gig a year and a half ago, I've had to wrestle with the notion of success. Have I had it? Will I get it? Just what the heck is IT?

I've got several pounds of books on the business of art. Topics include How To: get into exhibits, build a resume, get a gallery, sell online, build a website, create a blog, frame for less, talk about ourselves, market ourselves, market our art, send a newsletter, win friends and influence art buyers.

If we read them all and do all that, we get success, right?

What does success look like? Does it look like a pile of money? A blinking sign with my name twinkling on it? A page from a magazine with an image of my most recent work printed on it? Perhaps it's a reception hall full of wine-sippers on opening night. A hearfelt hug from a former instructor, maybe. Will it knock on my door and announce it's arrival? Maybe I'll hear bells ringing, or the earth will tremble just a bit. That would be nice. I'd know for certain I got success. Or an earthquake.

I guess the point is this: success is very personal. And fairly hard to describe. And I have the feeling it will change everyday. In many ways impossible to measure. Some days it will be an earthquake, rumbling and shaking. More likely it will be quiet, warm and soft like a favorite blanket.

The thing is to pay attention. Every day, pay attention to your life, your actions and how the world reacts to you. You'll get success. It'll be there if you look.

What does your success look like?


Karine said...

My definition of success seems to change with the weather. (well, pretend the weather in the desert changes).

Right now, my definition is purely financial. Does that make me shallow? Or just broke.

Patricia said...

Karine, finances are hard to ignore! It's an easy measure: people like, people buy, people trade you your work for their money.
Everyone, go to and buy her wonderful monoprints!! Help her feel success!!

Karine said...

You are so sweet, Patty.