Thursday, July 11, 2013
What is Success?
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What is success? I define success as having a sense of accomplishment. In other words, if I set a task for myself and complete it I count that as success. It has nothing to do with monetary gain or recognition for me. A long time ago, I realized I was not going to be the artist on the cover of Art in America. Nor was I going to have the long-awaited retrospective at the Whitney. How then would I be successful? It took some time for me to reconcile myself to the notion of "self-recognized success." I just made that phrase up, by the way. Once I realized that I wasn't going to have the type of success that big name artists have, and got over the immediate sense of failure around that, I set about defining my own type of success - "self-recognized success."
This is just a shift in perspective, you know.
From one point of view my career could look less than successful. I haven't had a major museum show or been covered by a big glossy art magazine. On the other hand, I spend my days teaching art and making art as a self-supporting working artist. I have one to two shows a year and sell my work fairly regularly. And I know for a fact, I'm the envy of some of my peers and most of my students. Everyone I meet expresses this wonderful sense of joy, for me, that I get to do the work I love every day. If that's not success, then I'm mad as a hatter!
In essence, I think what I'm getting at here is that success if how you define it for yourself. So get out there and start practicing "self-recognized success." It works!
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