I have yet to meet an artist who doesn’t want to be successful.  So I began thinking on this whole question of success.  It would seem everybody wants some kind of success. Imagine how hilarious it would be to watch an artist who actually set out to be a miserable failure.  This would be a great idea for a comedy play or film. Maybe it’s already been done.  If not  I want royalties for the idea, ha.

A lot of artists are, I think , perfectionists.  They want to get it right. Your art is an expression of something core to your being.  You want it to be just perfect for yourself and others.

We live in ( or just after) an age of rampant consumerism. Anything that has value is seen to be worth so much in a dollar amount.  That’s fine, …maybe, but not everything that has value, worth or success has a dollar amount.

When you were born people didn’t hover over you in the delivery room bartering over how much you were worth in dollars. You were that ‘bundle of joy’ without a price!  You were worth the world to someone regardless of any deformities or ‘short-comings’.  Someone saw you as a success!

Money, like applause, is one way people have come to show their appreciation for something they like. Unfortunately artists can get caught up in thinking they are never a success if they don’t sell a certain amount of art or don’t make enough money selling their art.

People sometimes misunderstand me when I mention money.  They think I’m saying you shouldn’t sell art because that would be vulgar or we don’t need money or jobs to eat.  I’ve never said that or intended that meaning.

I’ve been reading a bit here and there about how there is a new focus on being happy about who and where you are in life…today.  This makes sense to me because if we spend our entire lives saying we will only be ” happy when_____” we will likely never find true happiness. Nobody knows how long we have to be on this earth so why say that you’re never a success until you can live off of your art sales or have created ‘X’ amount of work?

The best way , I think, is to understand that your worth as an artist is intrinsic.  We all want to improve, no doubt. Living is learning. Understanding that in one sense you are a success now; that you have already arrived is key to understand that success is something you already have achieved.

Thanks for visiting!!


7 comments on “Arrived

  1. I feel most successful when I am trying. It’s the constant expectation of perfectionism that holds me back and causes me to give up. My greatest success in the last few years has been the times I finished something… It wasn’t perfect to me or anyone else but I didn’t beat myself up and give up. I guess it’s a struggle to still keep trying when we put so much pressure on meeting a standard we have created. Constantly have to work on silencing that art critique in my head so I can get something done. Agree?

    • I most definitely agree! I don’t think that sales should be the one and only gauge of how one feels successful as an artist. Every piece of art changes the world. I think I’ll write about “that art critique in my head” soon. Thanks for your comment!

  2. the bad thing about money is that it makes the world go round. even as an artist , money is a necessity. without it , the artist would not be able to purchase the necessary supplies to continue the art work. and there is nothing wrong imo with trying to obtain money , the wrong about money is when it becomes an obsession and nothing else matters but the obtaining of money. lol

    • Tis’ true!
      I appreciate your comment, I really do.
      I like to see the ‘everyday’ focus away from money. Focusing on the need for money can delay us from starting small and spending some time on doing the things we love,et al.
      Please note this was in my original post above: “People sometimes misunderstand me when I mention money. They think I’m saying you shouldn’t sell art because that would be vulgar or we don’t need money or jobs to eat.”
      We can come up with new solutions while living in the old. Check out this link:
      I’m with you on money that it is now a daily concern for all and it is neither imo evil or unnecessary. In fact money management, art sales, etc are subjects every artist should look in to. But Kindness, Love, Caring, Respect for others, Hard Work and many other virtues will remain the most important things.
      Why not trade art for some things we would normally spend money on?

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