Recently, I heard about an artist who has never sold her beautiful works of art, and does not plan to do so. Before then, I had spoken to an artist who said he had alternative plans for his art - which he refused to divulge. Hearing this made me think more deeply about how we tend to assume that all artists define success in the same manner, and that we desire to travel the same route to realizing that success.
In a discussion group that I participated in several years ago, most of the artists said they wanted the money and fame which comes with being a successful artist. A few others mentioned the desire to reach their highest development of skill and creativity in the work itself. Still, others simply wanted to sell enough work to make a decent living. Working the gallery circuit, achieving notoriety beyond the regional and retaining wealthy patrons were the most common and coveted routes the majority spoke of in terms of realizing success.
Having held all of these previously- mentioned views during the early years of a promising professional art career, I have had to redefine my goals for success - as well as my personal definition of success- more than once. This was largely due to extremely challeging, unforseen life circumstances which caused derailments and eventual rebuilding.
In defining or re-defining her view of success, an artist must first acknowledge the various venues (aside from the gallery circuit) available to pursue in the field of art. After that, she must decide what she needs to achieve in order to feel successful.
Success might be landing a job doing custom design for a theatre, creating home murals for an interior design company, doing free-lance digital art, illustrating children's books or many more art-related endeavors.
At this point in my life, I have finally honed and established my personal definition of success. I'm busy working on my objectives and goals, some of which I'm willing to share and others which I'm keeping to myself.
Gette Jones. All Rights Reserved Painting: "Three Spirits"/ Copyright 2015 by Gette Jones