Saturday, June 2, 2007

Success (?)

I have been in a self-imposed vortex of thought since yesterday morning. For those of you who are obsessive types and think too much, you know what I mean. Something will trigger a particular line of thought and away we go. The topic of yesterday’s mental harassment included art marketing, the kind of art I do, and my art life in general. I have been thinking a lot about all this stuff for the past year. Months ago, I decided I need to “raise the bar” in this art journey.
Back in the early 90’s, I moved to Florida. Before I left my home, I had a “Help me get out of Michigan” art sale. It was quite successful. I sold about 2/3 of the art I had made in my adult life. The proceeds of the sale paid for my moving costs, set me up in a place to live here in Florida, and kept the debt wolves away for a while. However looking back, I realize now it was quite traumatic for me. I miss so many of the pieces I sold. This is why I haven’t marketed my art in so long. I haven’t wanted to sell anything!
I am over that now. Well, I am trying to get over it. Consequently, I have spent hours, days, and months researching art marketing practices and thinking of art as a business.
This is what caused the mental turmoil yesterday. I was reading an article about an artist. The article glorified this artist and her successful business. After reading this tribute, I checked out the artist’s blog. It was just full of moneymaking strategies. The art is “cute” and appealing to the general population. This artist does podcasts, has entries in craft books, she creates how-to DVD’s. Yep! She seemed successful!
However after thinking for hours about this, I realized I don’t want any of that! My definition of success is not about being included in a TV craft show or being given the stamp of approval by Martha. YIKES! I don’t want to make cute, saleable items. I don’t want to do personalized commission work. I have absolutely no desire to make DVD’s or be included in how-to books or podcasts either.
So I summed up my fit of psychological torture with the realization that I have been very lucky in my life thus far. I have been doing what I wanted to do. I am doing just fine. I have had many, many valuable art career experiences and moments of such pride in my work as an artist. I might not be rolling in money but that has been my choice. I am the only one who can determine the definition of my past, present, or future SUCCESS and what that looks like to me. In conclusion, be TRUE to yourself!

Acrylic on Wood
Click to go to enlarge

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