How about failure??? Well, to me, that's a "dirty" word, but the bottom line is that any time you put yourself or your work out into the world, things may not go as planned.
Here is a recent painting that didn't make the cut to be included in an International Art Exhibit:
Here is a painting that didn't sell at an art gallery after a month long show:
So, are these failures? Not to me. I like to think that if something didn't sell, the person who was destined to own it wasn't in the gallery at that time. If a painting didn't make it into a show, it wasn't meant to.
For years--YEARS, I showed a painting that seemed to refuse to sell. I knew in my heart that it was good and was determined not to let it languish under my bed. I put it in a shop for sale on consignment. It was at the back of the shop, so my expectations weren't high. But, that goes to show me!!! The lady that bought it had tears in her eyes. She hugged me. The painting had found its way into a home where it would be loved.
People who enjoy success, be it in art, music, business or just plain old life seem to have one lesson that they repeat: show up and do the work, without giving up, UNTIL...Until when??! Just UNTIL. There is no finish line. Whenever one "win" happens, there's another down the road that you have to strive for.
I'm a better artist today than I was yesterday. But imagine in a month or a year! There can't be an end to learning or trying to improve. There will never be enough time to learn or accomplish everything I dream to. That's the point. There will never be a dusting off of my hands with the comment, "Well, that's as good as it will get, so I'll stop."
When I am getting too big for my britches, thinking I'm SO clever, I'm humbled by the fact that I've sold more paintings than Van Gogh. It is what pushes me to work harder. I have been Blessed by so much more TIME than Van Gogh had. That time has to be respected. I have to honour the artists who lived before me by using my time to produce the best work that I can. Otherwise, I'm only playing with pigment and not living up to the kind of artist I must be.
Thank you for spending this time with me,