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!