2 thoughts on “What is Success?”

  1. I think ‘suc­cess’ is a concept which var­ies from one per­son to anoth­er and purely depends on what drives you. I hes­it­ate to com­ment on this to a psy­cho­lo­gist but for me it was when I star­ted hav­ing enough con­fid­ence to put my doodles and daubs online and then star­ted receiv­ing com­ments from people in oth­er coun­tries. It lead to small press com­ics work which was even great­er recog­ni­tion for me see­ing my work on paper. I’ve nev­er been paid for any of it and am nev­er expect­ing to either. It isn’t my day-job and that means I get to chose when I do it and how (no I will NOT draw an illus­tra­tion for band album cov­ers for free; leave me be, you chan­cers). So for me it is the fact that oth­er people have recog­nised I exist and enjoyed my work — that was the mark of suc­cess for me.

    If, how­ever, you want your voca­tion to be your pro­fes­sion then you are bound to assess your pro­gress with the mark­ers of pro­fes­sion­al life — remu­ner­a­tion, awards, sales fig­ures, down­loads, men­tions on social net­works etc.

    As an artist, suc­cess is also defined on com­par­ing your intent and skill with the fin­ished art­icle — does it match or even exceed your ini­tial plans? Is it skill­ful; is it aes­thet­ic­ally pleas­ing in struc­ture; is the lan­guage fine; does it have some­thing to say, etc etc?

    At the end you could quite eas­ily con­sider your­self a suc­cess in some areas and less so in oth­ers. Most artists, wheth­er verbal or visu­al, tend to be rather crit­ic­al of them­selves in the ques­tion of wheth­er they pro­duced a good piece of art and that is what drives them to try again, and again.

    By some of the stand­ards I’ve pos­ted above you are very suc­cess­ful, although you may think oth­er­wise!

  2. Thanks for your com­ment, Elizabeth! All good points. I do won­der wheth­er ‘suc­cess’ is defined cor­rectly for a giv­en per­son (includ­ing me). That’s the dif­fi­culty, I guess.

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