Defining Success

This blog plays a part in my success, because it captures some of my creative processes, dreams, experiences of art and life, as a daily practice,  I share with others. Since my creative processes are often done in isolation, my blog is a way for me to interact with others, which in turn helps me to network, connect and share!

After some difficult months and major changes, I spent some time soul searching, reestablishing boundaries, redefining goals.  My definition of success needed to be adjusted, tweaked and changed at various times in my life. What I defined as success in my twenties, looks very different from what success looks like in my fifties!

In the Native American tradition, there is no word for art, because it is in every aspect of daily living and life. That’s how I wish to live my life, not with art being something separate, but as something that is a part of my life, like nature is, family is…because art is not separate from me! It is the authentic me.  This is the formula used to define my success.

(“Define Your Success” – 5″x7″ – Mixed Media/Paper)

So a major part of defining my success is creating art, selling art, living with art and letting others know how what this means to me and what it can mean for them. I would like to reiterate: this is how I make a living! I love sincere compliments, who doesn’t like hearing pleasantries about something they’ve made?

REMEMBER, it is cash, that pay the bills, feed my family, gas up the car, pay for health insurance and allows me to continue being me. This is my economic circle of life.

All of the above makes me a success! How are you defining your success? Are you allowing others to define success for you?  Forge your own path.

In peace to you and yours.

  1. Well I can completely relate to this post, Indigene! Compliments are indeed wonderful, but my landlord (and the market, utility company, gas station, etc.) will not take a painting for what I owe them and need to have in order to do my artwork!! My definition of success was never about being Rich and Famous…just making enough money from being a Serious Artist, in order to continue being a Serious Artist!! That seems to be harder and harder these days, with raging inflation…even with a relatively simple lifestyle like mine: *no* expensive habits, unless you count watercolor paint and paper! :-) Thanks for your honesty, my dear. Refreshing in the blogging world of so much, "I'm doing f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c!"

    Comment by Susan Sorrell Hill — September 14, 2011 @ 7:24 pm

  2. I couldn't agree more about priorities changing as we age! What an important tidbit of wisdom for all of us to define our own success. Thank you!

    Comment by Vicki Smith — September 14, 2011 @ 7:46 pm

  3. This post was very timely as I am currently floating in a sea of uncertainty with regards to my art, my life, and the definition of 'success' that I was raised with (incidentally, I was taught that people like me will never truly be successful – that's a hard pill to swallow!).

    Comment by ruth — September 14, 2011 @ 8:51 pm

  4. I have to think a bit longer on how I define success. Of course it is about being able to pay the bills, but it is so much more than that too. 'Success' is actually a word I do not use in daily life nor in my mind much. I tend to think about growing and giving, about leaving a legacy, being a good role model to my daughter.
    I love that quote of the Native American tradition in which art and the artist are one. Just yesterday I read the same on the LinkedIn a statement: 'Buyers do not buy art but an artist'. That is true too because if somebody owns a 'Van Gogh', they refer to it as a 'Van Gogh', not as a colourful painting which oddly, curvy trees.

    Comment by Mindful Drawing — September 15, 2011 @ 12:15 am

  5. The native american view of art, reminds me of a trip we took to the museum over the weekend. The ancient egypt exhibit was amazing, but it struck me that, a modern culture views art separate from life where as the egyptians lived and breathed it – it was not compartmentalized

    I'm in the middle of re-evaluating success and goals at the moment so thank you for the encouragement/inspiration

    Comment by Amanda Mills — September 15, 2011 @ 9:18 am

  6. Hi, Indigene!
    I love both the writing and the image of your last post!
    The image would make a nice poster. Or post cards.
    I was moved to tears by your Disguised post… Not only because I've experienced a loss lately but because of your beautifull description of such an intimate an profound moment. My heart is with you.

    Comment by Wanda Torres — September 15, 2011 @ 10:14 am

  7. Wow! I didn't know that there's no aboriginal word for art. It's the flip side of there being about a zillion Inuit words for snow, isn't it? :) Both are pervasive but art: more important and therefore less definable. I know the isolation you speak of and the need for connection. I am happy to be able to connect to you. And unhappy that we need cash. :(

    Comment by andrea — September 15, 2011 @ 9:29 pm

  8. Wonderful thoughts to contemplate Indigene! I think you should hang this piece where you work and remember all these things when you are doing what you do — and keep doing what you do too!

    Comment by Linda Hensley — September 16, 2011 @ 5:54 pm

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