Friday, June 08, 2007

Thoughts on Giving and Success

Copyright Tattered Edge 2007
It's been a day of personal reflection. This morning, my friend Shari asked how we, as artists measure success. Part of my answer was this:

I am often assessing where I am in the big scheme of things and wondering just how far I want to take it and when will I know when I have gotten "there". I know I don't want to get a fat head. I want the work itself just to be enough. I would like to have more opportunities to contribute open up to me. I am perfectly willing to do the work-it's not enough for me to just succeed through the "it's who you know" network*. I want to feel the satisfaction of knowing I deserve it. I believe in paying your dues. It allows for time to develop your character and when the success does come, then you can really, fully appreciate and embrace it.

One thing I measure as success is when you are on the upswing, you reach down and pull someone up with you. It's not enough (IMHO) to work for your own gain. It's important to give back, to mentor someone else if you can. I think it's important to want the art world to grow as a whole-not just to serve your own purposes. I think successful people are those see the big picture and develop a generousity of spirit. If you can act with integrity like that, then people respect you and I think that, more than anything is really important. It will show in everything you do.

*Meant in no way to be a judgement of anyone else.

It's good sometimes to stop and think about where you are headed and how you are conducting yourself in the world. Today I spent the day supporting a friend who needed me. Let me tell you, there is no bigger blessing than to have someone come to you because they trust you and ask for your help. It's humbling and it speaks volumes about a friendship that I value deeply.

It made me think of something that came in my email couple days ago from another friend, Donna Magic. She sends me inspiration on a daily basis and this was part of it:

"Each person traveling the same or parallel path needs the attention that we can give. Every time we offer love to someone else, our own spirit is nourished."

Isn't that beautiful? We all have something to give-we just have to figure out what it is and then have the courage to actually share it! If someone needs a kind word, speak it. If someone needs some guidance, offer your hand. It costs you nothing and the more you give, the more you get to keep for yourself. Didn't John Lennon have lyrics to that effect? "In the end the love you take is equal to the love you make." May you be successful in all the ways that matter most.


Deb said...

If this success - the generosity of spirit and the kind words, you are swimming in it!
If anyone knows about the art of giving and how empathy can make a difference in one's life it is you.
Thanks for being who you are and for being my friend.

lindaharre said...

How adorable! Love the tone of the piece:)

debra cooper said...

My thoughts exactly. When I was scrapbooking and designing several years ago, the atmosphere was the complete opposite of what you described. Copying, stealing, protecting, always wanting more was the name of the game. The more involved in the industry I became, the more I saw this and it gave me such a distaste for the whole thing. I actually haven't scrapbooked in years. I don't want to have anything to do with it, which is sad, really. I have found the opposite to be true of the mixed media community/friends I've made since then. It is so refreshing and real. AND I feel like I've grown artistically so much at the same time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Oh, and your triptychs are gorgeous!!