What is success?

Reflections on creativity after an amazing weekend in my home town.

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The more I go to these kinds of events, the clearer it becomes: the creative process holds a glorious consistency. No matter what we create – music, visual arts, dance, literature, strange and potent combinations of any or all of the above – we share a common process.

At the Art Confab organized by our own Gallery One this weekend, I listened to mostly visual artists and the people who support them. Gallery owners, museum directors, event coordinators, grant makers and grant givers, arts advocates. Painters, collagists, sculptors, installation artists, fabric artists, photographers, multimedia artists. People who do public art on a large scale (murals on downtown buildings) and people who do art so private it is rarely seen. People who make their livings in the arts and people who drive buses to pay their rents.

The message came across loud and clear: DO YOUR ART.

Or, as Joseph Schneider, an amazing installation/large piece artist from a tiny town in Oregon put it: “We are all trying to find a balance within ourselves, that will open our hearts more. We participate in a vision of beauty, to which we contribute our own individual solutions.” (Paraphrased from several remarks of Joe’s, based on my notes.)

Success as an artist means doing the art you want, need, long to do. It is as simple as that, though it is rarely easy.

As writers, we too, need to do our art.

And count our successes one word at a time.

 

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