Ever hear that?
“Success breeds success.”
Ever wonder what it means? Or really give it much thought?
I’m not going to dive into the theories or studies of this statement. I just want to share what I, myself, have learned about it.
In my opinion, if you work hard at something, and you push yourself, you are going to make some sort of progress. And whether it be your end result or not, or maybe even barely there, any sort of progress is still progress. And, in this girl’s humble opinion, if you make progress, you are successful. Then, when you’ve reaped your reward, even a small one, you learn from it. You have information now that can propel you forward. If what you’re doing isn’t a gamble, you are almost guaranteed to progress even further. Of course, I’m speaking very generically. Saying that your output depends on your input is very generic, but it’s generally true. I find it to be extremely true in my case.
In my art career, my little baby bud of an art career, I have found that if I push myself beyond my limits, even scare myself a little, I always end up with some sort of reward or information that I can use to my future advantage. This is very well rounded in my art career. It applies to the creating side as much as the business side. For example, I’ve made the statement within the last few months that “I don’t do portraits”. However, in the last 30 days, I’ve done five. My first five. And I’m pleased with them! Success. I’ve also stated that I only paint on canvas… Yet, I finished 20 small pieces of art painted on wood panels, and I loved the process. Success. I sold 16 of the 20 at an art show in Burien. Success. And now I have 6 more pieces commissioned that will be painted on wood. Success. And yes, I said “commissioned”. In fact, my first commissioned pieces. I’m excited and not a bit of the fear I used to experience when I thought about commission work. Success.
Then there’s the business side. I’ve fallen away from my blog, obviously, which is a marketing tool for me. It not only allows me to get my own thoughts straight, it gives people the opportunity to get to know me better. Sometimes people buy the artist more than the art. Is it scary to post your personal thoughts? Absolutely. I hold my breath every time I hit “publish”, but it’s a decision I made to do… yet, it wasn’t driving me the way it had before. I let myself get sidetracked. I missed it, but nothing really pushed me back to it, which made me wonder if it was worth keeping. That is, until I got a note from an incredible event planner with an event show in Seattle asking me if I would like to try live painting. She said she found me because of my blog post about live painting. Success.
Live painting? I only ever admired the idea. It was a little scary, but I agreed to try it. I showed up at the show as a vendor and absolutely loved it. Success. Now, with a new service I’m offering, I received interest from venues, planners, and brides and grooms. Success!
And finally, the last incredible piece of success I’m proud to share: by the end of this year I will have completed close to 55 original paintings. Granted, some were very small (6″x6″), but some were big (up to 48″). That’s an average of more than one painting per week. It was awesome and I can’t wait to progress from that every year.
Hope this inspires you somehow, or at least gets you thinking.
Baby steps, right?