Success can mean a lot of things to different people so it is hard to generalize it. Professional success to me is whenever you are doing something in order to make a living for yourself, as well as enjoying it. Sure, you could have a job which pays all the bills and gets you by week to week, but if you hate that job, and everyday you are just hoping for that day to end so that you can repeat it all again tomorrow until the weekend comes along.. Is that being successful? If you were or are in that position yourself, do you feel as though you have succeeded at anything beyond gaining that paycheck? I personally would not.
Last year and the year before that after high school, I spent time working while all of my other friends had moved away to continue their education either doing things they enjoyed, or doing things that will ge them a higher paying job down the road. While doing both of those things is ideally what you want, it’s not always so easy as “everyone wants to be a dentist (for example) and make tons of money”. I worked at Robert Morris University as a dining hall line cook for two years before I had to change my direction towards something more fulfilling. I wasn’t happy there, and it took me a while to figure out how unhappy I was with it all. It wasn’t because I wasn’t getting paid enough. I was making more than eno. ugh money to support myself and have spending cash on the side as much as I needed and it felt really good at first. I even was allowed to use my phone, have smoke breaks, free meals, and just enjoyingly interact with people while working. After a year and some of the same monotonous days again and again, I realized that I didn’t feel as if all of my work was really building up to anything. As if I was doing a sort of pointless job just to get by and not because I enjoyed the work itself which would eventually create a sort of day by day dread of just being there. It was during this time of work that I invested a day of the week to take classes learning lampworking in Pittsburgh. I fell in love, learning new things and feeling as though my time each week was building into a greater accomplishment even if it was slow and sparingly. This feeling is what contributed to the encouragement to finally enroll for college to gain a further education in creating art.
Now the idea behind all of that is to show an example of how success isn’t always just providing a living for yourself. Sometime success is providing an experience worth living for yourself. And while I’m not saying that I am “successful” now that I’m going to college, because that doesn’t mean anything. But I feel that I’m on the right track at least towards becoming successful now that I’m taking the oppurtunity to learn things that I’m excited about actually.
Personal success ties into that same belief in my opinion of just enjoying yourself. While I don’t mean that so long as you’re doing whatever it takes to enjoy yourself that you’ll be successful… But that personal success, comes from a sense of fulfillment. By doing things too make you feel good about yourself not just momentarily, but presently and later in life. I believe that personal success comes from doing whatever it is that betters you as a person. Which can seriously be anything you make of it since everyone interprets their personal achievements differently. I think to be successful as an artist though, you have to have fun with it. By trying new things and exploring new things and trying them all again if they don’t work out. Mainly to stay interested and curious so that everyday is a new adventure rather than just another lap around the week.