Saturday, June 11, 2011

Important Ingredient to Artistic Success

I, generally, like Quotes from successful people. On my Twitter account (ProfessorWhen) I follow a number of Profiles that are devoted to nothing else but Quotes. I don't, however, accept these Quotes at face-value (ie as being 'True') without running them through my thought process.

I find some gems among these Quotes that I totally agree with and I have been known to Retweet them. I find even more that are specific to a particular set of circumstances that the 'author' (however successful and famous they may be) was encountering in his / her life and is, therefore, not valid for everyone or for every challenge.

Unfortunately, I am finding a great deal of Quotes these days to be devised to make the 'author' sound intelligent and, upon reflection (logical interpretation), are found to be just 'clever sounding garbage'. This concerns me. I find a lot of people don't interpret and inspect but just repeat. I remember a young friend on Facebook posting a Quote that I believe fitted into this class of Quote and I saw it as an Affirmation of actions that person was taking in their life. I answered the post with my own (new) Quote:

"Not all clever sounding quotes are true." - Wayne Jarman

Where am I going with this? I want to start with two Quotes but I don't want anyone to believe me ...without first doubting me and asking mental questions.

The first Quote:

"Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe." - Gail Devers.

How does this sound? Have a think about it before reading my comment (and bear in mind, if your opinion varies from my opinion, that doesn't make you wrong. I may be wrong!!!)

I think Gail Devers said some wonderful stuff in the first two sentences. I think that she got carried away with herself in the third sentence. You can have a dream, have faith, believe in yourself, have vision, work hard and be determined and dedicated ...and still fail. Sometimes it just isn't possible. That's life! There are no guarantees of success. (I wouldn't Retweet this Quote.)

Second Quote:

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." - Calvin Coolidge (30th President of the United States).

I still have a problem with this quote. Just a small one ...and there is a common theme developing here. A writer tends to get on a flow and, eventually, gets to the big climax ...and tends to overstate! (I'll have to go back through With a Mind to Achieve to see if I have fallen into this trap.) If Calvin Coolidge had written "Persistence and determination are omnipotent", I would have been a much happier reader. The word 'alone' tends to negate / exclude the value of everything else and 'everything else' does add value. BUT, this is a minor complaint.

So, I finally reach the point of my writing (that relates to the title). The important ingredient for Artistic Success is the same as the ingredient for success in any field - Persistence.

You might reply: "Oh no! Not with Artistic endeavours. You need TALENT first."

I disagree and I refer you back to Calvin Coolidge's Quote. Talented, unsuccessful people are everywhere. I have heard an update on his reference to talent in the quote: "Talent and $5 will get you a cup of coffee."

During my time in theatre, I have met some amazingly talented people - actors, singers, musicians - who's name would not be known outside of their home town. The reasons for their lack of success can make for an extremely long list ...but the bottom line is lack of persistence. In Art (eg Painting), I have seen some wonderful artworks from naturally talented people but I have also seen work as good from people who have had to dedicate the time and effort to learn the technical elements of their chosen field.

I do not consider myself successful as an artist or writer ...yet. I have the artworks on the wall. I have the published book ...another one on the way. I don't have the lifestyle, though, that I want those skills to develop. That will take persistence.

I first started writing in 1988. That book will be published soon. I first started drawing classes around the same time. The game is not over. Persistence is forever or it's not 'persistence'.

How about you? Have you achieved your goals yet? Is the game over? Have you given up? OR persistence still the game-plan?

Oh ...and just one other thing - Good Luck!

(That element of luck has made many a famous person 'famous' but you won't see it referred to in too many clever sounding Quotes.)


"I have a positive expectation of success."

"I am resilient. All challenges are temporary and are quickly overcome. Nothing stops me from achieving my goals."

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