For the vast majority of artists, it takes years, sometimes decades, for there to be much of a payoff. The craft of an artist is constantly being honed, tweaked, refined, and pursued in order for an artist to be able to produce substance and quality.
Guys like Donald Miller and Jeff Goins, regularly talk about work ethic and how that can often be more important than sheer talent. Talent without work ethic can only get you so far, just ask Matt Leinart, or 90% of NFL draft picks. Take a solid work ethic and pair it with a liberal dose of patience, and you’ve got a powerful one-two punch.
A meteor shower in Zion National Park
It’s easy to get frustrated that success, recognition, or financial rewards don’t come as quickly or as liberally as we would ideally like, especially when its so easy to find a slew of people younger than you that appear to just fall ass-backwards into “success.”
Patience is a quality that is often lost on this generation. But it is so valuable. Last year I had a conversation at work with a wise coworker, a therapeutic instructor, that stuck with me. When I asked him what he thought was the most important aspect of success, he responded,
“Delayed gratification. The ability to be patient. Hands down.”
As I continue to work towards my goals as an artist in photography and storytelling, its something I must continue to remind myself. Patience is a vital component for life, regardless of what you are pursuing. And to be sure, creating art is its own reward. It does not really matter if its widely recognized or only a handful of people ever appreciate it. External rewards are just bonuses.
If you can’t be happy without money or accolades, you surely won’t be happy if those things ever come.
For inspiration and some plain ol’ great music, check out Haim. I been stuck on their album Days Are Gone since I recently discovered them.