"Block Party" 2011 Cindy Grisdela

It’s taken me a while to come up with my word for 2012, but I’ve decided on Confidence.

I’ve got a big new challenge coming up in March–participating in the Craftboston Spring Show in Boston, MA– and I want to go into that confidently. I’ve been spending quite a bit of time so far this month working on the details and logistics of doing a show that big and that far away–it’s very exciting.

Getting into this show has made me evaluate how I want to present myself and my art. I have a new body of work that I’m very proud of and that has been very well received so far–so I’m thrilled to be able to show it on a wider stage.  I’ve also begun researching additional venues farther from my home base that I want to apply to in 2012–I need to be confident to do that.

“Block Party,” at left, is one of my favorite pieces in the new series. This work focuses on bold use of color highlighted by textural lines that encourage the viewer to come closer and engage with the piece.  Right-click on the image to see the texture better.

As a result of this evaluation, I’m going to have to think about what work I’m showing and where I’m showing it. Also important is rethinking my studio practice and how I spend my time. I have to be able to say “No thank you” to activities that drain my resources and don’t enhance my creativity–I need confidence for that too.

Recently an artist in a group that I’m active in posted a question–“What is your definition of success?”  Such a simple question, but so hard to answer. Obviously success is a moving target. Before I got into my first juried show or made my first sale, my answer to the question would have been different. And hopefully down the road a few years I’ll have a different answer yet. But right now, I’d define success as being able to work full time on creating art. Success is pushing myself as an artist and getting validation from sales, both to new collectors and people who have purchased work from me in the past.  Success is doing shows outside of the Washington DC metro area and writing articles about textile art. I consider myself very fortunate to be able to spend my time doing what I love—making art—but I need to be confident about what I’m doing and why. It’s not enough to just make art–I have to figure out what to do next!

To help me focus on all this, I joined Alyson Stanfield’s Artist Conspiracy last month–it’s already giving me great insights into how to realize my goals.

How do you define success? What steps do you take to help you get there? I’d love to hear from you!