Do you know the term overnight success? It’s sexy, it implies the person is so talented and lucky that in a short amount of time (literally overnight) the world picks them and they receive all the success they wanted.
You write a book and publishers line up at your door. You create a drawing or a painting and art collectors and gallery representatives start calling you. You compose a piece of music and performers from all over the world want to play it. I could go on but you get the idea.
It rarely works that way.
A few days ago I met my friend composer Ad Wammes from the Netherlands whose music I really enjoy playing. We walked in the old town of Vilnius and talked about his music. I asked him how does he find commissions. He said, he doesn’t look for them, they come to him. At this stage of life, he doesn’t have to worry about getting clients. With his world-wide reputation his music is played all over the world.
I wanted to know if there was a big overnight success moment sometime in the past for him. No, he said, the sales and commissions increased very gradually from the beginning.
And I believe him. This feels like reality for most people. First, you have to work diligently, create good art, get better with each piece, share it and little by little other people will start paying attention.
It takes years, decades even to reach overnight success. Anybody who wants it overnight will be disappointed and quit.
It’s better to focus on the process of creating art and sharing it with the world a little every day.
Success will be the by-product of this attitude.