In my commercial art career, I had the opportunity to sit in on a sales seminar given by the CEO of one of my clients to his sales staff. He charged them to “make the main thing, the main thing.” I think it also applies to fine art.
Fo me, the “main thing” is the joy I experience by creating art — every other consideration is secondary. I often think of Vincent Van Gogh. He died without money or recognition in his lifetime. Thomas Kinkade, on the other hand, died with millions of dollars and millions of collectors during his career. Both are notables in art history for very different reasons. Yet, I feel certain that the main thing for each of them, was the joy of creating art—everything else was secondary.
“I believe that from joy, comes passion. From passion, comes success—
but, perhaps not in one’s lifetime.”Stephen Hall
Above artwork, detail from I’ll fly Away by Stephen Hall, acrylic on Arches paper
Note: The quote, “make the main thing, the main thing,” is a distillation of Stephen Covey’s quote, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing,” from his book, written with Roger and Rebecca Merrill, on time management, First Things First.
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