©Theresa Grillo Laird - Officer's House- Gulf Islands National Seashore - oil on canvas - 24x30- click here to purchaseI met an artist last week, a woman who in her prior life had been a highly successful architect. Working in a traditionally male field, she had reached a level of international success that any man would be proud to list as his life's accomplishment. Entirely self made, she had started from a very humble beginning attending school while waiting tables and supporting her children.
I love success stories so I asked her how she threaded the path to fulfillment and prosperity. She is a gracious woman and immediately said part of it was serendipity. But as I listened it was apparent how much her success was due to intelligent foresight, determination and good decision making about the options in front of her.
I wondered, considering the many people have these qualities yet haven't ascended the heights of success in their field.I guess she perceived what I was pondering because she suddenly said- You know, if I was to give one piece of advice it would be to have integrity. She said self integrity had been her hallmark from early on and clients recognized the standard she held herself to.
So, what is integrity? Honesty? Doing what you say you will when you say you will? Not cutting corners?
I can see how all these things would apply in business, but in art?? Though highly admirable qualities to have, they don't seem to be what would put you over the top in the very crowded field of artists.Then, bingo! She added, In art that means to be true to your vision no matter what everyone else around you is doing. Hold to the unique gift of perception and creation that you've been given, and work unswerving from within it. She said she had found that maintaining integrity had brought her an ever expanding success in a way that blowing your own horn doesn't.
So folks, words of wisdom from one who's been there. And something to remember the next time you find yourself banging your head against the wall trying to make something happen, or confronting the snake of artistic self doubt slithering across your path.