In Praise of the Long Journey

In an age where we envy quick success – the dotcom that grows from garage to gargantuan in eighteen months, the blogger who gets a book deal after three months – artist in turn lead to break-out success.  Five years later at 94, Herrera is savoring the financial remuneration and notoriety from a lifetime of painting.

As the New York Times explains, money and the fame, though appreciated, never drove Herrera’s career.  Instead, Herrera painted, quite simply, because her passion left her no choice.  As Herrera explained:

I do it [painting] because I have to do it; it’s a compulsion that also gives me pleasure…I never in my life had any idea of money and I thought fame was a very vulgar thing. So I just worked and waited. And at the end of my life, I’m getting a lot of recognition, to my amazement and my pleasure, actually.

Quick success is great, no doubt about it.  But even better is having the kind of passion for our work that compels us to persevere, to just show up.  As one of Herrera’s colleagues said to her, the bus always comes for those who wait.  In the meantime, enjoy the scenery.

I’ll be off on vacation until next week, when I’ll return with some posts on ethics issues and of course, my trends predictions for 2010.  I’ll see you then.