How I define success has changed as the years have gone by, but here are the signposts of my various definitions of success:
1. My craft supports me and my family (college cost for kids, mortgage, food, etc.).
2. My craft supports my creative urges.
3. I can make, via skills and techniques, whatever my creativity insists that I make.
4. My work (jewels) is enjoyed and WORN by my collectors.
5. My work pleases and inspires me.
6. My work keeps me young!
7. My work lets me reach the heart of The Creative urge that 'seems' to come through me...a bit 'out there', but that's how it feels.
8. My peers recognize and enjoy my work as much as I enjoy making it.
9. My students make jewels that please them.
10. Being able to continue to make my work until I my hands can no longer hold my tools and my eyes close for the final sleep.
All of that being said, there are still the elements of Success that are external to the above and are out of my control: being published, being shown, receiving awards. These are primarily dependent on others perception of my work.
And lastly, the success of my work also extends beyond my time on the planet and therefore beyond my ability to experience...the heirloom quality...the hope that my work will be worn down the years, acknowledged as MY WORK, passed on through many generations and confusing to archeologists and historians of jewelry.