I have two necklaces that I count among my favorites. Every time I wear each of them, I’m guaranteed a compliment. One was made by a local artist I met at a craft show. I’ve bought several pieces from her over the years.
The other I purchased at Macy’s department store. It’s from the 1928 Jewelry line and was made by some unknown artist. Interesting to think that he or she will never know how much pleasure his/her creation has given me.
And that’s the thing about art . . . we sometimes roll out our big, fancy projects in the hopes of getting recognition or fame or at least appreciation. And sometimes it is our signature works that bring us the most attention. But along the way, we are constantly creating other pieces without knowing what impact they have on our audiences.
I think of the countless newsletter articles I’ve written, for example, any one of which might have helped launch a career. I think of these blog posts and the comments I’ve received from readers telling me that my words were exactly what they needed to hear. I had hoped my books would be my legacy, but I sometimes wonder if I might not be better remembered for my clever Christmas letters.
I once asked my friend who ghost writes books how she could stand not getting public recognition for her brilliant words. She told me that’s not what she was hired for. She was hired to make the expert she was writing for look brilliant. And she did. He got the credit, but the art was all her. And the satisfaction of a job well done.
My point is, we never know which of our works will strike a chord and with whom. Which is why we must always put our best effort into everything we do and find a way to feel passionate about it all, even those “work for hire” jobs that will never carry our names. Because the best art is created from the heart. And ego doesn’t reside in the heart. Neither does your pocketbook.