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How long did it take before you became successful?

Wherever I go for a lecture, I almost always get asked this. I think it is a very funny question.

First, ‘success’ is relative, almost a state of mind. Do I think I am successful? In my mind, no, or I really don’t care if I am nor not.  So I tend to ask them back “ you mean how long it took me to start paying all my bills?”
Second, how long it took me to make living is just a fact and has absolutely no relation to or effect on how the questioner would do. It is not like answering to  “How long would it take to fly to London?” which is about 6.5 hours from New York for everyone equally whether you paid the cheapest coach or the first row in first class.

Best advice I can give you is, when you are young and you are right out of school, keep your monthly carrying cost low. If that is low, it is easier to achieve the goal of ‘making living by making art’. But, I do also advice young people to experience life after school to make your art and life richer.
Please also read my blog post.