Success – what’s your yardstick?


Recently I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be successful…Do you measure it by material means and your position on the corporate ladder or are fulfillment and a passion for your chosen career better yardsticks?  How about having a quality of life with happy children and a good relationship?


I am a late blooming artist – what is called an ‘emerging artist’ in my stage of the game.  But my first career was in PR and marketing.  I have a degree in Communications – a course that was reasonably hard to get into when I secured my spot.


Since walking away from the corporate world I have definitely had moments of wondering – ‘where would I be now if I had stayed?’   ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to be contributing some consistent bread and butter to the family coffers?’  Part of me feels guilty for throwing away a perfectly good career.  I feel indulgent.  I worry that other people think I have ‘copped out’.

On the other-hand, for an artist, I am in a very fortunate position.  I have a husband who has been prepared to support me financially and emotionally to follow my dream! To be a professional artist requires a huge investment in time, learning and making – and usually for a long time before financial remuneration and profile start to happen. It is a solitary pursuit and can be quite isolating. To stick at it you have to be doggedly passionate about it.  But, you know what? I happen to LOVE what I do!  Such a large part of who I am was suppressed in my old, perhaps, ‘more successful’ career.  In fact I was pretty miserable most of the time.  The job I have now is the ultimate challenge.  There is always a better painting to be made.  There is always something new to learn!

Like most modern mothers, I am required to juggle my work and family responsibilities.  When I am ‘in the zone’, having to pick up the kids from school or buy the groceries is very disruptive to the creative process and train of thought!

I am human however.  I really would like some new carpet in the bedrooms and a new dress more often – not to mention my envy when I hear about ‘the Jones’ latest trip overseas but on the scale of things I would have to say that I am happy and to me, that’s worth a million dollars.  My children are around for such a short time and I think having a happy mother is worth so much.  So I guess I think I’m a success and I hope they do too!

Amy Clarke

Eumundi, Australia


Amy Clarke is represented by Artpiece Gallery (   You can also see her work on her website  – or find her on Facebook






  1. Kate Warby said...

    Congratulations Amy on being a mother,artist,partner, homekeeper and the job description that never ends really. I loved reading your article as I am sure many others will. xx

    Oct 17, 2011 at 1:16 am
  2. HipMum said...

    Great article Amy – thanks for sharing.

    Oct 17, 2011 at 11:42 pm
  3. Rachael Powell said...

    Well done Amy! So eloquently articulated…..why does that not surprise me? You are hugely successful in my eyes… You had the guts to make change happen. You should be proud!

    Oct 19, 2011 at 4:10 am
  4. Frith Graham said...

    Fortune comes to the brave. Not the gold guilded dunny seat kind of fortune, the fortune of a truely happy and fulfilled life for you. Love your work Amy.

    Oct 22, 2011 at 7:31 pm
  5. Sal O'Regan said...

    Beautifully worded Umbo- well done!

    Nov 08, 2011 at 1:14 am

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