What even is success?

Last Friday I finished working on my Netrunner AR project (more information on that coming soon), and so something came up time and time again for me this week. Was this a success?

Kind of a hard question to answer.

But Callie, I told myself, surely this is for a university assessment right? Surely this will be answered numerically in a week? Well it isn't as easy as that to be fair. The reason I took up the weight of doing this masters degree is three fold:

As you can see, my main drive and motivation is validation and the framework to help me constantly create. The validation aspect here fits perfectly into Csikszentmikalyi's model of creativity where one of the elements involves a field of experts who recognize and validate the creative practice. That validation in a way can be attributed to success for some people.

Outside of that validation I mentioned wanting to constantly create, so what motivates that? Well there are three things that I adore in creative work:

  1. Telling a story that creates strong emotion
  2. Giving support to someone through the work
  3. Solving a problem that is not adequately solved

My netrunner project was built around the idea that there are comic book stores out there that generate income purely from things like card game events, and the community as a whole would benefit from more players. This community can be improved by solving the problem of others being able to watch, so I kind of ticked two boxes with that project. So.. did that project succeed?

Well, objectively yes? I know I'm going to pass and I got some pretty amazing feedback from known people in the community. Surely this should be success?

But I don't feel like it did. There are aspects of that project that fell just out of my grasp, it's not 100% perfect. The detection set up is not without some major lag and issues within the virtual buttons make it go a little crazy sometimes. And here's where the issue of what success lies.

If you don't feel like you succeeded, did you? What is the point of success? Derek Yu used his success on the forums with his prototypes, the feedback and positive feelings, as motiviation to move forward with more creative works. I just... don't feel that motivation from the work. But this should be a great place to springboard off into more work, it would be a shame to waste it.

I think it's important to be able to recognise this disconnect within yourself of perceived victory versus objective victory. Success is both in the mind and in reality, if you are getting that positive feedback push your own emotions to the side, people love what you do. Ignore that feeling inside yourself that tells you that you are failed and look at the evidence in front of you. And get back to making beautiful things.

Kate, by Victoria Gavrilenko http://viccolatte.deviantart.com/art/Kate-Android-Netrunner-370775477

You know, I don't care what I got for that assessment. My goals were never about simply getting a pass. I'm going to look at the comments about this project on my twitter feed and smile.

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