What we can learn from 'Luka'
This post was originally published on my other blog, The Art of Work.
Suzanne Vega has an article in the New York Times about her life as a musician. She was recently included in an article called ‘Two-hit wonders’ and this is her response. There’s a lot of great stuff in the article about the creative process and how music is made both artistically and commercially, but I also really like this description of her career:
“[Two-hit wonders is] a list I have shown up on fairly often recently, so I had almost gotten used to it. Of course, [my husband's] right, and it’s demeaning — it makes me look as though somehow I managed to squeak out those two songs and then shuffle back to being a receptionist, which isn’t true.
The way I prefer to see it is that I have had a 20-plus-year career, with a big back catalog of songs that a lot of people know, and want to hear, and yes, two of those songs were big Top 40 hits. What’s to complain about? They are like the cherries on top of the sundae. Why would I not want that? They have been my passport out of a life in an office, to a life on the road where I can go to Korea and the guy who stamps the passport says, “Are you Vega, Suzanne? Everybody knows you here.” And his eyes change with emotion when he reads my name.
I bet when she was still working as a receptionist, she had no idea she would be so successful. So whatever level of ’success’ you might have had so far in your work, keep doing what you’re doing.