For me, it's a daily kind of problem-solving that keeps my brain humming and my body moving. Although I do end up with a huge stack of paintings at the end of each year (I painted 380 paintings in 2017), I periodically cull through them and recycle/reuse ones that I later realize are just not up to par. If the "one in ten" rule of success applies to art (and I think it does), I have about 38 decent paintings from 2017 that I could consider putting in a show or selling. Simply put, it takes a lot of lemons to make one pitcher of lemonade.
Each day, regardless of accolades or awards (which do come, but I never count on them to motivate me) I go into the studio, pick up my paintbrush, and get to work. It's a kind of "Groundhog Day", but one that I wholeheartedly embrace.
Austin Kleon (author of "Steal Like an Artist"), echoed this sentiment in a recent article. He writes:
It might seem like a stretch, but I really think the best thing you can do as an artist or a creative person is pretend you’re Phil Connors (played by Bill Murray) in the movie “Groundhog Day”: there’s no tomorrow, there’s no chance of success, there’s no chance of failure, there’s just the day, and what you can do with it. …The creative journey is not one in which at the end you wake up in some mythical, happy, foreign land. The creative journey is one in which you wake up every day, like Phil, with more work to do. --Austin Kleon
Kleon goes on to quote author Hugh Macleod from his book "Ignore Everything":
The best way to get approval is to not need it.
My thoughts exactly!