Would you make photographs if you knew no one would ever see them? How important is validation to keep you motivated?
Making art is hard. You put so much of yourself into your work, and sometimes it can feel like you are working in a vacuum. So if you don't get validated - by compliments or facebook likes or print sales or whatever validation means to you - does the work feel less important?
There's not an answer - it's just something I've been thinking a lot about lately. The other day I was watching a movie where the main character wants to be a poet, and she writes and writes and submits to every literary publication imaginable. She gets rejected over and over again and is devastated. Then she finds out that someone she works with is a painter. She asks him where he is trying to exhibit his work, and he says he isn't. He just does it for himself, because he loves it. He asks her, "don't you ever write something just for you?". She says no. Bewildered.
Two extremes, and the guy who is painting for himself is clearly happier than the girl who is writing to get famous. But most of us cannot be so pure in our intentions all of the time. Look, I started Crusade for Art because I truly and passionately believe that we need to connect new audiences to art - we need to cultivate the next generation of art lovers and collectors so that artists can thrive. But it's hard. At least half the time I feel like I'm killing myself to do this thing that maybe no one even cares about. But I do it, because I care. Would I love encouragement and accolades? Of course. But we don't do our best work for other people. We do our best work when it comes from the heart - when we create something just because we have to do it. So maybe that is the answer.