That’s obviously not completely true; I still care for the important things in life, like my family and my friends, my dreams, their dreams, and you know, things that actually matter.
It still stings a little bit, I won’t lie, when I work for days and days on end and get absolutely no recognition or validation for my hard work or for my art. I totally think that my art deserves the love, by the way. I am secure enough to admit that it’s actually good. What I feel really bad about on most days is how little the people around you actually care about what it is that you do; obviously they’ve got their own thing going on, but it doesn’t kill you to acknowledge hard work, you know?
It took me a while to stop caring and continue to make my art in spite of virtually no response from those who see it, but don’t appreciate it. It took me a while, and a lot of crying, to admit that this is not an easy path, but it’s one I am on anyway because it’s what I like to do. As much as I would like to admit that it is nice to have my work noticed or appreciated, it also makes a ton of sense that I should be equally uncaring of what people think of my work and keep doing what I do.
Here’s why I think that’s a good idea.
Not caring about what people thing keeps me away from unsolicited advice and unwanted rudeness from people. When you’re at a position where people dig into every little thing about you, you need to watch every move you make because one thing out of place can be mistaken for something malicious, even if it wasn’t really. It keeps me blissfully away from people who bring their backhanded compliments with them and say ‘Oh, that’s nice, but you could’ve done better’. I know, I could do better, but appreciation isn’t meant to sound that way.
The more I see how toxic everything gets online, the more I have to monitor myself because everything is taken as some kind of an innunendo, when I am just trying to share something. Nothing is simple anymore, and everything needs to be Instagram-quality curated because nobody would bat an eye otherwise. I find myself caring less and less about what people would think about my work and more about how and what my work means to me.
It’s an ongoing process, but I find myself doing more of what I love instead of doing what looks better on social media because the only way to love your art is to let go of others’ opinions of it. If people don’t get it, they don’t. If they see my art and choose to neglect it, then so be it. I believe that my art will someday find its way to someplace it is appreciated, and not ignored. The only way to get there is to keep going and not worry about why I spent so much time working on something that goes ignored.
If you’re looking for a sign why you should continue to do something that isn’t appreciated enough, please know that what you do matters. It matters more than you think. Xx