Instagram became my mother.
With social media being the arbiter of all things these days, I have recently wondered if posting art really matters? Imagine if NO ONE ever saw your art. I recently heard about an artist in Paris who painted his whole life and never showed his art. He was quite good according to one person who saw his amazing artwork. He agreed to meet with one gallery owner. When the gallery owner arrived, he decided not to meet. He changed his mind. His work was never seen. Ugh. No thumbs up, smiley faces or hearts for that poor artist.
Remember when you were little, drawing for the fun of it? Wait…. did you? I didn’t. Almost every piece of art I made, I had to show my Mom. I was an avid card-maker, drawing illustrations with silly sentiments made to cheer people up. I couldn’t believe there was a job that combined drawing and making people feel good! My mother was my biggest fan. She told me a million times that one day, I would work for Hallmark! Oh, Mom. She gave me thumbs up and hearts on all my artwork (not really, but if she was alive today, she would).
Apparently, I make art to feel validated. To have someone say “good job” or “you did it!” But I also make art to relive a childhood memory, to connect somehow to my past. Do we make art because of a NEED to express our ideas and thoughts or do we make it because on some level, to be validated, or both? Did the cavemen make art to show their other cavemen friends? Maybe some people are perfectly content making art for themselves. I often wonder about Grandma Moses. When she first started painting at age 70, did she want validation? Money? Fame? I doubt it. I know, in fact, she related her imagery to her childhood memories and just wanted to take up a hobby.
Art-making used to be a private experience. Today we need to be “liked”. We want the world to say “Good job! You did it!” With so many people bashing social media these days, I guess I want to say thank you. Thank you, Instagram. My mother isn’t here to give me those thumbs up and red hearts, but thanks to you, some person 500 miles away from me is saying “Good job! You did it!”
That’s Mom. She was the best!❤️