DOES YOUR ART MATTER?
You're an artist. You might also be a student, or a teacher, or a barista, or homeless, or a ___________. You struggle to make work sometimes. You constantly ask yourself if making art is worth it. Does your work make a difference? Does your work matter?
HOW DO I CREATE WORK THAT MATTERS?
First you have to ask yourself, "why do I create?" Then you can ask, "who do I need to respond to my work?"
Then you can get down to the business and talk about how to make that work matter. That perspective is also going to shift when you reach milestones during your creative career. You're in a different place as you are just beginning making art: discovering the passion, moving into the initial learning/study phase when you're learning and experimenting with the materials without thought to the end result.You're in it, because you are satisfied by the process. You might start as a child, as you take art courses in school. Then you become serious about your work. It's become a direction in your life. You have to create or you fall into a funk. You're creating meaningful works of art and are developing a style in your chosen medium. The next phase you enter into is the professional career, selling your artwork, reaching a larger audience, garnering some awards and recognition. You're confident in your technical and creative skills and people are noticing.
When you scribble out drawings as a child, you're finding your mark, but you're looking for recognition from your parents. It's fun with personal satisfaction, but there's a sense of attention that you crave as well.
As you mature, you're a little more confident. You're taking classes. You are seeking your medium and voice. If itmatters to you, then you're doing good things. You're going to make some garbage work, sure, but you're experimenting and developing your unique style through technical and creative mastery. You might pick up a job where someone actually pays you for your work, but that's fewer and further between. you don't need to care too much about the client or the viewer because you're exploring what makes your art yours.
Eventually, you've challenged yourself to become the master of your medium. You know the tools and how to bend them to your will. Others are looking at your work or you're looking for ajob in teh field. Since you've developed your style, hopefully agencies are hiring you (after you seek them out) because of that unique style. You have value. Now you have to create for the client. If you're making fine-art, go keep making for yourself. If you want to sell, you can listen to your gallery rep, your buyers, patrons, to figure out if people want what you're making. Luckily, there's the internet. There's SOMEONE out there that thinks like you. Sell to them. Find the niche that supports you and attack it! That's where the gold lies.
Go grab it. If you're happy doing what you're doing, your work matters.