Getting those Facebook Likes

Related to pride & humility which I spoke about in my previous post, I sometimes wonder as I post whatever new painting I've done up to Facebook and eagerly anticipate the comments / compliments that might come..  if I'm not just trying to show off?  Am I just trying to gratify my pride?  Is posting up artwork just a way to fish for compliments and seek praise and validation?  Perhaps. There's probably some of that feeling there.  How is that different from putting up work on in a physical gallery and inviting everyone you know to come to the art show?

Of course when you work hard on a piece, often spending many hours to complete it, and put so much energy and thought into it, the validation from others is helpful.  I've spent many hours fussing and studying and contemplating this scene.. wondering if I'm making the best choices in composition, trying to get the drawing right, trying to make the best brush strokes, use the right colors, etc..  a thousand decisions go into every painting. 

I find it very difficult to post a picture up there and then forget about it..  I want to know how others are reacting to it.  Of course I would like to simply be happy with what I've done - to please myself and to feel that God is pleased.  I try to do that, but there's also a desire to see how others feel about it as well - to put this thing I've struggled to create out there for people to see - and to see if they like it.  Art is meant to be shown isn't it?  What's the point of creating the painting if you're not going to show it to anyone?  The way others react to it in large measure is a determining factor as whether I feel like it's a successful painting.  I think most artists would feel that way.

Posting to FB is a little different from a physical gallery space.  On FB and other social media, you get this mechanism of immediate "likes" and comments.  But aren't most people just being nice?  How do I know they are truly favorable reactions?  Of course, on FB generally your friends are only going to say good things.  I wouldn't mind so much if I got some negative comments - I know people have lots of different tastes and preferences and you're never going to please everyone.  But this "likes" tool is helpful in another way as well.  Most often if they don't like it, people just refrain from saying anything - which can be a nice way to judge if I'm hitting the mark.  It's helpful to see how much people are not commenting / liking as much as it to see a high number of favorable comments.  

So I guess if I'm using FB as a way to judge the relative success of my work, maybe that's not such a bad thing.  But I do want to be careful - I want to share my work with others and at the same time remember that God is at root of any successful and good thing I create.  If it's good, I can't legitametely take all the praise to myself.