Face Making

Artist Gwenn Seemel’s bilingual blog about art, portraiture, free culture, and feminism.

Validation matters.

2011 . 02 . 03 - Comments / Commentaires (8)

- -—[version française]—- -

Validation is a response of some kind to something we do. It’s an acknowledgement that we affect the social network in which we exist. And, because we are social animals, we thrive on validation. 



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For artists, there are just a handful of different categories of validation:

1) Feedback. When someone takes the time to respond to an artist, it turns art into a true conversation and it’s also critical to the artist in developing her-his voice.

2) Sales. Money can give concrete form to the conversation of art.  It’s an explicit statement of the value of a work.

3) Referrals. When a patron plays a part in turning someone new onto an artist’s work, it’s twice the validation for an artist.

4) Publicity. A review of an artist’s work is an acknowledgement that the work is worthy of a public response.  But, while that may be gratifying in and of itself, publicity is also a testament to the artist’s business skills.  After all, the critics don’t usually stumble upon art without some prompting.

5) Venue. When a beginning artist finds any space willing to display her-his art, it means something.  When a more established artist breaks into the kinds of venues she-he is interested in—whether they’re academic or commercial galleries or even museums—it’s a good feeling.

6) Degree. For certain artists, a diploma makes it official. The peer recognition of a Master of Fine Arts is a must in some cases.



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Receiving one or more of these forms of validation results in two things for creatives: a desire to continue making art and an ability to sell that art. And both of these things are very important. They constitute a sustainable art practice.


RELATED ARTICLES:
- Compliments / Les compliments
- The professional artist and the hobbyist / L’artiste professionnel et l’amateur
- Hurting an artist / Blesser un artiste


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(8) Comments / Commentaires: Validation matters.

-- Claire -- 2011 . 02 . 03 --

Very true! We all need validation.
I love your painting and I love your photography as well! Thank you for posting such lovely pictures along with your insightful blog.
I wonder if the need for validation isn’t what’s behind the invention and mass appeal of social media… Receiving responses and “likes” is some sort of validation of one’s own message / “status” / tweet…
Interesting!
-Claire.

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-- Gwenn -- 2011 . 02 . 03 --

Claire!  Thank you for validating my photography.  wink  Bisous!

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-- Janet Glatz -- 2013 . 02 . 11 --

Nice post! I think it’s a rare individual (non-artist) who really understands how necessary your list is to those of us who create art. If more people took the time to comment, like, retweet, and inquire, an artist’s life would be a lot more encouraging.

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-- Gwenn -- 2013 . 02 . 16 --

Thank you for validating this blog for me, Janet! smile

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-- Vivian -- 2014 . 05 . 07 --

This is so true. Although no individual item can serve as conclusive proof of one’s artistic achievements, it would be really difficult for an artist (especially an amateur like myself :p) to go on making art without some sort of validation.
I also agree with what Janet said. I hope my non-artist friends can understand that every “like” or “comment” means a lot to me. :3
Great blog as always! I come by quite often, just too lazy to leave a comment! I should do that more often! Validation!

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-- Gwenn -- 2014 . 05 . 08 --

Thanks for the comment, Vivian! Validation is truly the underappreciated driver in so much of what we do—underappreciated because somehow being completely self-sufficient and avoiding any acknowledgment of our interdependence have become fashionable.

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-- George -- 2014 . 08 . 05 --

Thanks

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-- Gwenn -- 2014 . 08 . 06 --

You’re welcome, George!

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