If Van Gogh Had a Facebook Page in 1887
Just imagine if Facebook was around in the late 1800‘s, what do you think Vincent Van Gogh’s page would look like? Not too impressive right? Today we are going to take a look at this and think about the artistic journey instead of the final destination.
We all know that Van Gogh was a very passionate, talented, and innovative artist, yet he only sold one of his paintings during his lifetime (see #473). And get this, he created more than 2,100 artworks, consisting of 860 oil paintings and more than 1,300 watercolors, drawings, sketches, and prints. Yet, he felt like he wasn’t a success, and if he had a Facebook page back then it wouldn’t be too impressive either.
“Here’s a new painting that I’ve just finished…even though right now it seems that things are going very badly for me, have been doing so for some considerable time, and may continue to do so well into the future. But it is possible that everything will get better after it has all seemed to go wrong. I am not counting on it, it may never happen, but if there should be a change for the better I should regard that as a gain. I should rejoice, I should say, at last! So there was something after all!”
And the only one that likes and comments on it is Theo, his little brother.
It’s hard not to empathize for Vincent. He’s got this massive body of work and no one to share it with. He was a failure in his eyes, but to me (and millions of others), this huge body of work is a great success. Anyone that produces beautiful work like this and is dedicated and passionate enough to stick with it and produce over 2,100 pieces of art has achieved something they can be very, very, very proud of. They are a huge success! Not many people can accomplish this much with two lifetimes!
“There was a sentence in your letter that struck me, ‘I wish I were far away from everything, I am the cause of all, and bring only sorrow to everybody, I alone have brought all this misery on myself and others.’ These words struck me because that same feeling, just the same, not more nor less, is also on my conscience.” ~ Vincent van Gogh (Dear Theo Quotes)
This is when we have to start looking at the journey and not the final destination. Reflect on where your art has led you. What great experiences have you enjoyed because of your art? Was it a quiet nature walk where you enjoyed the peacefulness of the wind blowing and the birds chirping or was it a flight to another country to photograph something amazing? Either way, we can’t consider ourselves unsuccessful just because we haven’t reached our final destination (making a living, being well-known, or reaching a goal you’ve set for yourself). Keep setting goals for yourself and you may never reach the level of success you wish, but this is perfectly fine. It means you are challenging yourself and striving to accomplish even greater things in life.
Don’t allow the numbers, or public acceptance, or money, or likes validate your success. Set your own personal goals and achieve them, creating one small victory after the other. Share your work, and if you remain humble, then the smallest amount of support will send you to the moon.
Here’s a look at Van Gogh’s Fan page today. Almost 2 million fans! People finally came around 😉 Too bad he’s not here to see how much he is admired for his great contribution to the art world!