There are certainly pros and cons to being a 21st Century Artist. A pro is that you can upload your work to the internet for people all over the world to see. You can reach a much larger audience cheaper and quicker than ever before. But, at the same time, a con is that there is SO MUCH ART being created that often times your work just gets lost in the chaos. You may post something you put a lot of sweat and hours into and then when you share it on the internet it gets almost no response. You may feel defeated. Why aren't art directors and publications filling up my inbox wanting to know more about the artist who created the amazing thing they saw on the internet?
Don't get discouraged. I have learned (not as quickly as I would have liked) that you can't measure your success and happiness based on the immediate response to your work. You alone know how much time and research and hard work you put into your latest project. Be happy that you completed something! Add it to your portfolio to show off. But don't stop and wait for the pat on the back or the praise to keep you going. It may or may not come. Start right on your next endeavor. And, hopefully, eventually, someone may notice one of the things you created in the past and will reach out and let you know how awesome it is.
(This is not to say that you don't have to promote yourself and reach out to art directors, galleries, publications, etc in order to get noticed. If you are waiting to get noticed or picked up by a famous publication, it will never come.)
Over a year ago, I was watching the classic Twilight Zone TV shows on Netflix. I love the way Rod Serling writes and films. I became particularly enamored by the episode "Eye of the Beholder." So I decided to make a poster about the episode. Most of my personal passion projects can take several months to complete. I take time to research the subject, try out different compositions, make several sketches, and then make adjustments until I feel it is "finished." When that time came, I put it out into the world via social media, and made it available to buy on my website.
And that was it. No big fanfare, no awards, no sold out inventory.
Then just the other day (over a year after the completion of the project) someone from the SYFY Network reached out to me. They are having a Twilight Zone marathon on the SYFY channel at 6AM December 31, 2017 - 4AM January 2, 2018 and they want to showcase my artwork!
Totally worth the wait.