When was a graduate student, in 2004 or 5, I had a car and drove Joseph Nechvatal home after a guest a lecture at Queens College. He said that the thing to strive for as an artist is to have recognition from your peers. He said, if your friends appreciate your work enough to talk to you about it, that keeps you going. Don't worry about gallery sales or critics' reviews, those are validating if they happen, but having friends to share work with is more important and available.
It was straightforward who your friends were before the Internet and sites like Facebook. Now the meaning of friend includes ex-coworkers, acquaintances and distant family. It changes the type of feedback and support you receive. Posting work online, and receiving feedback via likes and comments is less satisfying and sustaining than face to face, or on the phone communication, especially about ideas and hard to articulate work.