These questions came to the forefront during a recent one-on-one session when I asked one of my students what his long-term photography goals were. His answer was that he wanted to sell his work. Because this student is financially well-off, I asked him why selling his work was an important goal. His answer was that having people buy your work is proof of artistic validation.
This surprised me, because, no matter how far back I go, I have always considered selling my work to be proof of financial success (or failure as the case might be). In short, I sell my work to make money. I run a fine art photography business and selling my work is one of the ways I generate income.
Sales and artistic validation
This is not to say that artistic recognition is not important, it is. However, for me, artistic recognition is separate from selling my work. In other words, selling my work and being recognized as an artist...