I want to share two things that I need to remind myself.
Or more accurately, two different aspects of one thing:
You are the Artist, Not the Art.
As much as I go off about artists needing to share their work; the fact is, all you can do is make art and share it.
If your art is well received you may get new opportunities, but the new work cannot ride on the laurels of what you made before. If anything, it must surpass it.
In addition, hard work is not a guarantee of success in the marketplace.
I had a slump that lasted years because my ego was under the impression that I deserved worldly success on a couple of projects just because I busted my ass making them.
The only success you deserve when you bust your ass to make art is the satisfaction that you made something to the best of your ability. This is huge, but it does not often translate in terms of monetary success or fame. In fact, it is quite likely that if you do receive notoriety, it will be from something easy or off brand. (see The Goo Goo Dolls).
People will decide if they like your art. They will decide what it means to them. They will decide what is important to them.
Your job is to make art, put it out there, and remember that every piece of work is brand new.
Thanks for reading.