One highly rewarding thing about being an artist is having a group of true fans that will always show up for you. It doesn’t mean you are popular, and being popular doesn’t always mean you are good.
The gold, the best stuff, the reason to keep going is the people who care about what you have to give. I take time to design my tap classes each week, and I take pride in the work I put into them. My classes weren’t packed in New York City, and less people signed up to perform my choreography in the showcases than the other choreographers on the bill. To me that made it more special. The dancers that were with me believed in my vision.
Popular does not equal best, and you don’t need everybody to love you. You need a consistent group of people that show up and believe in your ideas and your work.