If you are an artist, you need an audience. You are hungry for that connection, just as you are hungry for the solace to create. You might think that you want to be hidden, kept away from the rush, kept away from the spotlight.
You need the spotlight, like you need the cave, ancient and buried in your heart.
You need the thrill, like you need the exile, a road that belongs only to you.
You need the panic, the fear, the "what if they don't like me and spit me out into a futile fog of destitution and agony."
What if they do just that? That thing I'm scared to death of.
Get over it.
You need them. No matter what they say. You absolutely need an audience. Only then will you be a real artist, forced to grow big and resilient and brave. That will fuel your work more than anything else will.
Who cares what they say. Who cares who they are. Who cares why. Put it out there. Put it out there like you mean it, like it's hot, like it's the only thing that matters, the only choice you've got, the only thing that keeps you alive.
Get it to them. Give it to them. Burn the fire and release it to the world.
Every artist needs an audience. You need a following, you need a spotlight, just as much as you need the source, your own energy, your own imagination, your own precious space. It's what you're here for and nothing else matters.
It's very important to have everything in balance for great work, all the elements connected and aligned. Yourself, centered with your higher calling, your skills sharp and ready for attention, your tools the best you can find, know how to use them, get to know intimately the ones you are most attracted to, your knowledge, expansive, experienced and bright, study everything you can and concentrate on what strikes your interest, and very importantly as well, your audience, hungry, ready and charged for what you've got.
Give it to them and mean it. The connection is vital. Get to know your audience, just as much as you know yourself.
It will keep you growing and pushing and paving a personal path through the unknown and that's all any artist every really wants.