I went to school for art, and to be honest, I felt more pretentious at that point in my life than any other. When friends and family would ask about my studies, I would go into long rants about the masters, the meaning behind their methods, the way they captured the barren emotions of their audience on canvas or in sculpture, but to be honest, I spent a lot of my time wondering why I wasn’t getting any closer to unlocking the secrets of the art world. I was still just as confused looking at some of the pieces I appreciated so much, wondering why I didn’t have the innate talent that they seemed to possess in their works.
I knew I had some talent, and I knew that I could replicate a lot of their works, but there was always a dead give away that mine was a feeble attempt at reproduction while theirs was a masterpiece. Whether an eye was too large, or a shadow forgotten, I was always chasing in the footsteps of these giants of the art world. It wasn’t until a few years after college that I started to pick up the brush and bring my own eye to the world. I would sketch and paint before of course, but never in a means to sell any of my works.
My first sold piece itself even came as a fluke, as I had a garage sale one day, and found that my girlfriend at the time had laid out a few of my paintings across the side of the house. I wasn’t even upset to find some of my pieces out there, I was upset that the asking price seemed way too high for this amateur to be asking. Until I found one man standing in front of a particular piece eyeing it carefully, chin in the palm of his hand. When I came up to talk to him he asked me about the artist, whom I told was myself. He looked it over for some time, and then left, and I thought that was the end of that.
He returned though, about an hour later, with the money in hand. I was kind of in shock when he handed over the asking price without any haggle. My then girlfriend laughed with an “I told you so” smile when I recounted the story later. I’m still friends with that man today, and he has always been one of my biggest supporters, but to be the first to ever pay me for my work, he always holds a special place in my heart. I surprised him and his wife with a painting of their wedding photo, it was great to see the reaction on his face, almost in tears as an artist he admired paying him personal respect, but in truth, I have always been more honored with his support than feeling any form of earning it, so it was the least I could do.