"Artist's aren't worth anything until after they're dead..."
The the title is what I like to refer to as a "drunken uncle stinger". Now, just to clarify the drunken uncles check box on my contract (right before where the zombie apocalyspe clause used to be), it's related to guys that remind me of my drunken uncles. They crack slightly off-beat jokes and are fairly harmless. I am well-versed in drunken uncle retorts.
That comment, however, triggered me this time and that's unusual. I was likely tired, but it still stuck longer.
"The problem with becoming an artist, " he told me, "Is that you aren't worth anything until after you're dead."
"I do alright." I winked (although in terms of finances I could probably be doing better if I got my offering ducks in a row, but I'm sure doing alright considering the circumstances) and then pondered that comment for a bit because first of all, it's simply not true. It is not true, yet it was comments like that that kept me from pursuing art formally and the jury is still out on whether I should have or not. I guess I'm doing alright in that arena, too. Having to self educate gives one a different type of fire, after all. Even had the comments been more encouraging, the reality of my families' financial status would have still proved to be the biggest hurdle at that time.
Money can come and go. The piece I create will likely be around beyond the financial legacy one leaves. I value my art in terms of 2-3 generations from now. I think of others' potential great-grandchildren while they're still picking their first dance song.
I live my entire life in an existential crisis on borrowed time.
But thank you, sir, for the reminder of when I will finally be worth something. It's one of my favorite jokes.
The painting above is of Daniella and Vito who were wed on September 7, 2019.