The Struggling Artist (USA)

USA – Atlanta, Georgia ~2010

As a kid I could sit at the kitchen table for hours and hours drawing – whether it was superheroes, monsters or my teachers – my imagination was my own limit, and I did it all on reams of cheap copier paper (my Dad “knew a guy”)…unfortunately this passion was sidelined to the meager position of hobby once I was pushed into university. Sad times, but that’s life I guess. OR SO I THOUGHT!

After I was accepted to the Georgia State exchange programme, I was told that there was next to no limitation on what I could select for my classes, and that it would all count towards my degree. Four hours of art? No problem! So yes, not only would I be checking out if the food portions really are that much bigger (British people are fascinated by this for some reason), but I would also be enjoying four hours of unadulterated drawing every week, and it would actually be worth something! Drawing?! Obviously, I thought I was well on my way to becoming the next BIG THING…all sorts of thoughts flooded through my head; maybe I should change my name to Salvador…or maybe I should start wearing some weird shit to throw people off…or maybe I should invent something life changing – how about, a sandwich, that never runs out?

Genius GIF

Well I was getting a little ahead of myself, clearly. But it was fantastic news nonetheless.

Let’s fast forward a little bit…so it’s a warm summer day in downtown Atlanta, I’m certainly looking the part of “artist”; that is to say I am lugging an obnoxiously large art folder with me and I have a regrettable hat defying gravity on the back of my skull, possibly cut off jean shorts? Who knows. Basically, I looked liked the kind of guy you would strongly dislike on first sight, the kind of guy who invited and endorsed that kind of bitter prejudice. The kind of guy…well you get the point.

Surprising then, that as I am standing at the “sidewalk”, a busy looking business man runs up to me and grabs me by the shoulders…”EXXXXX-EXXXX-EXCUUZ ME?!” he stammered, in a caffeinated flurry. “Err?” I manage to reply.  “ARRR YOU AN, ARTIST?” I pause for some time due to sheer confusion, you see I wasn’t sure if taking an art class and holding a folder meant that I was a fully fledged “artist” (whatever that means)…but then I remembered I was wearing a hat and cut off jean shorts, so I landed on a definite…




“Ah. No. I don’t have one of those.”


“Ahhh, no. I don’t have one of those either.”


“Sorry, no. I need this for my-”


And that was that. He stormed off into the cosmopolitan crowd never to be seen again. He probably found another person wearing a hat, who DID have a card, or a phone number, or a piece of paper, or a fully functioning brain. Anyway, after this I carried on to my class and immediately told my teacher what had happened…she seemed intrigued, and asked me to repeat the exact specifics of the encounter at least a couple of times – after which she looked at me closely with comforting eyes, held my quivering hands in hers and with a reassuring tone said…

“You fucking stupid bastard.”

Shock GIF

And that was the first and last day I ever considered myself to be, an artist. It was a tough gig guys, not for me.

Please buy my collection of stories! Get it in paperback here – or on Kindle here! ALL proceeds go towards Macmillan Cancer Support!


29 Replies to “The Struggling Artist (USA)”

  1. HAHAHAHAHA. TOUGH GIG? *Sound of air being let out of a ballon.*

    Welp, there goes THAT! HAha.

    Video… keep goin’ guys. We’re lookin’ for…a musical sound… haha. But A for enthusiasm anyway! 🙂 🙂


      1. It’s no problem, it was an interesting read, and thank you, that’s such a kind compliment.


  2. Greetings. Enjoyed the short on “The Struggling Artist (USA)”, and sounds vaguely familiar in terms of missed opportunity. Thanks for the chuckle (needed it), and for liking the post on my page. Continued success with your eloquence my friend.



  3. Hehe..they’re real cute. 🙂
    (For a moment, I thought I was going through an “Emperor’s New Clothes” moment where only the ‘competent’ get to see (or in this case, hear) the music..

    Thank you so much for dropping by my (admittedly amateur) craft blog with your warmth. I do appreciate it♥

    Thank you also for your enjoyable posts full of heart and good humour.
    Do take care and stay safe and well on your travels, too. 🙂


  4. Before I even read your instructor’s response I thought “said no random person on the street – ever!” Too funny.Sorry you missed your 15 minutes of fame and fortune but I’m betting he would have been a nightmare client. Now, go print some business cards!


  5. Great story. I stumbled upon your blog and the 2nd post I read was this one. I’m from the states so naturally I choose this one to read, but I enjoyed it. Keep traveling dude


  6. If any one ever asks me if I am an artist, they want me to do an extremely difficult and time consuming piece for free. Well, not exactly free. I am supposed to pay for all of the supplies out of my own pocket too.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: