Source | LinkedIn : By Cory Galbraith
He chose art because he failed at everything else, lived off coffee and alcohol, and did his best work from inside an insane asylum.
Painter Vincent van Gogh lived a life of poverty, rejection and obscurity only to become one of the greatest painters of all time. This tortured soul is resurrected here – to teach us how we can hold onto our dreams and turn them into reality, in a modern world that’s fighting us every step of the way.
“How can I be of use in the world? Can’t I serve some purpose and be of any good?”
Many of us ask what the world can do for us. But Vincent van Gogh did the opposite, wondering what he could do for the world. These important words were written by the artist in one of many letters he wrote to his brother. Despite his depressed state, van Gogh did not give up on the idea that he could make a contribution. We can too – regardless of what else is happening in our busy lives.
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”
In his life time, only one of van Gogh’s 900 paintings was sold. His brother Theo was an art dealer who displayed “the Red Vineyard” in 1890 in Brussels. It sold for what today would be equivalent to $1,000. (The purchaser was a woman named Anna Boch, who was also a painter and art collector). That lack of success did not stop van Gogh. His insecurities told him he wasn’t a real painter. But he studied, practiced and invented new ways of painting. Ignore the voice within you that says you “cannot” by going ahead and doing it anyway.
“I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people”.
Deep down, Vincent van Gogh knew it. We know it too – that what this life is all about are not materialistic things, money or success at any cost. It’s about people. Van Gogh, despite his mental illness, was a spiritual being who worked hard to make people happy by looking at his art work. Today, as we pursue our careers, making people the priority will give us the meaning we seek.