Nisha Raj

20th January 2018

 “For what it’s worth:

It’s never too late to be

Whoever you want to be,

I hope you live a life you’re proud of,

And if you find that you’re not,

I hope you have the strength to start over.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald

In our day-to-day parlance, we generally interpret the term ‘artist’ to be symbolic of creative people who produce visual masterpieces i.e. those who engage in fine arts. Thus, an artist to us commonly personifies a painter, a designer or a sculptor. However, the word ‘artist’ has a much broad connotation that transcends our interpretation of it! The term ‘artist’ also represents performers or talented personalities who involve themselves in performing arts, such as music, singing, dancing, acting or comedy.

For most mortals, the very mention of the word ‘artist’ brings to their mind distinct attributes and peculiarities which are a mix of facts and prejudices. Few of these widely accepted ‘artistic’ traits or streaks include the following:

  • Artists are imaginative souls who use their creativity and talent to express themselves - be it on a canvas, on stage or behind the scenes
  • Artists envision the world in a certain way and create art that portrays their unique vision and outlook
  • Artists live in their own fantasy worlds which often harbour unrealistic expectations
  • At times, their unrealism and idiosyncrasies exemplifies or borders on eccentricity
  • At some point in their careers, all artists undergo creative blocks or temporary slumps when their ability to innovate and create seems to have hit the wall

Another widespread perception is that artists are born geniuses who unveil their artistry and brilliance rather early in their lives. Well, the thought is not way off the mark, especially when you think of the legendary Beatles or the much-recent Justin Bieber and Emma Watson who landed success even before they turned 30! However, not all artists are born prodigies or have managed to come under the spotlight that early! History is replete with examples of painters, musicians, actors, writers and other artists who either launched their creative careers late or found success in mature phases of their lives.

Here’s a concise list of 5 late bloomers (both living and dead) who prove that age is just a number if you are destined for greater heights!

Vincent Van Gogh

“In spite of everything I shall rise again: I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in my great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing.” - Vincent Van Gogh

Undeniably, he was one of the greatest artists of all times - an influential one at that in the history of Western art. His vigorous application of bold colours and use of gestural brushwork in his landscapes, still life paintings, portraits and self-portraits are said to have sown the seeds of modern art. Vincent Van Gogh died young, at the age of 37 and created a staggering 2,100 artworks during his lifetime. But did you know that in spite of his childhood liking for drawing, this Dutch Post-Impressionist painter did not take up painting in his adulthood until he was well into his 20s? Having started late, his most notable works, such as The Starry Night, Sunflowers and Bedroom in Arles, were given shape in the last two years of his life. They include the majority of the 860 oil paintings that he produced during his artistic career. Vincent Van Gogh’s first major work - The Potato Eaters - was exhibited in The Hague in 1885 when he was 32 years old. His art remained largely unacknowledged and unappreciated during the time he was alive, only to garner critical fame and commercial success after this death!

Claude Monet

“Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.” - Claude Monet

He is celebrated as the founder of French Impressionist painting. Despite this feat, Claude Monet did not make it big with the canvas and colours in his early life! His first major work named ‘Impression, Sunrise’ was exhibited in Paris in 1874 when Monet was 33 years old. The famous oil canvas painting portrays the artist’s hometown - the port of Le Havre in northwest France. ‘Impression, Sunrise’ is the most famous in Monet’s series of six canvases that depicted the port at different times of the day and from varying viewpoints.    

J. K. Rowling

She needs no introduction, having made history with her ‘Harry Potter’ series of fantasy novels for children. Her books went on to become international bestsellers, turning her into a literary sensation and inspiring the creation of the blockbuster Harry Potter film franchise! With more than 450 million copies sold worldwide and multiple awards won along the way, this famous British novelist and screenwriter is now a multi-millionaire. However, Joanne Rowling, best known by her pen name J. K. Rowling, did not achieve this cult status in the early stage of her career.  A single mother who struggled to make a living, she conceptualised the fantasy series when she was in her 20s. However, it was not until she was 31 that her first novel - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - was published in 1997. The author penned the book in coffee shops across a span of seven years and her original Harry Potter manuscripts faced rejection from as many as twelve publishing houses! “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” - J. K. Rowling exemplifies this!

Morgan Freeman

Winner of the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award and the Academy Award, Morgan Freeman acted in off-Broadway productions for a significant part of his early career life. His life took a major turn in the late 80s when he bagged Oscar nominations for his performances in the 1987 American thriller-drama film Street Smart, 1989 American dramatized biographical film Lean on Me and the 1989 American comedy-drama film Driving Miss Daisy. The American actor, producer and narrator further played a prominent supporting role in the 1989 American war film titled ‘Glory’ which earned him critical acclaim and made him an international star - only after the ripe age of 50!  

Sharon Jones

Born in 1956, Sharon Jones was the lead singer of the American soul and funk band named Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. Despite being a regular gospel singer in the early 1970s, Sharon Jones tasted breakthrough success rather late in life. This was after the release of her band’s debut album - Dap Dippin' with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings - in 2002 when she was 46 years old. Spending decades in obscurity, Sharon Jones received her first Grammy nomination in 2014 and died at the age of 60 in 2016.   

Give Wings to Your Artistic Career at Alieensoul - A Platform that Celebrates Art in All Forms

The success of the aforesaid late bloomers proves that it is never too late to achieve your dreams, provided you have the courage and determination to see through your struggles and roadblocks. If you too are a budding artist who is looking for an avenue to showcase his or her art and talent to the world, then Aileensoul is the right platform for you to take your artistic career to the next level! Aileensoul is a career-oriented site, offering free services to diverse audiences comprising job seekers, recruiters, businesses, freelancers and artists. The portal supports a variety of art forms and enables artists to upload photos, audios, videos and pdf files of their art and talent. Depending on one’s chosen art field and area of interest, he or she can follow different art categories. Doing so will enable them to stay up-to-date with regular newsfeed pertaining to their selected categories. Thus, whether you are a rising singer, a talented choreographer, a competent cook, a gifted photographer or a skilled dancer - Aileensoul’s collaborative platform can help you give your artistic career the momentum that it deserves to leave your mark on the art world!

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