Starving artists. Where did this term come from? It came from people who didn’t have a creative bone in their bodies. It wasn’t that they were starving artists; it’s just that they sacrificed a lot for something to come true, even if it meant that society didn’t really value them, until they were famous of course. _______ wasn’t famous yet. She went to college for art theory and learned art mediums like painting and metalwork. When she left, she worked odd jobs but continued to work on her art, she had to. It was her passion. It was hard to be an artist but no one got where they were now, unless they worked for it or given a chance and so far, no one gave her a chance. She lived in a large brick studio apartment alone with her art and it was just them. She lived in a middle class neighborhood and the mortgage was cheap, mainly because she didn’t live on the “artsy” side of the neighborhood. She used to but long moved away. Her boyfriend and her used to live there when she first moved there. She only stayed six months before she had it and left. Chad, her ex, was the most pretentious piece of shit she knew. He often laughed at anything she painted or sculpted because she didn’t finish art school. The reason she didn’t was she couldn’t take the pompousness of some of the students. Then she rented a studio with Chad. Those hellish months were of her and him constantly fighting, finding out he was cheating on her, and then having her art and paintings sabotaged. He decided to break the lease, leaving the sole responsibility to her, so she turned her studio back into the apartment it was suppose to be and the rest was history.
She’s been alone for two years now and happy doing what she loved and doing odd jobs and commissions and trades to get by. That was how she got her arm tattoo. It was an art trade from a Bohemian girl who needed a place to crash for a few days until she got back home. It became her trademark. It was Monet’s water lilies. She was so happy with her life right now. However, one thing has been bothering her lately. She’s wanted to branch out but most employers are looking for art students with art degrees. And it didn’t help that summer ended and it’ll be a good few months for winter art fairs to open so she had to go gallery and online things again and hope that she’ll break even again. Today however, she had to go to a mechanic because her scooter needed a tune up and she couldn’t go anywhere, her scooter was a vintage WWII German scooter with a sidecar and no other mechanic in town knew how to even touch it. The baker told her of one place that was pretty close that could help her.
“He’s been in business for years,” he said, “His mechanic shop is near the art side of town. He’s really good and pretty cheap if he likes the vehicle and person he’s working with,” she nodded and went there that afternoon. The mechanic shop was hidden in the mass of gallery and studios. She didn’t have any difficulty in finding the place. She pulled inside. There was a sign that said, ring bell and wait here. She waited soon a young man comes out. She stared. He was an Adonis of the male form! He was handsome, chiseled, yet so human a perfect sculpture in the flesh. He examined and looked at all the parts of her scooter.
“Have to admit Liebling, hadn’t seen one of these since I was un Kind,”
“My uncle and I restored it one summer,” he gave it one more look over.
“Everything is fine; it just needs a tune up,”
“How much is it for a tune up?
“Twenty bucks, you can stick around, it won’t take long,” she nodded and watched him work. He didn’t mind her asking questions, he didn’t mind her helping him with the oil and things, and he also didn’t mind or probably didn’t notice that she was staring at his body. He was a scruffy blonde with intense violet eyes and other…assets that she knew would probably teeter on harassment if she kept staring. Soon he was finished. She then swallowed a lump in her throat and came out to said what she needed.
“Ma-May I sculpt you?” he looked at her puzzled. She blushed furiously, “Please?”
“Well, you’re perfect for this idea I’ve been thinking about and yeah. I can’t pay you—,”
“Don’t insult me with money,” he said gruffly
“Then what can I insult you with?”
“You live around here. How about you make me dinner as long as you need me and call it even,”
“Yeah,” she smiled but went back to business.
“Also…you’re going to have to be naked for hours on end,” he looked up again. She blushed again.
“Heh, are you sure this isn’t a clever ruse to get me to be naked in your place?” she laughed.
“What time you want me?”
“Bright and early tomorrow?”
“Wow…so this is your studio?”
“Yep!” it was nine o’clock when Lutz arrived. By that time, _________ everything covered in white sheets, had a large block of white marble in the middle of her studio space, wearing in her sweatpants and (f/c) shirt and her chisel and tools in a belt around her waist, “Ready? Want coffee or anything to drink?”
“Beer if you have it, don’t fuss over me Liebling,”
“I have to! You’re my model! I have to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible,” she went to get his beer that she still had from when her ex boyfriend was around. When she came back, Lutz was already naked sitting on the couch. That took her off guard. She’s seen naked men before but one this casual and handsome was a first. He smirked at her reaction.
“Like what you see?”
“From an artist point of view!”
“Sure,” she handed him his beer and just stared at him. She noticed many scars all over his body along with his tattoos. She noticed every little crease on his body, every little nook. She smiled to herself, it was exactly what she needed, “Ugh, where did you get this beer from Liebling?”
“Oh, my ex used to drink it. I’m not a beer drinker but I know that’s not the best beer,”
“No it isn’t, I’d rather drink my piss,”
“I’ll get your brand later,” he grinned and got into a position. For the next few hours, she was clipping away at the marble block. At first, neither of them said anything. Lutz looked at all marble sculptures and paintings all over the studio.
“So what do you need me for Liebling? I mean why are you sculpting me?”
“Well I’ve wanted to make a modern day Adonis series for a long time and I never found the perfect man for the part,”
“Adonis….the Greek god of desire, right?”
“And beauty. Your scars were really made me want you! They’re just so…elegant,” he laughed.
“You really must be an artist to think these are nice,”
“They are! They show what sort of past and experiences you have and what sort of a person that carried them for so long,”
“Yeah…like your scars are on the outside because you never had to suffer on the inside,”
“True, I’d rather have the outer scars than the inner scars,” they both became silent again. Then Lutz spoke again, “So…what’s on the menu, Liebling?”
“Steak,” Lutz’s eyes lit up.
“Yep! It’s the least I can do for having be naked in my studio all day,” Dinner was less awkward. They laughed and talked and even discussed their work.
“I wonder how could you live so comfortably as an artist,”
“I do commissions all the time. Some people want sculptures, some people want paintings, and some people want things on metal and glass,”
“And you do all of that?”
“Yeah, it’s no big deal. I go to art shows and make enough to give on but when it becomes too slow, I take odd jobs to make sure I have enough to give comfortably. Thankfully the studio is paid for. But before thing went slow, I invested in the marble for my sculpture and all I needed was a model for my downtime,”
"And that's where I came in,"
"Yep! You don't mind do you?"
"No, it gives me a chance to be naked without being arrested for indecent exposure," Lutz has been in his studio for weeks. It became routine for them to meet. He’d get naked, she started chiseling, and then dinner. She loved this type of routine, so did Lutz who was actually having something other than wurst, potatoes, and beer almost every evening.
“So, when are you going to have an art opening?” she stopped chiseling for a moment.
“W-What are you talking about?”
“You know damn well what I mean,”
“I don’t want to go through that heartache again,” he looked up at her. She hated when he gave her that look, “Well, I tried doing an art opening when I was with Chad. I did everything, had the wine, had the music, and had everything while he took care of the guest list and showroom but…no one liked my work. Some called it subpar, some even said it didn’t count because I didn’t go to art school and had proper schooling. His things were sold and I felt so humiliated. I didn’t do anything for a month because I felt terrible but that was when I saw Chad for what he was a made plans to move out,”
“Good for you, Liebling. I like your work,”
“Just because I’m a mechanic doesn’t mean I don’t see shit. I get little pompous shits in my shop all the time with the same complaint or requests ‘Fix this, I have an IMPORTANT show tonight’ or ‘I need this fixed my friends and I are going to an art opening!’ and ‘Please give me your scrap metal! I’ll give you ten dollars for ALL of it! It’s my latest piece!’ And most of their work is fuckin’ shit because there’s no soul in it. And obviously others thing your shit is good because they keep coming back for more, there’s artists out there who can’t paint for shit and still get praise,”
“That’s the thing with anyone who does an art medium. We work hard, get rejected, and still work hard and it takes years for it even get some recognition. Then there are some who are terrible and automatically make it huge because they got lucky. I can only imagine how really good writers felt when Stephanie Meyer became famous along with 50 Shades of Shit,” Lutz laughed.
“Tell you what, how about you open another art show here and I’ll help,”
“No buts, if you don’t, I’ll stop being your model, if you do, I’ll help out as much as I can,” she sighed.
“Fine,” true to his word, Lutz helped her with everything. They made flyers, posters, Lutz had a few flyers in his shop for customers, and together they passed out flyers in the art side of town. She asked every shop she remembered were so good to her if she could have her flyers in and they agreed. They made it into cafes to put it on message boards and things.
“Well, well look who’s here,” _______ froze. Chad was behind her with his new girlfriend, Christy. Christy has been in the art circuit for years. She’s been doing many abstract paintings with junk and trash she finds around town along with Chad’s industrial style work with metal that looked very clunky and hard on the senses. However, they were following their passions as they called it with hefty checks from their parents and other artists who give these artworks to families when they don’t know what else to give. Not to mention, Christy would sell out to the highest bidder, even making a very offensive piece because the price was right though against her values, “What are you doing here, honey? This is for real artists,”
“I am a real artist, I’m having an opening in a month,”
“Oh __________,” said Chad smiling at her. He was skinny man with a nasty beard (something he grew while with Christy), brown eyes, and the typical smug hipster attire that said: I’m so nonconformist that I need to look like all my friends to be accepted, “I thought we’ve been through this, your art is just not that good, that’s why it didn’t sell,”
“We all couldn’t make it in art school, Chaddy,” said Christy, “Don’t forget that,”
“That doesn’t mean I’m not an artist,” she said coldly. Chad takes a flyer.
“I’ll go, just to see you fail like you did last time. Maybe this will be the final wake up call,”
“For a limp dick you really do talk a lot of shit,” Lutz puts his arm around ________’s shoulder. Chad looked Lutz up and down.
“Babe, when I left you, I’d thought you’d at least upgrade like I did,”
“Fuck you and I left,”
“That’s not what the rumor is honey,” said Christy, “And you of all people should know that muscle bound meatheads are so 90s, but let’s face it, it’s younger than your “art” style,”
“Lutz let’s go, there’s so much hot air and bull shit I can barely breathe and FYI Chad, not only did I upgraded, I dropped the deadweight that was holding me back,” They made it back to her apartment. She was visibly upset about her encounter.
“Lutz, you can go home if you want, I think I’ll just wallow here for awhile,”
“Why wallow because of that little douche?”
“Part of me is asking why but another is saying, maybe he’s right,”
“What did you see in that little fucker anyway?”
“I was young and naïve. I just got out of college and we saw my work and thought it was great. He was the first to ever say it and it went to my heart, I would say head but I feel for him because of that. Then I moved in with him after he told me about this beautiful and magical place where artist lived side by side and helped one another. I stupidly agreed and moved out six months later,”
“Yeah, I wish I did it sooner,”
“Don’t tell me you fucked him,”
“Nah, that’s the reason why he started cheating because “I wouldn’t put out”,”
“That’s because you weren’t truly attracted to him,” she looked up, “Women know if they find a man attractive enough to fuck or something that’ll make them stay with them. In this case, you probably fell in love with his charm and when his true self surfaced, you waited and then you dumped him for being the little fuck he is, what set you off?”
“He said my art was shit and that I should just help him with his—,”
“Translation, my art sucks complete ass so I’m having a beautiful artist help me so my art will be better but all the while putting her down so I can use her until I’m famous and just do my shit because ANYTHING she does after that would be considered a knock off my art that’s actually hers,” she was silent for a few minutes and puts her face into his hands. She can’t believe she was so stupid. Lutz gently rubs her back, “Hey, hey take it as an honor. Your work is so good some bastard wants to steal it,”
“That doesn’t help but it kind of does,” she sighs, “Thanks Lutz,”
“Anytime, Liebling but you have to make sure that you’re completely away from his criticisms in order to be a great artist,”
“That’s why I got my tattoo,” she said gesturing her left arm, “I got it to remind of the Impressionist artists, how no one understood or enjoyed their work because people didn’t like it. So after I moved here, I got it because I wanted to remind myself that I am a good artist and I don’t need Chad to hang onto anymore,” he smirked and pecks her cheek.
“So, what’s for dinner?”
“Hmmm pork finger knuckles?”
“I’m in,” after a few weeks, the sculpture was finished. Lutz couldn’t help but look at her handiwork of him with silent admiration then he found what he was looking for.
“Aww Liebe, you even got my cock just right!”
“That took me forever to get that right,” she covered his mouth, “That came out wrong!” he laughed.
“Oh come on, the temptation is all right here,” she blushed. She had to admit, seeing Lutz everyday naked did take some getting used to. She painted and sculpted nude before but Lutz was different. She was attracted to him and she swore he knew it too. He took out a bottle of whiskey, “Here I brought this to celebrate,” together they toasted the completion of the sculpture and of the opening tomorrow.
“Please tell me you’ll be there tomorrow,” she said curled on his chest.
“I will, I promise,”
“Yeah, don’t worry, you’ll be fine,”
“But Chad is going to be there tomorrow, I just don’t want this shit to blow up in my face like it did last time,” by this time, she was inebriated, “And I know Christy will blog about it some way and then I’ll have to start over from square one and then—,” he kisses her just to shut her up.
“Listen _________, who cares what they fucking think, if you constantly think about what he thinks, you’re never going to be able to move on or get him away from you. Now listen to me, whatever happens tomorrow, you stay strong, got that?”
“Got it,” she snuggled closer on him, “You’re the best muse I’ve ever had,”
“So I go from being Adonis to a muse?”
“A sexy muscular muse?”
_________ waited for Lutz to show up. She was so scared. She never had an art opening since that incident years ago and she was terrified that it'll repeat itself. She watched people gather into studio looking at all of her things. She felt as though she was going pass out. There were a few critics around and one bad review would literately break everything she ever worked for. She saw a few faces from her ex’s art school, her ex, a few people from the neighborhood, and still no Lutz.
“You have to admit,” said one of Christy's friends, “For someone who never stepped foot into an art school, her art is pretty good,”
“I still find it basic,” said Chad looking at her sculptures and paintings. She wanted to choke him but he wasn’t worth it. She carried on professionally, answering questions and mingling. At nine o’clock, she would be unveiling her new sculpture and everything will be ready for purchase. She was very nervous and Lutz still wasn’t there. However, she felt confident, more confident than she had in years.
“I am Madame Loup and I have been waiting to finally to take a look at your artwork for a month now. Now when are we going to see this sculpture of yours?”
“Are you sure there’s going to be something tonight, honey?” said Christy, “Doesn’t look like there’s anything that’s worth looking at. Even your meathead didn’t show up,” _________ smiled at them both and went to her sculpture. She tapped on the glass to get everyone attention.
“Tonight I am happy to unveil the first of my new collection called the Adonis series,” she pulled the sheet off revealing her sculpture. The room fell silent. It was Lutz posing with his hands on the back of head, walking. Every scar he had was chiseled along with his back tattoo. His manhood proudly between his leg as telling the world to look at it and admire it's greatness. His eyes looked determined, his muscles were rippling, through it all had he can a carefree smirk on his face. Madame Loup was the first to speak.
“It’s so…tortured! This man it’s the perfect modern representative of today’s Adonis,”
“I see it more as today’s working man in the struggles of life,” said Mr. Adam Lefowl, “How the working man has evolved from the Industrial Age to today. It’s so moving,”
“I see it as a representation of the strength of men throughout the ages,” said Sasha Llorens, “Look at the details of those scars, those tattoos represent strength and struggle, that determined expression of hard work but he still retains that calm happiness that can only be achieved by his work. I must have that piece! Two thousand dollars,”
“No, I want it!” said Lefowl, “Five thousand dollars!”
“Ten thousand dollars,” said Madame Loup, “And I want a commission from you! Here’s my card, you’ll be my new client! I have many clientele who's been looking for something new yet with ties to the traditional art forms. Call me first thing in the morning. You’re work will be all over the world,”
“She’s never even been to art school!” Chad blurted out, “How can you even think about showcasing her basic work!”
“It’s not basic!” said Llorens, “And that’s why her art is so fluid! Art communities hate those art school kids because there’s no heart in their work. They learn from teachers who have different views and make them shape their views to something that they want, not what the student wants. She works in a way that there’s her personal touch in everything she does and or interested in and that’s what art is about, passion and love not profit and recognition!”
“And also hard work not being a little pretentious trust fund baby. But you wouldn't know that, would you?" said _________
“Fuck you,” he growled, “We both know I’m smarter and better than you’ll ever be. Join the modern era, realism is dead,”
“All art of the modern era is realism. I prefer to pain and sculpt what I see, I don’t care that I didn’t finish art school, I still got my degree in something but I have strengthen my talent by looking at the best and just trying out things. I don’t need a degree from a snotty art school to prove my self-worth unlike you. I feel sad for you. Four years and nothing to show for it,” Chad stormed off. _______ smiled. That felt so good. Very good. After a few moments, she went to make a list of people who were buying her work. While tending to another customer, she turned right into Lutz smiling at her.
“Good job, Liebling,”
“You came!” she hugged him tightly.
“I wouldn’t miss this for the world. So how we do?”
“It sold! Ten grand actually! I can finally open an actual gallery downstairs but first I have to pay you for all your hard work,”
“You don’t owe me anything but I do want one thing,”
“Lemme take you out officially tomorrow night,” she blushed
“Yeah,” she smiled. After everyone left, he helped her clean everything and made an inventory of everything she sold that night. She was so excited. Things were finally looking up, “Oh Liebling, there’s something I wanted to show you,”
“I want to show you my inner artist,” she looked at him puzzled and followed him outside. They walked on and stopped a couple of blocks away. He beckoned her into a dark alley. There, swinging back and forth from a light fixture was Chad, beaten up, bruised, bloody, and gagged, “I call it, Pompous Fucker in the Lamplight,”
“You know with the right shading, he can actually be a better piece in a living gallery,” she said looking at him. Lutz reached into Chad’s pocket and took out one of her glass sculptures.
“I saw him take them after you handed his ass to him and stormed out,”
“You asshole!” she said glaring at him.
“What do you want me to do with him?” _______ thought for a few moments.
“He’s not worth my energy, I already have more than anything he could ever have,” Lutz and ________ walked back to her apartment hand in hand. She thought about another pose she could put Lutz in for her next piece. Maybe she could have him with an animal, like a beauty and the beast thing or maybe a bear all pose.
“Liebling, stop thinking about me naked,”
“Was not!” he ruffled her playfully. Maybe they can work out.