He painted in a very modern manner — mysterious objects and shapes, women with three pink eyes, large blank areas, and so on.
After a few months he thought, ‘Perhaps I can sell some of my pictures and get enough money to afford to leave the bank and become a real artist. Then I can travel around as much as I like, and go to foreign museums, and see other artists’ paintings, and study in other countries when I feel like it. Though I try to make the best of the job and I don’t regard the work as difficult — at least not at present — I don’t like life in a bank. I only enjoy painting.’
In the bank, Sebastian sometimes had to deal with a man who owned a picture shop, and after he had had a few conversations with him, Sebastian invited him to his home one evening to see some of his works. ‘Then perhaps you could tell me whether I can really be a good artist and get some money from my painting,’ Sebastian said hopefully.
The man said he was prepared to come and see what he thought of Sebastian’s work, so he arrived one evening at Sebastian’s home. Sebastian took the man to his studio and started to show him some of his pictures, with some pride and hope.
The man looked at them one after the other while Sebastian watched his face, but to Sebastian’s disappointment the man did not say anything, and his expression did not change at any of them either.
Then, when he had finished, he looked around, and his glance fell on something else. A happy look came over his face for the first time, and he said, ‘Now I like this one very much! It’s so full of deep feeling! I’m sure I could sell this one for you!’
‘That,’ said Sebastian, ‘is the place where I clean the paint off my brushes.’
Sebastian earned his living selling his pictures.