9. Very Late Bloomer
Most visual artists find their passion fairly early in their childhood. You learn they often would almost compulsively draw or paint so that they could have a style by the time they were eighteen. Van Gogh by contrast was twenty–seven when he decided to become an artist, curiously after he’d already failed in a career as an art dealer. What’s more, although he did take drawing classes, he didn’t bother with formal painting education, deciding instead to study other artist’s technique. Considering that he passed away at the age of only thirty-seven, that means he was creating eighty-seven paintings a year. That would be very prolific even for today with all the digital equipment that’s available to simplify and cheapen the process. Art historians have claimed that this was the thing that held him back from greater recognition during his lifetime, as he was acclaimed shortly after his passing. There just wasn’t time enough for word of mouth and prestige to build up during his truncated career.