So is that how it is, then? You write little things and set them out on the sidewalk with price tags tied to their bottoms the way a street corner craftsman might.
You make these objects and paint them yourself and they all pretty much look alike. They’re each a different take on the same theme, striped birds, spotted frogs, cartoon-like fish. Brightly colored, so the spirit of the artist comes through.
And the craftsman tries not to look while the customer eyes his work. But in that moment it’s like they’re at the animal rescue debating should they take one in, give it a home.
And they’ll see something in one of the things he made and pick one out as their favorite, but he’s grown detached from it all and a bit disgusted even, having to do this for a living. Taking what he once loved and turning it into this, a carnival game.
It’s said the Zapotec Indians who carve sculptures from tree limbs breathe life into them at the end, as part of their finishing process. The life in the eyes of the happy armadillo, the playful long-legged birds, the goofy-looking rooster.
The artist did that, put themselves into it. Like a cook or a baker who kneads it with their hands, you never see it but that love for what they do comes through.
Maybe they did it more for you. Or because they were drawn to that way of living, themselves even carved, hand painted too.