In earliest days people made art in caves. At first they traced their hands on the wall. This was communal, fun. Anyone can enjoy tracing their hand.
Who was it that wanted more?
Did one man paint a hand without putting his on the wall? Did he just copy the shape of the hand-prints? The others would have laughed. It probably wasn’t very good. You got the thumb wrong.
How did he learn to do it better? By making hand after hand? Amusement became anger. He wasted wall space, and precious pigment.
Maybe he practiced just with hands, or maybe he tried an elk right away. How many hours, days, did he practice his shapes? It took him away from his foraging and the hunt. Did he lose their respect? He’s lazy… he’s good for nothing. He’ll never feed his family.
Did his mate leave him for someone more popular, someone who hunted more?
One day, two hundred births later, the art would be respected. Children would want to learn, old ones would cast spells on the walls. Here is your spear hitting home, do you see? This icon will bless you.
But he never lived to know it.
Was he happy, or an outcast? Or did his happiness come from being an outcast?
Oh patron god of artists, I salute you: give this man his home, his blood flows on my brush, his pain I know too well, he is a god, he is a god, he is a god.
(And more likely, I suspect, he is a she.)
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