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Chapter 41 Part 1 - The Mysterious Art Museum

A street artist's life changed when he ended up at a mysterious art museum. DBT,Korean,Novel,Translation,Art,Artist,Slice of life,Poor to Rich,Mystery

Artist Company (2)

Come on, tell me.

What's the size of the mural?

The bigger, the better.

It will be hard, but murals are expensive.

I tried to hide my capitalist-slave-like expression as much as possible while focusing on Minyoung's lips.

Minyoung, noticing my intense gaze, meets my eyes and smiles.

“I think I should apologize first for testing Mr. Ban, the painter, in that way.”

Testing? Oh, the portrait.

“It’s fine. Who else can I blame for my underdeveloped career?”

Minyoung rested her chin on her hand and said,

“Well, that’s true. You might have felt bad about it, but actually, our group conducted a background check on you.”

A background check, huh?

Well, isn’t that obvious? As a client, it’s normal to know who you’re contracting with.

Minyoung continued,

“To be honest, I was shocked by Monica’s portrait. It wasn’t just about beautifully depicting the current appearance but showing the future and uplifting the ambition. It broke my fixed notion about portraits.”

Honestly, if I hadn’t met the teacher at that strange art museum, I would have always drawn nondescript portraits on the streets of Ikseon-dong, as close to reality as possible, slightly beautified. About 70% of the painting Monica now owns can be credited to the teacher.

“That’s an overstatement,” I said.

Minyoung looked a bit sorry as she spoke,

“But, when we researched you, we couldn’t believe you drew that painting.”

Because it's different from what I've drawn so far?

Monica had doubted it too.

But I proved it was my painting, and that was that.

“Is that so?”

Minyoung, being a painting major, would know.

A painter’s style evolves with the times.

Honestly, if she wanted to nitpick, I had plenty of excuses.

But Minyoung’s words were far from the excuses I had prepared.

Minyoung glanced at me briefly and then spoke,

“Before working with Monica, your career didn’t amount to much. One first prize in a competition, two second places, two commendations. No solo exhibitions, no collaborations with other artists, and no works listed online apart from competition entries.”


That was me, just a few months ago.

Minyoung continued,

“The most notable part of your career was receiving a scholarship for all four years at Daehan Comprehensive Art University.”


Frankly, it’s embarrassing to brag about it, but in college, I was really successful. Just the fact that I didn’t miss out on the four-year scholarship had the juniors using my notes as a study guide, and the so-called goddesses of the art department sat next to me in the library asking questions.

Back then, I thought I would be the most successful person in the world.

Once thrown into society, that career became a sandcastle-like achievement, easily crumbled by the simple question: So what? What are you now?

I wore a self-deprecating smile as Minyoung looked straight at me.

“It was strange. From what I know, students who get scholarships in art school usually build other careers through collaboration, like taking on part of an art business with a senior already in the workforce or doing art-related public service work recommended by a professor. But you had none of that.”

I slightly bowed my head.

I had no choice but to do so.

Minyoung watched me silently and then said,

“It was because of your mother and brother, wasn’t it?”


Is this a large corporation?

They knew all this.

Well, I did talk to Mrs. Kang about it, but discussing it in relation to my career means she probably already knew what I was doing while other students were building their careers.

Minyoung continued,

“You worked in a place making replica paintings.”

It wasn’t illegal.

I proudly made replicas, creating interior paintings for people to buy and hang in their homes.

Excuses swirled in my mouth, but strangely, they wouldn’t come out.

Minyoung sighed softly and said,

“Replica paintings don’t help your career, but they do bring in immediate money. And that money probably went to your mother’s house. That’s why there are more gaps in your career.”

What’s most important to survive in the art world is your career.

Career equals portfolio.

Potential clients decide to commission me based on my works.

But I never had time to build a career. I was always in need of immediate money.

Min-young tapped the table with her fingernails and said,

"Actually, before investigating up to this point, I thought you were just someone living an ordinary life without passion. Aside from competitions, you only chose jobs that made immediate money. I thought you were the type who'd be content earning just enough to eat for the day."

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