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Chapter 69 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

Chopin Frieze (4)

The next day, at the Artist Company office, Paju.


Yeongju shows interest when I tell her about what happened yesterday. Being a fan of Irina, this project must seem incredibly appealing to her.


"So, you're saying she wants you to draw Chopin's piano music?"


"Not exactly, she wants me to illustrate not her own piano music but Chopin's."


"Chopin?"


"Yes, it seems she plans to carry it around during a world tour. She wants to lay it around the piano during performances."


"Like a prop?"


"Seems like it."


After a moment of thought, Yeongju says with a serious look in her eyes.


"This is a make-or-break situation. Drawing music is definitely not an easy task."


"...................."


If Irina had asked me to draw a portrait of Frédéric Chopin, I would have accepted without a second thought. That would have been much easier.


How am I supposed to draw Chopin, whom I've never even seen?


Chopin lived during a time when photography existed, and his photos are available. Moreover, there's a portrait by Eugène Delacroix, a master of Romanticism.


In Delacroix's painting, Chopin seems anxious, eyes fixed on the void, probably because Delacroix captured him playing the piano, not just posing for a portrait.


In the painting, Chopin appears unable to contain his emotions, deeply serious before his music. If I can incorporate these physical features into the portrait, it shouldn't be too difficult.


But Irina's request is to draw his music.


As Yeongju said, this commission could either earn the admiration of musicians like Irina or harsh criticism, especially since it's Chopin's music.


Beethoven, Chopin, Schubert, Bach.


The greatest musicians, none superior to the others.


Touching any of them would bring immense pressure.


I bite my lower lip.


'This is like messing with Admiral Yi Sun-shin from a Korean perspective.'


King Sejong and Admiral Yi Sun-shin – two figures you don't want to get wrong.


Mishandling Chopin, revered globally and in Poland, could bring my budding Artist Company into crisis.


Yeongju, watching me in deep thought, asks,


"What will you do? Will you accept the commission?"


"........................"


Honestly, I want to avoid it. No, I want to hide.


Isn't this task too big for me to handle?


I'm not Klimt.


As the saying goes, a sparrow trying to imitate a stork might split its legs. There's no saying I won't end up like that.


But what if I succeed?


Irina is a superstar in the classical world.


If she uses my painting as a stage decoration during her tour, Artist Company could get global publicity without spending a dime.


Even if it doesn't become a global sensation, it's fine.


The painting used as stage decoration will inevitably become a topic of conversation.


Even if people don't like the painting, they'll be curious about it, and journalists will write articles to satisfy the audience's curiosity.


That alone makes it worth the challenge.


Then, the office door opens, and Ji-yong, Yeon-jeong, and Ji-yeon enter, each carrying their PCs. The desks and chairs arrived in the morning, and the PCs just now.


My heart feels complicated as I watch the three juniors assembling their PCs.


'If I were alone.'


If I hadn't started a company and was still a solo painter, I would have seen this as an opportunity rather than a challenge.


But humans, cunning creatures, fear losing what they have.


Yeongju sits on my desk, watching the juniors.


"There have been over 50 articles about the ceiling painting. Minyoung CEO seems to have put in a lot of effort."


"Ah."


That many, huh?


Well, nearly a hundred journalists came then.


Yeongju shows me some documents, saying,


"We've had over 30 business inquiries in the past few days. Here's a selection."


It's good news.


I review the documents Yeongju hands me, marking a few with a pen.


"Let's take these two company logo design requests. For branding design, exclude the stationery and focus on graphic motifs."


"The seventh one is a catalogue design, requested by the Seoul Arts Center."


"The Seoul Arts Center?"


"Yeah, they're planning an exhibition of Jeong Seon's paintings in two months and have requested a catalogue design."


Wow, our company must be doing well. The Seoul Arts Center making a request...


"Ji-yeon could handle it well, right?"


Ji-yeon was the top student in the oriental painting department.


She maintained the top position from her first year to graduation, so she'll do well.


Yeongju nods in agreement.


"Yeah, but the pay isn't great. It's just a simple catalog request."


"It doesn't matter. Right now, we need jobs that can be used as portfolio pieces more than immediate money-making opportunities."


In truth, the cost of running the company with five employees, including me, is sufficiently covered by the refrigerator R/S project from MG Electronics. The company is at a stage where relentless effort is needed to keep it going, but this effort should be focused more on gaining experience than making money.


"Please review the ones I checked."


“Uh, what are the priorities?”


“You decide that. The kids are inexperienced, so let's start with just two at first. Including you, pair up and take charge.”


“Got it.”


Yeongju, pausing from checking his list for the arts center, stops and stares intently at me.


“Hey.”


“Yeah?”


“Do that.”


“··················”


His words are abrupt and disorderly, but I know what Yeongju means. She looks at me silently for a moment and shrugs his shoulders.


“Scared?”


“What are you talking about?”


“Do it, the company will handle the rest. You just take on the challenge.”


“···············..”


“It's okay, kid. Honestly, what's the worst that can happen if your work fails?”


“··················..”


Yeongju grips my shoulder firmly and says,


“If it turns out to be crap, do you think Irina will will set it up on stage?”


Huh? I hadn't thought of that.


Yeongju continues,


“Even if you fail, the only person who'll know is Irina, so what's there to be afraid of?”


Right, that makes sense.


If Irina doesn't like the painting, it won't end up on stage anyway.


I look at Yeongju with wide eyes and break into a grin.


“You're right.”


“Chicken.”


“Who's a chicken?”


“You, who else?”


“Are you joking?”


“You're scared right now.”


“No, I'm not.”


“So, you'll do it?”


I smile slightly and nod.


“Yes.”


Yeongju slaps my back hard, exclaiming,


“That's it, be my boss! Go and face it, I'll take care of things here!”


I look at Yeongju quietly and then extend my fist.


“Counting on you, Director.”


“Leave it to me.”


Our fists meet in the air.



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