The next morning while meeting with my attorney, I told her that I had found the murderer. She didn’t believe me but she did think it couldn’t hurt for the police to have another suspect.
This is audio stories with J. B. Simien. This is the story of an “An Artist Who Dreams.” Please visit me at www.jbsimien.com. There you can download this and other podcasts through a link on the home page and listen to them at your leisure. You will also find a link below to rate us in iTunes. If you do that you will help other people find and enjoy this podcast too.
I moved to New York City to become a famous artist when I was nineteen. Specifically, New York was where I had chosen to make my living as a Painter. When I was a small child, I made pencil sketches that earned praise from my family and friends. My parent’s encouragement at that early age convinced me that I had an extraordinary talent. So, with their financial and emotional help and a great deal of learning, I advanced into the local world of art. As a teenager, I became a highly skilled artist with a growing reputation in my hometown of Seattle, Washington. I viewed my move to New York, falsely, as advancing from the minor to the major leagues of the art world. It was my opportunity to associate with the greatest living artist on this planet and improve my talents.
Thought I was a known artist with a good reputation, I didn’t have the red carpet rolled out for me in New York. With the help of my network of associates, I was determined to support myself by painting portraits of the city’s elite residents. The wealthy pay incredible sums of money for a celebrity artist to paint them. If I could successfully build up clients in this niche, I would be able to pay the bills as I worked on expressing art that challenged my talents and creativity. Unfortunately, to that desired niche of citizens, I was not enough of a celebrity.
My clients were the niche pretending to be wealthy. These were the people who would actually prefer to have a photo made but the pretention of their social status required a portrait painted by a known artist. They are good people but very price conscious and highly demanding. They want everything but they wanted to pay for it with a discount coupon from Groupon. They didn’t want an interpretation of their image based upon the artist’s vision. They wanted a Sears’s photograph. That was not what I wanted. So, naturally, the customer hire the artist who would give them what they want. I fell from an unreliable income for painting portraits to haphazard income from making sketches of any person who would hire me in the farmer’s market pavilion.
Greg Kinkaid was my life saver. He is a successful celebrity artist who allowed me to live in his art studio in exchange for helping keep the place clean. He kept me feed and in art supplies. He let me exhibit my work in his studio in the hopes that some of his wealthy clients would purchase it or commission me for some additional artwork. I was grateful for Greg’s help. Still, I was deeply depressed. I felt lost. The stress of my failure took a toll. I would sleep whenever I could to just to help the time pass but in my dreams, I was still unhappy.
I was sleeping a few days ago when I awoke out of a vivid dream. In my dream, I was in a crowd of drunken merrymakers on New Year’s evening in Times Square. We were watching the ball drop and counting down to the New Year. I had a god’s eye view of the activity and the same time I was in the crowd just like everyone else. Through my god’s eye view of the activity, I watch a young teenage woman murdered.
She was selling marijuana in the crowd. Then she moves to the edge of the crowd and was watching the activity from the entry way of a courtyard of one of the buildings. She was waiting for more customers and enjoying herself. As she was focused on the descending ball and counting down. I observed man come up behind her. She was unaware of his approach. He lifted her off her feet and carried her deep into a more deserted location within the courtyard. She screamed for help but her cries were absorbed within the crowd noise. Once the man was in his chosen spot. He choked her and crushed her windpipe. He robbed her of her marijuana and her cash. He dropped her body like discarded piece of trash.
Though it is morbid, I was inspired to sketch the murder as I had envisioned it in my dream. The angle I chose was to contrast the public celebration against the edge of the crowd murder of a teenage girl from my god’s eye view. In my dream, I had seen the faces of both the victim and the murderer. In my sketch, I left both the victim and the murder as faceless people. I wanted an observer to project their own face onto the subjects. However, I was exacting in all other detail. From the sketch, I make a painting that looks like a Sears photograph. It was an excellent theme. The painting hung in Greg’s studio for less than an hour before the owner of an art gallery purchased it for a thousand dollars. She prominently displayed the painting in her gallery.
Two days ago, I was visited by police detectives. They made an inquiry about the subject in the painting in relationship to an ongoing murder investigation. To my surprise, the location of their murder inquiry was the same as in my sketch and painting. The details of the murder location and my painting were exactly the same. It was as though my painting was a photo of the murder scene.
At the location of the murder, the police and the prosecutor questioned me. I told them everything I had seen in my dream. In my complete foolishness, I didn’t realize that they thought that I had committed the murder. They believe that my painting was a confession and I had just incriminated myself. Based upon my help, I was charged with the murder.
The judge was convinced that I was a flight risk. So, I was held without bond. Thanks to Greg, I had a private attorney instead of a distracted public defender. The woman who had been murdered was the daughter of a well-connected family. The state wanted this case solved and resolved quickly. I was the only suspect in the murder. I was in very serious trouble. My attorney advised me to cut a deal. She wanted my answer in the morning.
That night I had another vivid dream. I was still in jail but I was out of my cell walking the corridors. As I wandered the corridors, I looked into the cells that I passed and observed the inmates in their activity. In section K west, I spotted the murder of the teenage girl in one of the cell. I recognized him immediately. I awoke from the dream and make a new sketch of the murder scene. This time I include the faces of the murder and the victim.
The next morning while meeting with my attorney, I told her that I had found the murderer. She didn’t believe me but she did think it couldn’t hurt for the police to have another suspect. She took the sketch and spoke with the prosecutor. The detectives on the case had wondered why there was no surveillance video of me in the sounding area on the night of the murder. They recognized the murder in the sketch. He was a well know stick up man. They had lots of video surveillance of him in the area on that night. However, there were no video cameras in the area where the murder had occurred.
The detectives arranged to question the new suspect. They laid a copy of the sketch on the table between themselves and him. They set silent and stared at him, smiled and bluffed. One of them said, “That’s murder one.” The new suspect looked at the sketch and said to the detectives, “So, you know!” The detectives replied, “Yes, we have a witness. This is your chance to avoid murder one.” The murder then confessed to the crime. He cut a deal with the prosecutor for a charge of manslaughter.
After the charges against me were dropped, I was released from jail. Still, something that the detectives remarked upset me. When I made my sketch of the murder scene, it was a day before New Year’s Eve. The murder victim was still alive. It seems I had dreamed of a future event. She could have been saved.
The years have passed. I continue to have vivid dreams of murder scenes. I am compelled to make paintings of my dreams. Those paintings have made me a multi-millionaire. Yet, I know that with each dream the victim is still alive and can be saved. I have confirmed later that all my painting depict actual murders that happen in the city. I feel I’m supposed to help but do I dare risk it?
That concludes, “An Artist Who Dreams.” I hope you have enjoyed this story. Please check the links below to hear other original Audio Stories and please visit me at www.jbsimien.com. Thank you and take care.