I watched Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr. the other day. This was an exhibition boxing match between two former champs.
I was too young to see either of them fight back in their primes, but I have racked up hundreds of hours on Youtube watching their highlight reels. Both are athletic freaks of nature.
Today, they are not nearly as threatening. Tyson is 54, Jones is 51. They are in remarkable shape for their age, but nothing compared to their former selves. Time takes its toll on everyone.
It made me realize how lucky we are as artists. We aren’t so much bound by the limitations of our bodies. As Michelangelo once said, we paint with our brains, not with our hands. For this reason, we don’t hit our stride until later in life, and we can continue well into old age. We may lose some dexterity and sharpness with age, but we gain experience and knowledge. A worthy trade-off for an artist.
Our artworks also fair well with time. They might get a little yellow, dusty, or damaged, but they should last many years, centuries even. Just take a walk through any prestigious museum. It’s nice to know the fruits of our efforts have longevity.
Plus on top of all that, we don’t get punched in the face!