Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) had a room in his house full of crazy hats, hidden behind a bookshelf. Theodor put hats on his guests at parties and asked them to embody that character for the evening. He used his hat collection to take on new personas and overcome creative blocks. In addition to his commercial artwork, he was also a prolific painter and sculptor. His “Unorthodox Taxidermy” sculptures were inspired by what he imagined animals would want to be reincarnated as.
Monet's father disapproved of his painting. He wanted him to be a grocer.
Micro-sculptor Willard Wigan creates artwork so small that he once inhaled one by accident. His sculptures will run you about $40,000. Here's one in the eye on a needle. http://www.willard-wigan.com/
Jackson Pollock once had a job cleaning statues for the Emergency Relief Bureau. He also worked as a janitor with his brother at a children's school. In his personal life, he was not so clean...
Leonardo Da Vinci was left handed and his personal notes were written from the right side of the page to the left.
Pablo Picasso was considered a suspect in the theft of Mona Lisa in 1911. He was arrested and questioned, but later cleared and released.
The Renaissance masterpiece "The Pieta" is the only work that Michelangelo Buonarroti ever signed. He later regretted what he considered an outburst of pride and vowed to never sign another work again.
Salvador Dali was kicked out of art school in Madrid. He believed he was his dead brother's reincarnation, who was also named Salvador. He set his bedroom on fire.
Vincent Van Gogh produced more than 2,000 works during his life: 900 paintings and 1,100 drawings and sketches. He only sold one painting while he was alive. That is some serious persistence.
Paul Gaugin, the French painter, worked as a laborer on the Panama Canal. About 25,000 workers died during its construction.
On December 3rd, 1961, Henri Matisse's painting "Le Bateau" was put right-side up after hanging upside-down for 46 days without anyone noticing at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.