Scottish illustrator Jack Vettriano who became one of Britain’s most successful artists on the basis of his picture, The Singing Butler, which one of the country’s most reproduced images talks to the Telegraph about his finances, especially growing up poor in Scotland:
Do you think your upbringing made you more cautious spending money?
Until my paintings started to fetch decent money, I didn’t have much disposable income. I had a mortgage and a car on hire purchase. I do tend towards being a saver, but now I have the money, it’s lovely to be able to go into Armani and not bother about whether you’re paying over the odds for a suit. I like a bit of a gamble on the horses, but only bet what I can afford to lose. […]
Does talking about money and royalties (reputedly more than £500,000 a year) embarrass you?
I find it vulgar to talk about my personal wealth with anyone who’s not a part of my life. The amount I make from royalties has dropped dramatically because the company that does the reprints went into liquidation and I’ve had to spend approximately the last 18 months to try to buy myself out of the contract. I’ve set up a company Heartbreak Publishing in its place.
Have you learned any difficult lessons through mistakes?
Yes, even if you work hard and get lucky, money is still quite difficult to make, but very, very easy to lose.
Is there anything you hate about dealing with money?
I hate the whole business of it! I’ve never been someone who’s craved wealth. When you do start making money, you start having more regular dealings with financial advisers and pleading letters. I’d rather do something with more personal meaning with my money.