This had gone on too long.
At first, Herbert was hungry, and his work was sharp and edgy. No one knew about him yet, but he knew then that he would find his break.
The break found him in due course, and suddenly he went from selling what he painted to only painting what had already sold. The day that he got his first advance order was the day his life and career changed for good.
But success came with a price.
His art was still a phenomenon in its field, and some collectors were starting to speak of him as if a new school of young artists were following his lead.
But he was slowing losing his edge, the art was recognizable less sharp.
A few experts and other artists in his growing school of followers could see it.
Herbert could see it too.
As his success grew, and his reputation with it, he increasingly began to feel as if he were a secret failure disguised as a success. He began to dread the day that a small child would step out from a crowd and speak the truth.
The fear of discovery that it was all a sham began to control his life.
And so it comes to this. Herbert is hungry, and his work no longer shows it. He has lost his edge.
But none of his shine.