Art – A Rant?

My first and forever love is Art.

However I cannot specify which kind of Art because I am vehemently in love with the many faces of Art. It is a passion of mine that has been instilled within me ever since I was in kindergarten. But if I had to choose, it would be the Arts that are more traditional and ancient in both nature and character (now). Examples: painting, sculpting…the like.

I cannot fully describe in great detail what Art is to me – but when it comes to one’s true passion(s)… I think it is always very difficult to explain. Especially when society does not see things the same way. To me, I honestly feel that my passion is very arcane – and unfortunately, mocked by the members of society who call or treat it as ‘A Hippie Hobby‘.

I am a member of a big, stereotypical, stable (financially) and class-conscious family, with elders and officially productive members of society (cousins…etc) that are mostly doctors, accountants, businessmen/women and engineers (I have an uncle who was overqualified in the world of engineering. Damn.). Art to them was always looked at as a hobby. Something to enjoy in your leisure time – but never as a career or something that could carry someone through the harsh realities of life. Many – if not most art students/artists are always the victims of said mentality.

I will never forget the day (approx. 4 years ago) I voiced out the fact that I wanted to study Fine Art after high school. I like digital Art that is slowly taking over the world, but I am just head over heels for the older, more traditional ways. If you put me in a career that requires me to work mostly with technology and minimal handiwork… I will suffer – like a gagged, cuffed alcoholic in a room of whisky. I like the technological stuff. I do – but I will be in metaphorical hell. I will not be happy with it. So imagine how crestfallen I was when every single one of my relatives gave me nothing but a blank stare, and the words: : “Are you sure?” 

Now I am sure that they meant well… I am sure they were being nice… But it was what followed for years after that that made me ridiculously cold to them. Endless, never-ending, talks about how I should not do Art. At least Fine Arts.

“Isn’t there anything else?” “Have you thought this through?” “Maybe you should pick something else… Something more…secure?” “I don’t think that is a good choice. You need to choose something that will make you more stable financially.” “Just do it as a hobby.” “You want to paint…and sculpt? Isn’t it too old?” “Why not medicine? (I enjoyed Science and did it well except Physics so they always suggested medicine)” “I think in the future you will suffer financially.”  It drove me absolutely mental.

I do not joke.

In this modern day, Art (especially the more traditional kind) is constantly looked down and belittled by the powerhouses of the world. Criticized by those who can treat cancer but not cure it, ridiculed by academically brilliant highbrows and intelligentsia, and pitied by strange beings that claim to be human but are ludicrously amazing at Mathematics. It is true, the world is modernizing, it is growing industrially with the help of technology and Einstein incarnates – but whatever happened to the beauty and the patience that the traditional Arts was birthed from? Everything was handmade and slaved over with passion, every detail is meticulously looked after, one piece of work that would take weeks, months and years to complete… Everything is advancing so quickly – it is no wonder stress and hormone levels are spiking.

Industrial giants do not want nor need art students (Again, I am referring to those who are more traditional) as their fresh batch of interns. Maybe when they need their giant vanity portraits done or when they want a grand sculpture of themselves that they think will be the next David with more clothing. I am not saying this to spite corporate members and the like for we do need them; but it really is the truth of the matter in this technology-driven era. This is an advantage for graphics/animation/digital artists. They have higher chances in terms of employability and less chances of being given ‘the look‘ by those who are not as fond of the Arts.

Maybe I just feel hopeless and angry that my passion – as well as others who share the same passion, is seen as just ‘a hobby’ by others; and assumed that the majority of us are just going to be spat out from Art school and straight into the streets with only scraps to fill our stomachs. For those who are more fortunate, they clearly are forces to be reckoned with and to be admired greatly for having overcome many, many barriers and mentalities.

I realise that this is sounding more and more like a rant. Maybe it always has been from the start, but my mind had been…off and unaware about it. I both assure as well as regret to tell you (well, some of you) that I am truthfully not finished with this post. However it is getting a bit long and I do not want to bore you to self-induced death (in reality which is just closing the tab). Perhaps some of you are not getting bored, but one brain can only think so much at a time (both reader and writer).

So in a failed attempt to conclude this post, I bid you all arrivederci and until the next post/highly likely rant about Art.

xx

E.N.

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One comment

  1. Thank you for visiting my site and thank you for the follow. I love your passion for art. Just as an encouragement, my husband was basically told the same thing about music. For twenty years he put his instrument aside. Now he is using his musical talents to make a decent, if not a lucrative, living. He is loving it.

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