Pablo Picasso once said that “every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up”. Therefore, offering children the much-needed space to create, to explore and to express themselves through art is absolutely important so that a holistic approach to education can be ensured. However, the purpose of art as academic subjects is not, and should not be, taught just to produce some “world-class artists”, but to provide a means of exploring feelings and experiences and expressing them beautifully which “words”, that we use on a regular basis, can’t do alone. This is something that every child can experience and benefit from. In other words, the children should be able to find the true value of “art” in the process itself as well, not only in the “end product”.
On a metaphysical level, an advantage of being an artist is that he/she has a heightened sensitivity to the surroundings and being able to nurture it with a childlike playfulness towards experiences throughout the entire life by having the satisfaction by creating something “beautiful and special”. But on a practical level, being an artist allows one to become his or her own “boss” without having to worry about ‘satisfying’ others.
However, one of the major disadvantages of being an artist is that he/she is not financially solvent most of the times, and he/she has to rely on some other sources of income to survive. And, as a result, an artist has no or a very limited social life. Another disadvantage of being an artist is most people don’t take “art” as an actual “profession” which can be equally demoralizing and frustrating for a person with a sense of “self-respect”.
The fact, that some people enjoy looking at paintings and sculptures while others don’t, can be attributed primarily, in my opinion, to how much “art education” one has received. Besides, this is also an issue of “sensibility” and how emotionally we get triggered by certain artworks. In fact, there is a theory which explains that because colours, shapes, sounds and thoughts are all waves form, and the more we are sensitive to these kinds of waves, the better we can understand an emotional message, considering that a piece of painting or sculpture essentially is an expression of an emotion, or transmit it. Besides, another “theory” suggests that most “visually intelligent” people love art while people who cannot concentrate upon a single detail for more than 10 seconds cannot enjoy art.
There are a number of advantages of art education. In fact, many studies suggest that art education has many social and academic benefits to students as it promotes self-directed learning and sharpens creative problem-solving skills and critical thinking. The arts provide challenges for learners at all levels by connecting students with their own culture as well as with the rest of the world. Studies also suggest that Integrating art education with other disciplines helps reach the students who otherwise wouldn’t feel “engaged” and interested in class works.
Yes, I do think that some people are naturally better artists than others, just like somebody is better in science and mathematics academically, primarily because of their genetic structure and disposition towards “creativity”. In fact, it is my opinion that it is the “genetic disposition” of some children who spent much of their time in their childhood by engaging in creative activity, whether it was drawing or singing, or whatever that they enjoyed, in order to develop their skills from the early years of their lives in the process of play.
Of course, some people would choose to argue that it is their “passion” that drives them to become “better” artists. But, even if I agree with them to some extent just for the “sake of debate”, I would still argue that if it is not for their “natural inclination or disposition”, they wouldn’t be able to turn themselves into some “better” artists.
We, humans, are “unique” in our existence and experience. Therefore, it is only natural that we have our needs and expectation that are unique as well. But among those unique needs and expectation, that separates us from animals, enjoying art seems to be something that makes us “truly” unique as humans.
So, what is the general purpose of art? Well, the answer is, art helps us to look at ourselves little “closer” in a different light by explaining our desire and expectation in more details which otherwise wouldn’t be possible. With the help of art, we are able to communicate our social, political, cultural and spiritual ideas in a much more organized manner so that we feel “challenged” to rethink over the issues and the subjects that are affecting us and our surroundings on a daily basis.
We enjoy art because it stimulates our hearts and minds to appreciate our lives in a more positive light. We enjoy art also because it makes us feel “different” by combining our “unusual motifs” that weave their way into our “subconscious” (or the “hidden” us) and alter our mood so that we feel free to travel into a different realm.
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