TED Conversations

Simon Peter Debbarma

Student of History, Desire Machine Collective

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Why is art (or artistically creative fields) often not taken seriously?

My question is self-explanatory.

I live in India where the shortest path to success in life is getting a degree and a good job. Its basically the traditional way. Very few actually pursue something artistic. And very few parents actually encourage it.

I found that most parents don't want their children to take risks and enter the creative fields. Most want their kids to be engineers and doctors. Here in India, most kids either end up wanting to be an engineer or a doctor and many parents want just that. Maybe its the financial stress but there's no explanation for it.

The creativeness in kids is killed although some lucky ones have it until the end of their lives. This is also shared by Ken Robinson''s talk. Creativity is art and its sad to see art dying in the younger generations.

As you can see this is very prevalent in my country and other Asian countries. You can also figure out why we can be kind of over-achievers if we try hard. John Maeda's father as said in this TED talk says that his father told a certain shop owner that he was "good in math" while his teacher had said that John was good in "math and art". His father had left out art. I've been in similar situations too and its kind of sad to see that your talent is not uphold-ed or recognized by the ones you hoped would appreciate it. Maybe I was not good enough, but it didn't mean that I couldn't improve. Many go through this and I think coming up with a solution should be on our agenda.

What can you do to change this? Are you willing to change your society?
How can we keep children interested and their love for art burning through their school life?
Is this something only my generation will have to face? Do you think this will change in later generations?Will we be supportive of our children in what they are good at, and at not what you want them to be?

Topics: art creativity

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    Jul 15 2013: I love photography but by no means am I a photographer. My father always told me, if I wanted to pursue photography, that when I turned 18 I'd be kicked out to find a place to live and I could do whatever I wanted but that I’d be doing on my own.
    He said that you can have a hobby and a job, just don't make a job your hobby. In my free time, I go around and take pictures of scenery; the city, whatever sparks my interest. Maybe someday I'll make some money off my photos but it's just something that makes me happy that I do to keep my life balanced.
    It does make me a little bit upset when young adults choose to go to "art school." Wasting thousands of dollars to be "taught" what art is. As the author of this post stated, art is personal, ect. ect. Like my father said to me, if you want to pursue art, go for it. Just realize that you are in the real world now and you'll be paying for these expenses. He would never send me to art school.
    I believe that there are young adults that "pursue" art and especially the young adults here in America, end up having thousands of dollars’ worth of debt, with a ton of narcotics pumped into their system, showing very little for it.
    I won't say that I don't support art; I actually love searching for up and coming artists and hold a couple of pieces in my house today. What I don't understand are, the individuals who attend a university to "gain art skills." If you got it you got it, if you don't you don't.
    It's a simple explanation why art is risky, supply and demand. The demand for art is limited and the supply of good and horrible artists is way too high. Everyone wants to make money doing what they love, that is why art is appealing, acting, musicians and athletes. All of these people are a big part of society, the problem is the pipe dream…is exactly that, a small pipe with many people trying to pile in.
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      Jul 15 2013: I too believe that art school is a waste of money since most students end up in debt. Art is self taught. You could be taught basics in college and how to operate and stuff but its hard for a teacher to teach a student an unique style. Everyone should have an unique style and it is best discovered by ones own self. And you did the right thing. Its that attitude in you that I really like. Its wonderful to hear your love of photography.

      Exactly, the pipe dream with many people piling in is quite a problem. Not everyone will be successful in their field of art but then again,its nice to see them strive, enjoying what they do and not giving up. What we need, is 'a larger stage'.
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        Jul 15 2013: Why pay for Art School. There is so much available on the web. Check out my post above.


        It is always good to bring some balance to these debates.
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          Jul 16 2013: Yes Juan we are aware of the various resources - altogether the Internet!
          Most of my education is done online. I learn various subjects online and most of my school education is completed online and supplemented by online websites. I end up learning something new everyday.

          I have a list of educational websites. I shall try to provide it here someday.

          I just started a FB page recently: www.facebook.com/EverythingYouNeedToKnowIRL
          I post anything I find interesting here on the page. Everyone is welcome. If anyone wants to be an admin and post stuff there you; you are more than welcome. Just give me a message.

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