A part two of introduction.
Some of my old art before college (2010 – 2013). Adding images to arouse interest, hopefully. My art has changed greatly since then.
Let’s begin with the fact that I am currently in my final year of Fine Arts.
(Fine Arts that I speak of is visual arts only)
Why did I choose Fine Arts? In Malaysia (or perhaps other parts of the world), this is a very unknown territory. You see, this was my initial plan in life:
1- Get good grades in primary and secondary school.
2- Take Foundation in Science > Degree Medicine > Psychiatry
3- Contribute to society by helping emotionally troubled people like me.
I did the first one. I got straight A’s for all the major exams. I was just starting number 2 when I… basically had an extreme burnout. I won’t go into the details but let’s just say that the university that I started the Foundation course in, is… well, not as friendly or comfortable as I thought it would be. I still have some interest for Medicine, but… the way my life is, it’s just not meant to be. I’m not smart enough I guess, despite what others say. After thinking and considering the many options, here, I am, in college studying Fine Arts, battling with the feeling that I don’t want to continue, every day.
At the starting of the Fine Arts course, everything seemed interesting. The idea of being able to “freely express myself” appealed to me. I felt like I had a lot to say about myself and the world. But as the course progresses, I realise the hypocrisy in art.
When we were young, we drew things and didn’t care about composition, technique or colour choice. It was a hobby, we loved it, we’d stay up late at night just to draw. The feeling is just magical. I always imagine myself giving life to my characters as I colour them. The moment I colour their hands, I imagine them being able to move their hands, while the uncoloured part remains “unalive”. And people praised me for my talents and of course, that felt great!
But as life goes on, suddenly, art becomes something you need to be good in, in order to survive. Why? Money. If it’s the only skill you have to make a living, art becomes a chore, work and thus, stressful. You could argue that it’s all worth it in the end. But for what purpose do we make art? What is our true intention? Not for enjoyment anymore? Both work and fun perhaps? Depending on perspective and personality. For me, I like to make art just for art, not for commercial purposes.
Honestly, I don’t think art is something you should pay for. Wait! Before I get murdered by a bunch of angry artists, I say this because besides fun and aesthetics, what purpose does it have? “Raise awareness” to the public? The public doesn’t know much about art in general so how could we do so? And to raise awareness you first need to have fame and influence. Rather than spending thousands on a landscape painting for a living room decoration to out-posh the other, I’d say that we should spend money on… let’s say vaguely, helping the environment. Most organisations would need some money to start doing anything but yet I don’t see people wanting to donate to such causes. (Ignoring the climate change deniers.)
The concern here is art is as though a “distraction” to the real world and all its problems. If it were only as a “temporary escape”, that’s fine but in fact, it brings more problems – jealousy, dishonesty, greed. It’s alright if people only appreciate it but don’t waste their money on it. Artists spend so much on material itself, most of which are not exactly environmental friendly… like oil paint (since everyone loves this old medium) and acrylics. The worst part is that most artists (or shall I say, students too) don’t know how to properly dispose paint. They just wash away their acrylic paints into the river, drains, etc. Some dried acrylic paint should actually be disposed with normal trash because it is, essentially, plastic. It’s similar to throwing plastic bags into the ocean. Although not as bad, accumulated it will be terrible, as with most human activity. I won’t even start talking on wastage. That’s enough there.
I guess you could say I’m against art made for money because it’s basically adding more trash to an already damaged planet. It is “fighting a pointless battle”. Don’t count on finding other planets like Earth to “move” to. That, and the nonsense gallery commission thing that overprices artwork and all the possible slander that comes with.
I joined Fine Arts because I had to. I thought it would be fun since I like drawing but then I learned the truth of its hypocrisy and now I despise it. Yet, I still have to continue because I have 2 semesters left.
P/S: I’m not saying ALL of Fine Arts or Arts is bad. But what I imagine would be ideal and good is if we do art, only if we like it, and for ourselves, not to impress others. That is the truest form of art. I don’t hate my artwork. I just hate doing it “because I have to”.