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long term solution
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something out of nothing
kids these days
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Value Of The Arts
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Value Of the Arts

From drawing, photography, sculpture, painting, architecture, music, literature, film, and in other areas[dancing, acting, singing, martial arts, etc] of our lives art plays a vital and indirect role. This often goes unnoticed to us. I was made aware of this fact as I studied art in college. I was proud to learn that it takes art to do industrial design, engineering, jewelry making, creating tools, etc. In the past there were cultures who revered the Artist as a god since this person could spontaneously create something out of nothing. Well, with time things have changed.

Here in America whenever the economy goes bad or there is any kind of financial instability in business, art related fields are among the first things to be cut. In California and other states art related programs are being dropped from educational programs. As a short term solution, maybe things could work out, but I would hate to see this become a long term solution to a growing problem. Most often there are generations of the present or the future who say something along the lines of, why is it that kids these days do the things that they do? During our time we never would have done that. Well the answer can be complicated, yet I can say that it involves a combination of having the old pass on their teachings to you and then what you learned evolving into something for the greater good.

As much as culture and societies develop, throughout history it can be seen time and again how some cultures embrace change while others hold steadfastly to tradition. Your way of doing art and how you live is your identity. Our pride, lack there of it, or perceptions of identity can be a doubled-edged sword. It is very important to be proud of who you are, still we all must be cautious of ethnocentrism.

I can share a personal experience with everyone. I am African-American yet while I was growing up my parents never really shared a direct lineage of culture with me or my siblings. Reason being? That was something that was lost during slavery. Still subtly there is the food we eat, the music we listen too, and our outlook upon the world. Speaking solely for myself, I learned a lot of things from TV and applied it to my life as a child by age 5. Often times my parents would correct me. For instance, when I was a little boy I saw a food commercial with children eating and they all said, "mmmmm delicious!" So for me I had learned a new expression! At the dinner table while I was enjoying my mom's cooking, I said, "mmmmmm delicious!" My mother goes, "boy you talking like them white folks." Now I am really, really glad that my parents didn't indoctrinate me into believing that I should absolutely behave a certain way based strictly upon race. Still things got worse for me at school. My first day in school in kindergarten class during recess, when I went out to play with the other kids I got a rude awakening. The black kids said, "We can't play with you. You're white." I go over to the white children and they say,"we can't play with you. You're black." I thought to myself. Heck, what's wrong with me?! I'm not a certain color. I'm human!

With this approach to my life I grew up viewing everyone, regardless of our differences, in a just manner. I was alone, but in my solitude I found a place of my own. Others who revered me with high esteem helped me see the value in myself. During this period of my development I grew quite fond of the anime Inuyasha because many characters berated him as a half-breed, something that I know all too well. In my adulthood, my family would find out some of the truth of our heritage in slavery. We were fortunate to learn first hand from a descendant who approached us respectfully. That I gratefully appreciated, since I had encountered painfully negative approaches in other circles. Again, being different has made me aware of the dangers of being too proud, too narrow in my thinking, and insensitive to others who may be experiencing the same struggles I have been through.

Our culture and I society may say to us that certain things are acceptable because we belong to this ethnic group, etc. In my life art has indirectly guided me away from that mindset. I can look upon any cultural work of art with curiosity. In turn, that could influence me to develop my approach to art or help me find my style.

Music, architecture, literature, photography, and so on carry great weights of value. As I grew up listening to R&B Soul music, it's often called different terms now, I grew to learn the significance of love. As I got older and branched out to other types and cultural music, no matter where I went I could always find the universal elements that we all share. There is love, sadness, pain, hate, anger, frustration, joy, fantasy, and more in all types of music.

Keep in mind this is how I perceived the world and found my own understanding which is continuing to expand, even now. For other individuals he or she will arrive at his or her own answers. There is nothing wrong with this fact, so long as it does not jeopardize the safety of others. It is not really a matter of right and wrong. It is how we are different. Living with this fact, it is wise to seek to have peaceful, harmonious relationships with one another.

In literature there are so many stories written in the past that, with some polishing perhaps because of language barriers, could very well still allude to present human conditions today.

I can say that growing up on R&B Soul music made me fall in love with poetry! It is pleasant when someone can creatively string words together whether they rhyme or not. It's the idea, feeling, condition, and atmosphere conveyed in the end that ultimately will make the reader appreciate the work or not.

With photography I love how the picture can speak a thousand words! It communicates without words, unless of course words are in the picture As an Artist I can fully appreciate the experimentation in photography, drawing, and painting that has lead to a collaborating development of the fields.

If I had not fallen in love with animation than I know for a fact that I would be a Painter! I took a painting class during my undergraduate years in college and loved it! It was very difficult to enjoy because I took too many hard courses all at once in hopes of graduating earlier. Painting can take on a life of its own. A lifetime can be spent exploring the infinite possibilities it has to offer! According to my professor, my very first painting was good! Then I started comparing myself to some of the other students who were painting majors and that is when my skills started to suffer. As I progress as an Artist, I will work towards getting better at my painting skills as time and resources allow.

Sculpture and other "real 3D" works are quite amazing indeed because you have that third dimension to experience with the senses. For myself I never was really fond of "real 3D" works such as; sculpture, stop motion animation with puppets, creating sculpey models, working with package design, jewelry making, industrial design, and so forth. As I contemplate it heavily now, I can say that it all boils down to me not wanting to get my hands too dirty.

In architecture, engineering, and other industrial design related fields it is astonishing how engineers have been able to seemingly conquer the challenges that Mother Nature present to them. As I learn of the history of many bridges, buildings, dams, etc built in the past and to this present day, I am in awe of how people from around the world set out to solve problems that many other people may find far too great to even attempt. It is so wonderful how an idea can go from a blueprint drawing into a tangible functioning thing!

Working in film is quite delightful, unless you have that boss who is rushing you to finish quickly. I thoroughly enjoy the tactful feel of drawing for traditional animation and then using the computer to complete the process. Once the work is brought into the computer all sorts of experimentation can take place!

Art can be used to educate us, make the learning experience enjoyable. It can help us express ourselves, see things from various perspectives, and indulge us to find meaning in that which we may even perceive to be meaningless. Art is an infinite world of impossibilities becoming possibilities. Art can identify us. It can communicate our universality and help us all transcend our differences.


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