Art, Opinion

Art Beginnings

0 Comments 26 November 2014

Bring up street art, or graffiti (as it is better known), and you are sure to get a wide multitude of opinions and responses ranging from the strongly against to openly advocating. Sure, some really is just mindless scribble, but what about the important stuff; what’s the true meaning behind this “scribble”?

To put the facts straight, there is a variation in definition between the term “graffiti” and the term “street art”. Graffiti usually is a word or slogan, often scrawled quickly and sometimes unreadable. It can be drawn using anything, but most often used is permanent pens and/or spray paint, with other paints sometimes being used. Street art is there to express an idea, concept, or problem on the street, just like other artwork. It can be made using almost anything, including paper, paints, plastic and almost anything else. But there are many distinct differences between the two. Graffiti often has no purpose, whereas street art can express many purposes, including being there just to look pretty. Consider street art, for a moment. Don’t think about the pretty kind, just the kind that shows the views of a problem, opinion or view, in art form, on the street. That is essentially street art in a nutshell.

Street art is just an example, of course. People use many different art forms to express themselves, an idea or simply a pretty picture. Dance can express stories we will never experience, be an outlet for the dancer to express themselves and also show off skills for a performance. Acting is almost an extension of this, with words and a wider variety of gestures being used. Film can be viewed as simply a recording of an acting performance, but it can be much more than that. It doesn’t have to contain any acting at all, but it can tell a story or communicate a feeling through pictures and film techniques that take great skill to master.

Young people connect to art form much more than they realise. Many people will know the feeling of being at a concert or performance and the performers creating incredible things. Many art creators and performers would say that these kinds of feelings are what got them into their particular art speciality in the first place.

Many times people have seen an art form that they connect to and love so much they know that they simply must be a part of it. This very thing has happened to many famous artist of all kinds. One of the things that is recognised as true is that if you want to get good at something, you must practice. In the case of street artists, many cannot begin until they reach a certain age, as they either are not old enough to buy the materials they need (in the case of spray paint), or their parents are restricting them from doing so, claiming that street art is vandalism. How can we allow our young artists to experiment with street art if we do not give them the opportunity? The solution is simple. All our young people need is an opportunity. These kinds of opportunities can come in many different forms, be it painting a wall or door at home, making an ad for a small company, or it could be a class for young artists that runs year-round.

Much like a competitive art course, these classes would be aimed at people aged 13-18. Potential candidates would first have to submit a portfolio, then an interview and after that selections would be made for the course. Students would then have the opportunity to receive the classes they need to improve and develop their art skills. This doesn’t have to be only confined to visual art, though. This could involve acting, dance, photography and film. Many students of the performing and visual arts already do some kind of class that they know will better their skills in some form or another, whether they are fully aware of this or not. But what about the people who are very good indeed, but not good enough to get into the big, full-time arts schools? This will be the program for them. They could have all the training opportunities that other students of their calibre and higher would normally have.

What kind of artists would we have if we allowed even more opportunities for tomorrow’s artists? We would have an even wider range of art, with new ideas that would otherwise have been stifled by missed opportunities. Even more young people would be inspired to go into the visual and performing arts. When will the next teenager be inspired by the heavy throb of a drum to go into music?

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