Over 200 parents around Jamaica were asked if they would support their children seeking a career in visual art, and needless to say less than a handful were clueless of the field beyond applying paint to canvas to capture a Jamaican scene, and then struggling for months along the sidewalks to sell it. [PS. A link to the list of careers in art in this sites online library is at the end of this article]
On the other hand, some parents question the outcome of their child’s dream to move past waiting outside a studio to ‘burst’ or even that the potential actor would even get a role worth even slightest mention. Will the diary of thoughts become a best seller or a regrettable waste of time?
This is unfortunate, especially when so many tools are available to teach and research on just about anything.
Priority for parents
Additionally, a priority for parents, suffice to say, should be showing at least some interest in what amuses or captures the attention of your child, research it thus qualifying his/herself to be better able to comment and make sound judgement.
Approximately 75 per cent of artists in Jamaica are self-employed, and with proper systems in place can make a decent living. Contributing better to society, artists who are successful can assist in advancing the country better, easing much strain off the government.
This is no invitation for the government to implement systems to further disadvantage the artists amongst us, especially the struggling ones, and those living and/or earning far below their potential, especially in comparison to other countries.
Research, just might surprise parents.
On the other hand, the common assault of Jamaicans, especially those seeking to employ the services of or purchase products by artists usually is that such persons want to do so to the disadvantage of the artist.
Quite frankly, this is another valid reason some parents prevent their children from pursuing a career in art, especially if they are to remain in Jamaica.
While some potential employers strive to undercut the artist, underpaying them, some artists are clueless and about the value of their work. This, however, is not to excuse the artist who often overprice their work especially in the quest for a fast buck.
There ought to be guidelines, and recorded rules. There ought to be at the very least an identifying of possible careers, and quite frankly lines drawn on what should be free, especially when it comes to creative thought, human efforts. Art is found in every aspect of life, and strata of society.
It’s full time we as Jamaicans reacquaint ourselves or become even slightly familiar with the elements and mechanisms of art as critical to education.