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An intelligent decision on design

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Get creative: “ Have imagination, will flourish” is the message.
Get creative: “ Have imagination, will flourish” is the message.

DEEPIKA ARWIND

Advertising, animation, sculpture, graphic design… the career choices are wide open for artists.

More and more private academies are offering art-related courses

Shilo Shiv Suleman is just 19 years old and has already created advertisements for a magazine, which are also aired on television often. While interest and talent are most imperative in her achievement, studying at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore has provided her an avenue to ground her interests more firmly and streamline her artwork, which includes sketching and cartooning among other things.

With the scores of options now available for artists because of the compounded increase in the media that they can work with, an art course is not just restricted to Bachelor’s in Fine Arts. For example, the Srishti School of Fine Arts offers a two-year foundation course, after which students can choose a specific course in Visual Communication Design, Digital Video Production or Experimental Media Arts. Each of these specialisations has an array of career choices after the course is completed.

From design on furniture to graphic design to advertising, there are a number of fields to choose from. Ms. Suleman says, “Now there is so much one can do. When I was applying to colleges after school, the thought that this was not a viable option did not even enter my mind.”

KCP offer

Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat (CKP), which offers five specialisations under its Bachelor’s in Fine Arts course, has faculty members who are working artists.

Babu Jathkar, a senior faculty member in the Applied Arts Department in CKP, says, “As far as Applied Arts course goes, there is enough and more to do. It encompasses a wide range of things.” Specifically in the field of sketching and cartooning, which Mr. Jathkar is proficient in, the options have increased, considering the fact that people can now foray into animation and related fields. The five courses offered by CKP at the bachelor’s level are in painting, sculpture, graphic design, applied arts and art history.

“More academic fields such as art history give students the option to become lecturers,” says Mr. Jathkar. Closely linked to art history is art appreciation, a course offered by many colleges as an add-on or optional subject.

“After doing a course in sculpting, many students have gone on to work with animation companies and make models for their products,” adds Mr. Jathkar. CKP is also a hotspot for many art and crafts exhibitions. From photography to textile exhibitions, CKP hosts one or the other exhibition every alternate week, providing students exposure and giving them a platform to meet others artists. For certain specific courses in fine arts such as cartooning, the first-ever cartooning gallery in India has opened in Bangalore.

The Indian Institute of Cartoonists has come out of a long association among cartoonists in Karnataka and across the country.

The institute plans to offer a graduate-level course in cartooning, which will certainly come as good news for those looking for a formal training in cartooning. The institute has a gallery, which showcases some of the city’s and State’s well-known and even upcoming cartoonists.

V.G. Narendra, Managing Trustee of the Indian Institute of Cartoonists, an erstwhile cartoonist, and former President of the Cartoonists Association of Karnataka, says, “Also in the offing for January 2009 and onwards are week-long courses for amateur or aspiring cartoonists. But, of course, they must be familiar with the basics, so that we can help them explore the nuances.”

Saying that many young people have approached him in the recent past, he added that Bangalore is yet to grow in terms of opening up with more career opportunities in fields such as cartooning.

George Mathen, a Bangalore-based musician and graphic artist, is of the opinion that his art is a way of saying something, more than anything else.

He has to his credit many murals which have been displayed in Mumbai and Bangalore, a graphic-anthology in the pipeline, and a comic strip about his band called Lounge Piranha. All his work can be seen on his website www.georgemathen.com.

“I have never really had a formal education as far as art goes. It took sometime to be able to just do my art work without having to work in an advertising company,” says Mr. Mathen.

UG course

However, many educational institutes have realised the need and now offer courses for students who want to some formal training in fine arts. Wigan and Leigh College (WLC) India has an undergraduate course combining advertising and graphic-design.

In both courses, they attempt to integrate creative aspects with understanding how to sustain a project on one’s own. With students’ annual exhibitions held in all WLC centres, the set-up is meant to enable interaction among student groups.

Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics has set up centres all over the country including Bangalore. Short-term courses, career courses and specialisation courses are part of their menu. The career courses are for students who have completed 12th standard. Three kinds of diplomas are on offer in 3D-Animation and visual effects.

For students who want to work with pen and paper before designing with software, a Bachelors’ degree in Fine Arts, or a foundation course like that offered at Srishti, is still a good option. The trend of more and more private academies offering art-related courses points towards the popularity and need for these courses.

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