Your teenager may choose music or painting as his career. It is difficult to come to terms with, at least among
Indian parents who believe becoming a doctor or engineer is the best
possible choice for their child. But is this really true? Read on.
The moment the word 'art' is mentioned in an Indian home, the atmosphere turns electric. The father glares, the mother makes a worried face and the teenager's heart sinks. He loves painting
and believes he can make a career out of it, but no, there is no way
you will let that happen. "How will he ever be able to support himself
or playing a guitar?" you ask. Plus he is just being whimsical, you
convince yourself. But are you being harsh on your child? Or are you
just ensuring he has a safe future?
Aren't Artistic Careers for Drop-outs and Dreamers?
It is odd that wanting to take up a career in art is not usually well-accepted in Indian homes. After all, Indianart is deeply rooted in our history and culture. Indian art is supposed to be among the best in the world. India's history is rich with musicians, painters, philosophers, writers and poets of the greatest order. Most of our folk tales
are based on artistic figures. But that was years ago, you argue. That
is true, but the fact is that today all artistic fields pay extremely
well. People pick alternative careers because they feel they have the creative edge to excel in those art forms. Be it CD sales or performance fees for musicians, or exhibitions for painters,
or the movies for an actor, such artists in recent years have been
earning as much as the conventional 'doctor/engineer' earns.
Does Music Pay?
What does a musician do? And more importantly, how does he make money?
Today, a musician does not have to wait for the occasional performance
fees to pay his bills. Bollywood, television studios, recording studios
etc. need session musicians. Independent artists, music schools, radio stations, and international bands and singers are all in dire need of talented musicians.
Music is a field that segregates the talented from the repetitive, and
if your child is truly talented he will easily establish himself in the
industry. And there are many avenues for him to compete. Take for
example the numerous TV shows that hunt for talent. A lot of money
exists in the music industry but it is all about getting the right break. And getting a break has gotten easier over the last few years.
How about Painting?
As for painting, urban India has taken to art
with a warm heart. A lot more people feel the need to have paintings in
their homes. Frequent exhibitions happen in cities and talented artists
are quickly sold out. And after a few years a good artist can have a
strong and steady income going for himself. A lot of magazines and
websites feature painters and art on a regular basis, thus ensuring that a talented artist is always in the spotlight. And sketchers, illustrators and painters can always choose to enter the graphics and designing domain, where they are paid very well for their skills.
And Acting, Dancing, Fashion, etc.?
As for acting, everybody knows at least one actor who did not make it
to the big league. But then, a lot of actors have made it too. Today,
the focus in India has shifted from hero-centric plots to
script-centric stories. This has ensured that the entire cast needs to
be talented. And today, small-screen actors earn almost as much as the
movie stars do.
forms like dance, animation, sketching, tattooing, fashion, theatre
etc. have also emerged as promising fields in recent times. Dancers are
paid extremely well in the entertainment industry. Dance shows on TV today have increased the attention to this art
form. Pay scales in the field of animation are sky-rocketing. And
fashion has firmly established itself as an independent and
financially-powerful industry. As the world turns into a smaller place with time, it has gotten easier to establish yourself if you have the talent.
But isn't it Safer to Stick to Conventional Careers?
are slowly suffocating because of the availability of manpower. In
India there is no shortage of science graduates. And statistics
indicate that average salaries in conventional jobs have dropped. This
stands true for profiles lower down the hierarchy. There are of course
exceptions. But taking into consideration the larger picture, there is
no need to worry if your teenager decides to make his career in art.
So should I Encourage My Teen?
is all that teens expect when they express their wishes to parents. The
best thing you can do as a parent is to believe in him. Encouragement
in the struggling years can play a big role in ensuring his or her
success. Of course, it is important that you make sure he knows what he
is getting into. You can do this by asking him in detail about his
aspirations, and why he wants to do it. Job satisfaction has emerged as
a top priority for today's youth. Teenagers today also evaluate the financial aspect of jobs and careers before moving into it. With the easy availability of information, thanks to mediums like the Internet and television, the risks of opting for such careers
are minimal. So go ahead and support your teenager whole-heartedly. If
he truly loves what he does, rest assured he will not be disappointed.
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- The Indiaparenting Team
Does your teen want to make a career in music or painting? Have you always thought of careers in art as a bad idea? Are you aware of career prospects in such fields?
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