Sunday, November 27, 2011

Artfully not yours

I have participated in quite a few sit-and-draw competitions as a kid, even though I cant really draw. Most of them i sat through because my parents thought it was a good idea. Today I read this report in the Sunday metro about a "design a stamp competition" organised at the general post office.

What I wanted to do. 
I realised that I too as a kid had participated twice in similar designing activity organised at the same venue. A bunch of us (basically those who got the permission from their parents) were taken from our school to the GPO. We all sat there (I  was going to write quietly but  I am not sure if we were quiet) Paper handed to us, theme explained; we all got to work. I was quite enthusiastic in the beginning. The clock didn't stop for me, my art skills didn't improve in the course of an hour. It never did. When we were asked to give our paper up, I decided that what I drew didn't resemble the masterpiece I had in mind. 

The next year the teachers sought me out again- not because I was good but because I would add to the number of children participating and my parents would easily allow me to stay back after school to design stamps for the postal service. (What a noble task)

What I can do. 
As a teenager I took art lessons for a few months. This lady used to come to my place once a week, used to draw a scene which I was supposed to copy. I also learned how to shade a tree. I can tell you one thing that my drawing had improved in those months. A bit. 

Parents make it a point to introduce their kids to all kind of activities they can think of. The basic ones- dance, draw, sing are so popular that all localities have atleast one drawing, singing or dance teacher/class. Within walking distance of my house there are five such places where hapless children are sent to learn to how to belt out songs, gracefully move their limbs and churn out Mona Lisa like masterpieces. 

After this experiment the preferred activity is established and the next few years are spent achieving excellence in said talent. Many children excel in all three ( I dread such kids). 

I am glad that kids today have more activities to choose from. It can be Taekwondo or French, bowling, tennis or even graphology. Ofcourse whatever children pursue they are expected to excel in it. Some things never change.


  1. Ever tried to copy M F Hussain ! (bcz i was even forced to join painting class for biology ) I did and found that if he had seen the same he would have died long back . Let his soul RIP . but who cares we must do what we are good at like u are good in writing !But who can make our respected parent`s understand this facts toughest nut to crack .

  2. I know you what you are good at - DOODLING... really love you DOODLES :).... Who said you need to be a world famous painter to love to draw or in your case - just Doodle :) :) Keep that up and stamps, well why not, you can paste your own handmade stamps on the letters you send.. the receiver faces the consequences, :P

  3. @anonymous Ha ha, RIP Hussain saab. My parents thankfully are quite supportive of my efforts, so no complains there. Its funny though that most parents want their kids to excel every where.

    @Samik Yes I do love doodling. I hand painted two tees! Loved doing it :P