Simple though it may seem the term Art has very broad connotations. Loosely defined the term denotes anything and everything that is aesthetically appealing, visually delightful, and requires certain skills. Accordingly art includes a number of things: painting, sculpture, sketching, cartooning, dance, music, singing, poetry, ceramics and pottery, photography, flower arrangement (e.g. ikebana), interior designing and yes, even cooking!!!
In recent times, however, Art has been broadly categorized into two-three groups e.g. performing arts, visual arts and fine arts etc. The latter encompasses sculpture, painting, sketching, drawing and graphics.
India has a rich tradition and heritage of art. There are many individuals who have attained the acme of fame. Yet there remain innumerable nameless, inconspicuous but highly talented artists, who make significant contributions to art who wallow in poverty and squalour. From painters of Kalighat pat (Kolkata) pattachitra (orissa), kalamkari (hyderabad) Madhubani (Bihar) to those of Pichwai (Rajasthan) Chamba (HimachalPradesh) there are indeed hordes and hordes of them, who eventually pass into oblivion, unwept and unsung.
Educational Qualification: The minimum qualification for taking up the course is Class 12. For the degree courses, there is an entrance test in which the aptitude of a person is checked. You may have to make a still life sketch as well as a free-hand drawing on any medium from given topics. There is also a general awareness section in which general knowledge is assesed. The next step in the admission process is the interview. A person should have substantial portfolio to display during the interview.
It is important to practice drawing at home. For help and guidance, one can approach students of the arts colleges or even the faculty members. In certain cities, those who have just graduated organise crash courses too. Free-hand drawing must be practiced too and the best of the work should be selected for the portfolio.
Personal attributes: Aspirants for this field must have the ability to enjoy creating and imagining; this is among those professions where learning from others plays an important role in the budding stages. An inborn talent, dedication, an eye to form, ability to utilize colors and creative ability to develop original ideas are also important factors.
Fine art professionals have a plethora of options to choose from. Various opportunities exist for them in various art studios, advertising companies, publishing houses, fashion houses etc. Many professionals prefer to be freelance workers as freelancing gives them a freedom to try their hands on a variety of projects. One can also opt for fields like teaching, direction, photography, television, clothing and fashion besides working as art directors for magazines, on-line services, software companies, publishing houses, advertising, promotion and product design.
Painters: Painters paint portraits, landscapes, scenery, still life, abstract design, murals etc. On different surfaces with different mediums.
Sculptors: The sculptor carves figures, statues, monuments and other media in imaginative designs by chiseling stone or carving wood or modeling clay. Modern sculptors utilize materials like reinforced cement, concrete or white bronze or plaster of Paris.
The main work of commercial artists involves designing advertisement displays, packaging, creation of visuals etc. This can be in the following areas:
Design: The function of the designer is to be conscious of the requirements of an industry. Designers usually work with a team of experts from different disciplines, both technical and business. Their ideas have to be tailored to fit in with commercial and technical requirements.
Graphics: This is concerned with lettering, illustration including photography; the design of symbols and logos. Its also includes visual aids for industrial and educational application, TV graphics, captions, programme titles, all non-verbal TV presentations of information, such as election result, trade figure trends etc; packaging , publicity and advertising, stamp and letterhead design etc.
This can vary depending on the jobs. While designing magazine covers can easily fetch a pay of Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 10,000 per month. Freelance artists can be paid anything from Rs. 2,500 to 15,000.
By and large, the following salary package is offered by the industry:
Visualisers: from Rs.8000 to Rs.12000 p.m.
Assistant Art Director: Rs.12000to Rs.20000 p.m.
Art Director: Rs.25000 to Rs.40000 p.m.