Benish Ali Bhat
Art is a creative expression of ideas. Any career one chooses requires a certain amount of creativity, but a career in ‘fine arts’ is all about creativity and artistic skills.
Choosing fine arts as a career stream, however, is not an easy choice for fears of a lack of job security. Many artists pursue another career alongside to keep the hearth burning.
However, things are changing for good with an increasing demand for commercial art or applied art.
Fine arts include drawing, painting and sculpture. Each of these fields is expansive. Artists today use their skills in areas such as applied art, which is relatively more popular.
Applied art is the application of the different types of art media for commercial purposes like advertisements, billboards, book jackets, window displays, cinema slides, technical catalogues and packaging.
ShaiqaMohi, the principal of the Institute of Music and Fine Arts, University of Kashmir describes fine arts as an enterprising and commercial field.
“I don’t think there is a dearth of jobs in our field. All our pass outs are doing really well and have become well known artists,”Mohi said.
The institute is the only one in Kashmir to offer a degree in fine arts through a four-year bachelor’s level course. The first year is a general course while the next three years go into specialisations like painting, sculpture and applied arts.
“Applied art is becoming increasingly popular and there is always a requirement for graphic artists in every field these days,” says Mohi.“Our painters and sculptors are also in demand. They mostly opt as art teachers in schools and others work individually."
The institute conducts exhibitions for artists in collaboration with the cultural academy of Jammu and Kashmir. They also send them for national exhibitions.
The intake capacity of the institute is 30 per year. It used to offer part-time courses and diplomas which have been temporarily closed because of the infrastructural loss due to the 2014 floods.
A career in fine arts may seem a risky choice, but if that is what you want to do, it is worth the risk.
“There is no need to be afraid. If you are creative and interested in art, you are most welcome to join us,” says Mohi, who is also a sculptor and a pass out of the same institute. Some of her works are on display in her office.
Hard work is the key to success in any field, she says, and it is true for fine arts as well.