I recently watched Hugh Jackman's The Greatest Showman and found it extremely inspiring. The power of being able to dream is immense. The biggest of achievements are made because of the wildest of dreams. Every child has the right to dream and to dream scarily big. Art is just an expression of the craziest of dreams. A piece of paper, few crayons can make anyone anything they want to be. Be it an astronaut or a big movie star. Every single stroke drawn on that piece of paper by a child is believable, achievable.
After completing more than a year of our Let’s Start Art initiative we conducted a contest among 122 children from 5 different government primary schools of Varanasi. This time we asked them to draw their observations of different places. We gave them themes like their rooms at home, their classrooms, their schools, how did they celebrate the Republic Day in their schools, how did they celebrate the Kite Festival. And they drew what they have been seeing around them. And now they have taken their first step towards being an artist, “To be able to observe”.
At Shuruart we started with teaching children how to draw. I’ll be honest and confess that we were not all correct about the methodology. Camlin’s DGM (Marketing) Mr. Ojha helped us give shape to our vision, by guiding us. After his suggestions, we now focus more on the imagination and observation than just being able to draw certain things. Our Kahani Mein Art series is now more
about sharing the visual language of a story so that a child sitting in her/his classroom/home can just visualize the story by listening to it. And then we share the very basics of drawing the characters making no pressure on children to excel, giving them the liberty to choose their own colors for the characters of their imagination.
We are now more focused towards taking Let’s Start Art to a bigger scale. We want to tap more schools, we want to reach more children across the country. This unfair practice of not involving art in the curriculum of Government Primary Schools needs to be put to an end. Art is crucial for the growth of these children and we should make all efforts towards giving them access to it. If we're willing to have a better world tomorrow these children need to be sensitized towards what Art can
do. If we are not encouraging our children to imagine we’re really not educating them, we’re just pretending to be doing so by making them memorize chapters from their books. Allow the future to dream.