People judge and judge rather fast. One second you’re talking to them and the next thing you know, they are rolling their eyes. So when I tell people that I don’t want to practice design anymore and would rather devote my time to teaching and helping they stare. Now there’s a normal stare and then there’s an impolite stare. Some laugh inside. Some look at me pathetically. Others don’t understand. When I say art education, they think iam wasting my time. When I say art therapy, they simply don’t understand. When I explain what it is, some are intrigued, while others are clueless confused.I was confused too, during some part of this year. I didn’t know what to do. The companies and design houses seemed too monotonous. During internship I realized that and vowed never to work there (they never really offered me a job anyway). Looking at art programs at several universities abroad opened my eyes and I was astonished to find the variety of subjects and programs. During that time my eyes fell upon the word ‘ art education’. I was amused. Interested. Extremely curious. I went on and found out what an amazing course that really was. That was the time when I think god was guiding me. He was leading me towards it. That’s when I realized what I really wanted to do.
There is a serious lack of art education and therapy in Pakistan. People are unaware and oblivious to the term itself. Does art education simply mean that you draw and paint, that you give children an image to replicate that by the time they do, they hate the subject. In most schools, monotony and uniformity in the art curriculum yields in boredom. Teachers and instructors are unaware that besides visual art, writing, music, drama and film can be incorporated can be part of the teaching methods.
Having taught at a local, very basic government school Of Rahimkharkhan, I soon realized that children are naturally talented. Whether they attend public or private schools, it doesn’t matter. What matters is how their talent can be restored, rejuvenated and established. This is where art education comes in. it trains and teaches teachers to become successful role models for their students. To encourage them. Art education at an early age enables children to realize their potential earlier rather than later in their life. It prepares them, that then helps them to choose wisely a career path.
Art therapy on the other hand is more wide and varied. It involves art being used as a tool for therapeutic reasons. From children to adults. From the sick to the mentally challenged people. All need therapy. All need to get better and a way to express their talent, frustration and raging emotions. Dying patients stricken with cancer and HIV positive can be healed for a certain time. Their mind can be relived from the anguish that burns their heart. Dyslexic children through art therapy find they’re not any different than the rest of their friends. They draw and play with colours. This situates them in a society where they would have been unaccepted otherwise. Art therapy involves counseling as well as practical work. So right now this is all that’s all my mind right now. I am coming up with ways to incorporate this in our local governing body.