Sorry guys. No artwork in this post. But there is something that has just been brought to my attention that I really want to talk about. I'm not sure how many fans I have on my blog so I might be only speaking to about 10 people, but I want to talk about this anyway.
I just read Yahtzee's Extra Punctuation this week about American Box Art. I actually didn't know that there was different box art done for different countries (so often). It makes sense now that I think about it, but why does America get the short end of the stick? Yahtzee was absolutely right, US box art is total shit. It completely bastardizes the look and feel of the game. As I was looking at the examples he gave I couldn't understand why it kept happening. There shouldn't be much of a difference, right? I mean don't they come from similar producers and artists? Then I remembered a RSA lecture I watched given by Sir Ken Robinson. Of course our artist aren't thinking the same way as foreign artist. From the start we are educated in such a way that ignores potential talent, puts down visual learners, and medicates children with emotions. I know this to be true because all my memories of elementary school are tied with feelings of being mentally inept or slow. I remember feeling horrible when I didn't score as high as the other children on standardized tests because I was told "That is what you're suppose to do". The only time I felt self-worth was in my art class. But sadly we only had it once a week for about 30 - 40 minutes at a time.
This feeling followed me throughout middle school, and it actually got worse. My academic grades were terrible and I couldn't understand why I wasn't as smart as the other kids. When I got to high school I was told for the first time that I could make a living out of being an artist from my Art teacher. She explained I could go to Art school after I graduate. After I learned this fact, my grades improved, my art got better and I had much more confidence in myself because I finally felt like I amounted to something. That small boost of confidence was a complete catalyst of helping me be a more competent human being.
Unfortunately, The entire process of feeling like crap took hold again when it came time to take the SATs. I'm not a good test taker. I'm not a strong reader, I suck at math and my spelling is god-awful (my first Name Game entries are evidence of this). So you could imagine the SATs were my version of Hell at the time. The US is the ONLY country that has the SATs. Just like how we're one of two countries that still don't use the damn metric system.
Another issue is the costs/expenses. For those of you who don't know, Art schools are private schools. The tuition to some can match those of great universities and even ivy leagues. The tuition is high, the art supplies are expensive and the grading can be complete subjective bullshit. The worst part, there are little to no scholarships available. Jobs are extremely competitive once you do graduate and that doesn't help when you have loans to pay. At the end of my high school career, there was a small ceremony for Senior awards. There were various disciplines such as math, science, business, music etc. I won a little art award that was nothing more then a wooden plaque that basically said "Ya did good, Kid". The business awards on the other hand, were given grants and scholarships on fucking embossed glass plaques. Hold the phone, they're giving money to the kids that they think are going to make money anyway? I understand they might believe it's an "investment" but why are the arts, something that influences lives every day, seen as something not worth investing in? Maybe if a few dollars were thrown our way we could make a notable difference.
Other countries offer a lot more support towards the arts for a lot less. They're aware that the arts are a key factor in keeping people more well rounded and wholesome. I'm doing everything in my power to try and study abroad just to get a small taste of what that life is like. I'm also trying to do what I can to bring that life home. Of course there are exceptions. The US has produced a handful of artists throughout the years. This is not to say that I don't have an appreciation for academics. I'm well aware of their importance. They're just incredibly imbalanced. I know that if I had the artistic enrichment at a much earlier age I could have been a much better artist as a result.
Think of it this way. Almost everything you touch, someone had to sit down and design it. People who believe the arts aren't necessary or influential deserve a swift kick to the face. If the US understands this fact and starts producing better artist maybe our box art won't suck as much.
Keep the art alive guys. If we loose the arts, we loose what makes us human.