How to advertise an arts college.
Thankfully my parents never had such altitude. But sadly, some parents do react as such.
Could I share a personal story?
I’m a student of the University of Manchester’s Faculty of Law. The day I left Singapore, my aunt held me in her arms and started sobbing, and my dad brought me into a hug and said “I’m so proud of you,”
My dad has never told me that before. I grew up learning art was a tumourous talent - it meant your child would spend too much time lost in their own world, thinking up stories and characters and learning how to break down the world into shapes. It was a cancerous growth, eating away at your free time and your grades, and your ambitions. It would stop me from betting high marks, getting a good job.
And so, when I was twelve at a christmas party, one of the guests asked me, “Nicky, tell me about your art!” and Dad pulled him aside and said “Don’t encourage her,”
Years later my family was sending me off to law school, with my dad telling me he was, finally, pleased with my choices in life.
I was in a seminar the other day, sitting a class of twelve or so, and we were each asked to explain why we were in Manchester, and why law. Some people said they wanted to become barristers or solicitors, others wanted to fight for justice, and some just said, with a laugh, that they were in it for the money.
When it came to my turn, I simply said, “I’ve always wanted to be an artist. My parents sent me here, they want me to have a future, and I hope to make them proud.”
The class broke out into laughter. What kind of idiot was forced into law school? Who would be that dumb? And then, they grew quiet.
They knew I meant it. Everyone knew I was being serious. If I had a say in it, I’d make books for children, I’d fill their minds and imaginations with the beautiful things I’ve had the fortune to see. I’d tell stories and send their minds on adventures, weeping, cheering, and laughing in hysterics. I’d be an artist, and I wouldn’t be reading about Contracts and Torts.
The lecturer blinked at me, and then smiled. What he said next nearly made me cry:
“Nicolette, that was very noble of you. Make the most of your time in Manchester, but don’t ever stop drawing. The world will never stop appreciating art.”
I told him later that he was the first adult in all 18 years of my life to ever tell me that.
tl:dr, parents still DO think like this. I found these ads adorable, clearly they’re supposed to be a joke - but I’m really really glad other people recognize that not every parent allows their kid to draw.