Connect Through Art
Now tell the truth, the JAWS theme still makes your spine tingle, doesn’t it? The first time I watched the movie I didn’t go back into the ocean for the rest of the summer. Maybe a bit less spine tingling is Moby Dick – considered one of the classics of literature. Indeed, as a high school student, chances are that you have read, are reading, or on your way to reading Moby Dick. Our purpose is not to offer literary criticism, but rather, to point out that the majority of the novel it takes place near, in, on and, tragically for Captain Ahab and the crew of the Pequot, under the ocean.
A Starring Role
The ocean has served as the setting for thousands of films, novels, poems, short stories, children’s books, paintings, posters, and photographs making it one of the most common themes in the visual and written arts. And why not? It contains everything you need for drama, suspense, tragedy, comedy and beauty. But the importance of art to the ocean goes well beyond mere entertainment value as art is primarily a means of communication. As such, it can have a tremendous impact on whatever the artist chooses to focus on, including the health and well-being of the ocean. If you doubt this, take a moment and think of how a photo of a seabird covered in oil or a turtle tangled up in plastic can spur even the most passive of us to make a donation, sign a petition or support a cause.
Career or Hobby
Of all the different paths to the ocean, art is the one that is most likely to be pursued as both a career and a hobby. It is also the most accessible as you are limited only by your imagination. And with the software that often comes preloaded on your computer, you can create your own professional movies, self-published books and multi-media productions. With all the platforms available for showing your work, you no longer need to be a “professional” to get your art in front of an audience. So much like that picture of the seabird or the turtle, you have the opportunity influence how we treat the ocean.
We understand, however, that at some point most of us will need to earn a living, so being able to turn your interest into a career would be the best case scenario. After all, while there are lots of platforms to show your work, it is difficult to be the one to cut through all the noise and have your artistic creation be the one that goes viral. In order to help you understand the what your prospects for a career as an artist might be, we take a look at some of the ways to connect to the ocean through art and hear from the painters, writers, filmmakers and photographers who have been able to combine their love of the ocean with their skills as artists. We also show you the path you can take through high school, college and beyond to achieve your dream of becoming an artist.