Art for heart's sake

How a virtual academy is carving the path for young artists to grow and thrive in the region


Anamika Chatterjee

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Published: Thu 14 Dec 2023, 5:31 PM

As a child, nature fascinated Deepti Bector. “I was captivated by the vibrant colours and would doodle,” she recalls. The natural course of things meant that she would join a pottery class when she was in 11th grade, where she truly realised the intensity of her passion for the arts. Deepti went on to become a commercial artist and headed the fine arts departments of several schools and universities. “As a commercial artist, I learned the importance of conveying messages effectively through visual elements, understanding the impact of colour, composition and design on communication, balancing creative expression with the practical needs of clients and market trends,” says the Mirdif resident, adding that heading art departments at several educational institutions enhanced her communication skills, enabling her to convey complex concepts in a simple manner. “Both roles contributed to my holistic understanding of art world, offering insights into business side as a commercial artist and nurturing aspect as an art educator.”

The result of those combined learnings has been Little Strokes virtual academy imparting art education to children. “With Dubai’s focus on becoming a hub for creative initiatives, art education plays a vital role in nurturing a skilled workforce for fields like design, advertising and multimedia,” she says. “The city’s emphasis on tourism and hosting events creates demands for artists and professionals with creative skills to contribute to architecture, exhibitions, festivals and entertainment.”

While children often display a natural inclination towards creativity and artistic expression, the extent of this affinity can vary from one child to another. Many children enjoy drawing, colouring and engaging in artistic activities as a natural form of self-expression; however, individual preferences and aptitude may differ. “Factors such as exposure to art, encouragement from parents can influence child’s interest in art. It is important to recognise and nurture a child’s interest while providing a variety of experiences to explore different forms of creativity.”

Apart from imparting art education, Deepti has been a great advocate of therapeutic art for adults, an ethos she has carried forward in Little Strokes. “Therapeutic art for adults involves using creative processes to promote emotional well-being and self-expression. Engaging in artistic activities helps individuals explore and understand their emotions, thoughts and experiences on a deeper level. Creating art can be a meditative process, promoting relaxation and helping adults cope with stress,” she says, adding that apart from drawing and painting, Little Strokes also offers zentangle art, mandala art as a form of therapy for adults.

Learning art is one thing, but pursuing a career in it is quite another. Deepti has been working hard to showcase her students’ works in competitions and exhibitions, where they receive constructive feedback. And while it plays a crucial role in their artistic growth, Deepti is hoping her endeavours will go a long way in shaping the future of art in the region.

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