10 Things to Consider Prior to Getting a Tattoo

If you are thinking about getting a tattoo, take a moment to consider your answers to the following 10 questions. You will be glad that you did.

1. Is the tattoo artist experienced? This is perhaps the most important thing to consider before hiring any one particular tattoo artist. An experienced professional will be knowledgeable in the proper cleansing of equipment, which is an absolute necessity, and also how to create designs that the customer will enjoy.

2. Will the tattoo image be as important to you in the future as it is right now? For instance, if your tattoo will be in celebration of a love interest, are you absolutely certain that person will be there 10, 20 or even 50 years from now?

3. Why do you want to get the tattoo? Is it because you want to or because someone else wants you to? Is it to fit in with a crowd or possibly a love interest? If you are making any type of permanent marking on your body, including a tattoo, you will want to be sure that you are doing it for the right reasons.

4. Are you prepared to deal with possible consequences that may arise out of getting a tattoo? This may include an infection or severe soreness of the skin at the site of the tattoo. In addition, surgery will be the only way to later remove it if you should ever change your mind.

5. Do you have a design in mind? If you don’t, stop by the local tattoo parlor and ask to see some samples of what is available.

6. Can you afford the tattoo? The larger the tattoo, the larger the cost. Even the smallest tattoo can be expensive, especially if you are on a budget. Before deciding to get the tattoo, make sure that you know how much it will cost and make arrangements to have the full payment ready on the date of it’s application.

7. Do you have a fear of needles? If you do, tattoos may not be for you. Either this or you will have to find some way to put the thought of it out of your mind. A lot of people have a fear of needles and perhaps the best alternative is a temporary tattoo, which are made to look quite realistic these days.

8. What type of tolerance do you have for pain? There is no other way to say it, but getting a tattoo is painful. It does involve needles and you should really consider your level of tolerance before signing up for a tattoo.

9. What will you do if you ever decide to have it removed? Can you afford the cost associated with surgery? The only way to remove a tattoo is through surgery, which can be very expensive. Unless it is for medical reasons, most health insurance policies will not cover the cost of a tattoo removal. This means that the patient will often find themselves with 100% of the financial responsibility and, before getting a tattoo, you should make sure that you will be financially able to handle any future medical procedures that are associated with a tattoo.

10. Are you prepared to treat the area as recommended to avoid infection? This will likely involve keeping the tattoo site covered until it is able to heal properly and keeping it clean in the way that the tattoo artist or physician recommends.

10 Tips To Tell You How To Start A Photography Business By Finding Your Photography Niche

Sooner or later, most photography enthusiast give some thought to “how to start a photography business.” Unfortunately, there are a ‘few’ challenges that “doom” us to failure. One of the biggest challenges that we bring is our failure to make the distinctions between our love of photography (re: our enjoyment and passion for photography) and the business of photography (understanding buying and spending habits of people that are photography customers).

For example, many of us think that because our photography work is “so good,” that we shouldn’t have that much trouble selling it. We, sometimes, mistakenly, think that great art and photography “sells itself.” Big mistake! Great photography does not sell itself. In the business world, nothing sells itself – nothing! Knowing this is critical to start a photography business.

Our failure to make the distinction between our passion for photography and our desire to be in the photo business is also evident in how we try to tell people about what we do. For example, photography customers don’t care what type of equipment we use. They don’t care how many mega-pixels we have, nor how much our equipment cost us, nor what brand of camera we use. Photography customers (current and potential) want to know that we can, and will, produce the highest quality photography work for them.

Think about it, the mechanics that repair our cars don’t tell us what tools that they use. The chefs in the restaurants that we patronize don’t tell us what type of pots, pans or stoves that they use. In those businesses, it is already established what customers want and how best to give it to them. In other words, other businesses do a better job of understanding their ‘niche.’ In order to start a photography business that is consistently successful and growing, we must be clear on what niche we are offering and how to sell the benefits of our niche to the customers.

Another mistake that we budding photography business owners repeat is failing to “specialize” (know our photography niche) in what we do. As photography enthusiasts, we enjoy shooting any and everything. As photographers, that’s just fine. However, when we start a photography business, we, mistakenly, try to be ‘all things to all people’ – we take every photography job offered us.

One of the obvious problems with this approach is our failure to recognize how it drastically cheapens the value of what we do as skilled photographers, in the eyes of the customers. Mistakenly, we want our customers (current and potential) to know that we can photograph anything – after all, we’re very versatile photographers! What the customers actually see is that we’re not “versatile photographers,” we’re just someone with a camera that’s available to take pictures when they call us. Serious photography customers (re: those that can afford to spend regularly) want to do business with specialists – photographers that know their photography niche.

Successful wedding photographers are clear on this, as an example of my point. Their ‘primary’ customer (usually the bride) has dreamed about her wedding day for most of her life. She isn’t looking for a vesatile photographer. She wants a “wedding photographer” that can make her ‘look’ as good, happy and beautiful as she has been in all of her lifelong dreams of ‘her day’ – her wedding day. There’s a special skill to this type of photography service. In fact, this niche has more to do with well developed ‘people skills,’ in my opinion. Successful wedding photographers that are clear on these nuances are more successful in business.

Do your research.

Inventory Your Photo Collection – Take a look at your photo collections. Determine what it is that you 1.) shoot the most; 2.) shoot consistently well; and 3.) enjoy shooting. Identify your and categorize the photos into various niches, i.e. portraits, sports, glamor, pets, children, landscape, etc.
Research The Photography Markets – Do internet searches using the words “photography niche.” Also, use the type of niche that you think your photos fit. For example, “event photography niche,” “wedding photography niche,” etc. Also, a good source to help identify some of the photo markets is “The Photographer’s Market.” This is a book that is published annually and claims to provide photo buying contacts and information. Online searches are the most useful, in my opinion. Books by author and photographer, Dan Heller are good places to get a better understanding of the vast world of photography, without all the ‘artsy-hype,’ in my opinion. He also has a very informative website – DanHeller.com
Identify ‘Real’ Markets – Find out what type of photography (of your specialties) your customers currently are purchasing. What type of photography is selling? At some point, you’ll have to ‘balance’ the realities of the different niches. There can be some factors that aren’t consistent across all photography niches. For example, some niches require longer “workflow” (workflow is the post production process of taking photos) periods and tasks than others. Higher quality portraits normally require photo editing – which is time-consuming. Event photography requires the processing, packaging and delivering (presenting) of photos. True story: I went through my large photo collections and found that I had a very large number of outstandingly beautiful flowers. I can’t begin to tell you my disappointment when I found out that there is ‘virtually’ no market of photos of flowers – it seems that everybody has them already, everybody! Lesson learned – identify ‘real’ markets.
Ten Tips To Assist You To Identify Your Niche

Identify specialties that fit your style:
Determine if you have the necessary equipment for the niche
Do you have identifiable and specific skills in this niche area – can you articulate them?
Who is your target audience
What type of photography do they purchase the most
Where are they taking their photography business currently – your competition
What will be different about your services
Does where you live support your preferable niche
Is your niche ‘stock photography’ or ‘assignment photography’ – do you know the difference
What is the future potential and tendencies of your niche

Tattoos And Body Piercing Can Be Forms Of Self-Expression Of Identity, Life Goals, And Interests

Throughout history much has been written about tattoos, which are designs on the skin made with needles and colored ink, and body piercing, which is the practice of puncturing a part of the human body to create an opening in which jewelry may be worn. Naturally there are many opinions why people will wear tattoos and have body piercing. People often have preconceived, negative opinions when they see someone with tattoos and body piercings. Many people claim they get tattoos as a means of self-reflection of their identity, life goals, and interests. Since tattoos and piercing are so popular, this must be true. The purpose of this article is not to encourage or condemn tattoos and body piercings. The purpose is to explain what tattooing and body piercing are, explain the dangers, and express the necessity to carefully evaluate the choice to get a tattoo or piercing.

Tattoos are designs on the skin made with needles and colored ink. Permanent makeup is a type of tattoo. The word tattoo comes from a Tahitian word which means ‘to mark’ and it dates back to 3300 BC. Tattoos were found on Egyptian and Nubian mummies that date back to about 2000 BC.

Body piercing is the practice of puncturing a part of the human body to create an opening in which jewelry may be worn. One can have body piercing almost anywhere on the body. The history of body piercing is obscured by a lack of scholarly reference and because of popular misinformation; however, evidence exists to show it has been practiced since ancient times, in various forms and by both sexes, throughout the world.

There is a difference between body decoration and self-mutilation. Experts agree that cutting is not piercing and is a sign of serious psychological problems

Tattoos are often permanent and piercing can leave scars. Tattoos and piercing are hard and expensive to undo.

Because there are several concerns about tattoos during pregnancy, it’s probably best to wait until after delivery.

Laws in some states prohibit children from receiving tattoos and piercing because children don’t have the experience and ability to evaluate the dangers. Laws require minors to have a parent’s permission to get a tattoo. However, some adolescents get tattoos from friends or amateurs who use makeshift tools like pens and paper clips with little or any sanitary precautions. This is extremely dangerous. You should only get a tattoo from a licensed tattoo artist who takes appropriate safety precautions.

Long-term negative consequences can be related to large, excessive, and objectionable tattoos and multiple piercing.

Hepatitis B and HIV/AIDS are two of many diseases that may be passed along by a dirty needle. Hepatitis B is a serious liver infection. HIV/AIDS is a life-threatening disease that prevents your body from fighting off other infections.

Every piercing offers risks such as bacterial infections, damage to nerves, excessive bleeding, and allergic reactions to particular jewelry. Some scars go beyond the original wound and other scars spread to the margins of the wound and no further.

Ear piercing is very common and is unlikely to cause infection if done properly. One should avoid removing ear rings during the first four weeks of healing. Ear rings should be worn most of the time during the first year or the holes can easily close up.

Tongue piercing recovery requires time and patience to avoid problems. One needs to use a non-alcohol mouthwash three times a day and use ice during the approximately three weeks healing process to reduce swelling. Tongue piercing can be risky for some people. One study reported that tongue rings can cause gum recession. This can result in required root canal or other oral surgeries. The rings can result in chipped teeth

Belly button piercing became popular after the early 1970s and is most common with women, but many men have this piercing also. The minimum healing time is normally six months, but a year is not uncommon.

Nipple piercing is common for both men and women. People have many reasons for nipple piercing. Men and women relate that the procedure increases sensations and others relate that it decreases sensations. The healing time varies from four months to over a year. Scars or post-piercing nipple development is common and the risks should be understood before nipple piercing. The nipple can be expected to grow in response to the piercing and jewelry stimulation. This is most common in undeveloped small female nipples and male nipples. This nipple growth can be very nice or it can be very unattractive.

Starting a Photography Business Will Be Easier With These 30 Free Tips

When you’re a keen photographer and you have the desire to spend your working life doing something you enjoy such as photography, it would be a shame if you didn’t pursue it further wouldn’t it? You really don’t have to join an institution or pay thousands of dollars to get started either. You simply need the passion to learn and persist. Most great photographers who rely on their trade to survive don’t even know they have these traits because they love what they do and they simply can’t stop.

It’s true that there is wealth to be made in photography and I’m not going to down play that or make a pitch to the opposite because in every case, it’s been up to the individual. Meaning – it depends on what mode of photography they choose, how much time they put into the business, do they have a commercial bent, are they more artistic than usual etc. All these points come into play when success in a photography business or studio is questioned.

I don’t want to create any false hopes by that last paragraph because success will require some hard work, tolerance and patience. These next thirty tips should help you along the way. There is more detail available on this subject matter at the link at the bottom of this page.

Where can I obtain information on building a photography business?

1. Always do some extensive research before starting out a career with your own photography business so that you understand the pros and cons involved. Some ideas include subscribing to a good magazine related to the photographic industry such as Professional Photographer, Camera Arts and Photo District News. Besides that, the internet is the biggest source of information and can provide you with a plethora of career opportunities or even more information on starting a photography business.

At which level do you want to start your photography business?

2. This is the trickiest question that a person interested in starting a business encounters. It is very important to decide what kind of photography business you want so that the relevant requirements and (sometimes) finance can be muscled up.

When is the best time to start a fully-fledged photography business?

3. After deciding on what you need and any extra necessary equipment that is needed to set up the basic infrastructure, you will need to consider carefully your main tool – the camera, be it digital or film. You must also consider carefully a reliable, high-quality PC and good relevant software to manipulate your photographs with special effects. If the business is being undertaken on a massive scale then maybe a developing lab needs to be planned and established.

o What kind of venues will yield real income to your business?

4. A newly established business in photography requires an assured location or a beat (working locally), as in journalism. For instance, wedding photography, sports related photography or developmental photography. Once established, business can also be diversified into many more fields.

o Building a photography portfolio

5. It is always important to compile a good portfolio as far as photography is concerned. A portfolio must contain a collection of pertinent photographic work that you believe to be impressive. Make sure that photographs are unusual in character and are from diverse fields. Your portfolio must be able to impress the client in the very first meeting.

6. Don’t keep all the photographs that you have in your possession. Only keep your best work in the folder so that you don’t embarrass yourself or find yourself having to explain photographs that aren’t relevant.

7. Showcase spontaneous photos that you believe are of good quality. You’d be surprised how many people respond favorably to peoples expressions when they are good shots.

Basic apparatus required

8. A canvas background of at minimum 7-9 foot and the background colors should be either navy or white as minimum requirements to start with; a well-branded studio lights system such as that of Norman & Speedtron; certified picture manipulation software such as Photoshop, Corel Paint Shop, etc.

Is there a need for establishing a makeup studio as part of your photo studio?

9. Makeup and photography often go hand in hand. Wherever makeup is involved it is often referred to as trick photography because makeup is capable of completely transforming an individual’s personality, and sometimes relevance to a product in the case of advertising photography.

What kind of photo-editing software available in the market?

10. Photo-editing software through which special effects and complete changes to a photo are possible and can also often save the need for a re shoot.

11. Some of the photo-editing software that are popular includes Photoshop CS; Photoshop Light room, iPhoto, i View Multimedia, MediaPro, ACDSee, Corel and Picasa.

Is storage and treatment of photographs crucial in building photography business?

12. Never adopt laxity while handling or archiving photographs. You will regret it later. Storage and access efficiency will either improve or frustrate your working environment. Often older photos become more valuable with time.

How can be photographs be preserved easily apart from the conventional method?

13. Today’s cameras are highly versatile and will allow downloads and transfers from highly surprising devices including your mobile but pictures can also be stored on a CD’s, USB’s and DVD’s too.

o Choosing a Camera

14. Stick to w ell known brand. The level of mega pixel offered and quality of the zooming facility must be looked into carefully. I have my favorites but there are many equally as good as mine.

15. Most of the cameras are compatible with computers and printers and moreover, because we now use memory sticks, we are truly free to operate unencumbered.

o What kind of a website does a person need to have?

16. Your collection of photographs must be properly classified under different categories. Visual appearance of your website will do wonders for your business so take consider setting up one with semi automation where the maintenance and hard work is done for you like photostockplus.

17. Remember to constantly upgrade and maintain your website so that each time people come across your website, they will find fine something new and interesting.

o Copyright of your photographs

18. Copyright is the right protects the person who owns or who took the photographs. A wise exercise if you are looking to use some stock houses for commercial purposes.

o Why is a business card helpful?

19. In every business, visiting cards are helpful. It is extremely useful in for people to contact you after your first meeting. It must contain all your contact details. If you’re a photographer, a clever impressive graphic or a picture of yourself with your equipment is best. Your contact number or email must be easy to read. I have seen cards that have large names and pictures and the phone numbers are so small they are difficult to read. Ridiculous! Make your phone number the largest thing on the card – that’s what most people will use it for.

o Which things must be kept in mind while you plan to build a wedding photography business?

20. Wedding Photography is almost another art unto itself. There are many things to remember for a truly successful wedding shoot. I have prepared another article to deal with this in more detail and it’s all about –Wedding Photography. —

o Advantage of assignment photography

21. Assignment photography is that branch of photography where a person is engaged or consigned to capture shots of something impressive and extraordinary, such as in the case of advertising or portrait photography; this can provide you a stable income after you’ve learned the ropes.

o Advantage of stock photography

22. Stock photography is that branch of photography where there is an accumulated stock of photographs which can be sold to interested buyers, designers, adverting agencies etc. This can be a slow haul but if your pictures are well thought out, it can be the source of an ongoing income. –My favorite is istockphotos–.

o Other places where you can sell your photographic collection?

23. Art shows are the perfect platform from where your creativity and work will be really appreciated because at such places you will find some niche customers that have a sharp eye for real talent. Such places have been known to bring instant fame.

24. Winter Park Art Show at Orlando, Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts, Old Town Art Show; Chicago, Boston Mills Art Show; Peninsula, Ohio, Similar art shows are held in different parts of the world and they are easy to find on the net. Simply do a Google search for “photography art show” and the name of the country you are in after adding the plus sign like this; “photography art show”+ Sweden

o Prices to be charged from the clients

25. In the initial stages of your business, don’t try to charge exorbitant amounts otherwise it will give the wrong impression and you will perhaps lose a valuable long term customer. Tread slowly. Ring other photographers and research. Five phone calls should do it.

Marketing your photography business

26. You must try to market your work at relevant places. Photographs can also be published over the internet. Publication over the internet will increase customer enquiry. Don’t forget to search for suitable local markets and get the snaps printed in a local journal or newspaper and always display your contact number prominently – always!

27. Establishing and popularizing a business is a tough call but if you adopt a proper marketing strategy. Today, Advertising is one of the most popular mediums of promoting. Ads can be placed on websites, online telephone directories, newspapers and magazines, etc. Research the right mediums before you rush in. Sometimes good deals get in the way of recognizing the right advertising vehicle.

28. You can develop a website of your own to effectively promote your photography business but one thing that must be kept in mind is never forget to include a testimonial section and gauge the response of the people visiting the website. Let them make comments.

o Career prospects in photo journalism

29. Individuals interested in setting up a photography business can begin their career by becoming a photo journalist. Appealing and unusual photographs can be supplied to newspapers, magazines, websites and the photography business is booming to such an extent that even international media organizations will offer you good money in return for rare and high-quality photographs.

30. Mainstream photographers are engaged in TV, parcels and copy services, newspapers, magazines and sketch photography. There are many more jobs also related to photography than there ever was previously and because of the diversity and flexibility of digital photography, more respect has been attached to this profession. Some of the avenues in photography apart from business are Journalism, Graphic arts, Advertising, DTP jobs, Publications and Motion Picture creation.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/467754

Top 15 Photography Types That You Need to Know

15 Photography Types

In the era of camera phones, people constantly click and share their photos; these camera phones are making people exposed to photography and to visual imagery in various forms. We look at the photos shared by our friends on social media, we see the advertising campaigns on the stores; photography is used to communicate or to express to the viewer. Many people click pictures every day but, few of them know that how these different photography types have been inspiring photographers? When we get to know the different photography types, we gain the knowledge of different genre which may fit to our photography habits.

Let us look at these following 15 different genres of photography:

Aerial Photography: As we fly or get above the ground level, we always try to shoot the beautiful scene which we see below us. For example, when we are in a flight we always try to capture the landscape scene which we can see from above. This is called Aerial photography.

French picture taker and balloonist, Gaspar Felix Tournachon, took the main aeronautical photo in 1858. He tested for a long time before he could create the photo. He had caught the French town, Petit-Becetre, from a hot-air swell, 80 meters over the ground.

Architectural Photography: Framing the colour, shape, layout or art of any structure can be soothing to eyes. All the visuals of monuments or buildings are including in this genre of photography. Both, the interior and the exterior of a building can be framed, but the challenging aspect for the photographer is to keep in mind of the lighting and distortion.

Candid Photography: In this form of photography, we capture the moments as they happen. The object isn’t aware of the photographer, so appear natural and hence the picture results into a very relaxed one.

Expert tip: Use a very long zoom for capturing the candid images. If you’ll use the short zoom lens, then the object may get aware that you are framing them and so you can lose a relaxed and natural picture.

Documentary Photography: These are the manual pictures that are used to highlight a particular picture or story. This genre includes manual pictures that create a photo story. These all are representational pictures which may include a story of war, science, fiction and many more. In this genre, we always try to capture all the details which in turn result in making a picture tell a story.

Fashion Photography: These photography types are basically used to advertise something and then finally to sell it. This genre includes the glamorization of the product which makes a product look attractive and so customers willingly buy it.

These types of photos must be very creatively and sharply taken. We can capture them anywhere like, in a studio, in an apartment or anywhere outdoors. We have to do the pre-shooting preparation before framing the product. The preparation may include makeup, styles, location, lighting and obviously the model plays a very vital role.

Food Photography: Every day we are served with at least something either on the dining table or in a restaurant. The food which is served, is clicked and is shared by us in the form of images. The photography which is used by restaurants, websites or bloggers to pull customers and to sell their product is called as food photography.

Expert tip: Food photography is most likely to be captured in natural light. Using flash is never suggested while capturing the food, as it can include unwanted things in our image. It’s a big NO in this style. Using flash may look our food greasy and the natural colours may wash out of the photos.

Landscape Photography: This type of photography is one of the most popular kind of photography. In this genre, the photography of beautiful sceneries, impact of environmental conditions is done. We always love to capture a beautiful landscape as we see an eye-soothing and beautiful scene.

If we want a perfect landscape shot, then we must take care of the proper lighting. Using a tripod is always suggested as shaking of the camera can result in a shaky picture that won’t look good. Using high shutter gives us a perfect image as the desired amount of light may fall inside the camera and our image may look bright and sharp.

Night-long Exposure Photography: As it gets dark, there are various beautiful aspects which a viewer can’t see with the naked eye and a camera can do it for us. This photography is mainly focused on the knowledge of light, shutter and aperture.

For getting a perfect piece of these photos, we must be comfortable enough with the manual mode of the camera and so the correct settings can be implemented.

Photojournalism: This type of photography is very similar to that of documentary photography. This include the photography of the events are happening right now and then it is informed to the whole world.

For example, whatever we see in newspapers, news or in magazines are all a result of photojournalism.

This include the photography of unexpected events at a planned place. A photographer has to reach at a correct place at a correct time to make it happen perfectly.

Conceptual/Fine Art Photography: This genre of photography includes telling a story. In this genre, we create our own story and our own characters in a made-up environment. We are supposed to have an idea of how our output will look like and how we can plan to make it so.

The photographer always tries to send a message, an idea or an emotion by these pictures.

Portrait Photography: In this kind of photography, all the focus is made on the mood or on the expressions of the object. It is an intriguing subject for the photographers. A portrait can be a full-body portrait or can be close-up portrait. Whichever the image we take, our face is focused the most.

It must be kept in mind that the image must be sharp and is well focused. Eyes must be specially focused as they throw maximum emotions. Jokes can be told once we have to make a pleasant mood of our object.

Sport Photography: This is one of those photography types which includes framing of the objects which are either in fast motion or in action. These sporting events are captured by using very long lenses.

Expert tip: It is advisable to use high ISO while clicking this type of photos. By high ISO, we are enabled to make high shutter speed, which in turn produce quality images. We can change angles accordingly and can get variety of images.

Street Photography: Capturing something in our day-to-day life or at public places is most probably said as street photography. It is similar to that of candid photography. In this genre, photographer visualize the real-life scene or behind the scene images, but in candid the focus is on the object or on a popular tourist spot.

A photographer must observe every little aspect which is around him/her. As soon as a story is visualized, the image must be captured.

War Photography: This genre works on the areas where a war is going on, or is finished. The photographers even put their life in danger for capturing these photos. These pictures or the stories can be recorded even after a war is finished.

The photography kit of a war photographer must be simplified enough to change the lenses and the camera according to the situation. It is highly denied not to carry heavy accessories with them. Heavy accessories may fall us in trouble if an adverse situation comes.

Art Education and Child Development

Most parents know that giving a child crayons and a coloring book is great way to occupy a kid for a few hours. What many do not know is what an important role art plays in a child’s development. In recent years a multitude of studies have been made available that link art education to a variety of important aspects of childhood learning. Art education has been linked to increased creativity, development of problem solving skills and better communication skills just to start. The skills that can be developed through art education are skills that last a lifetime and can benefit a child into adulthood regardless of what career path that child may choose. Understanding the importance of art education will allow this often undervalued development tool gain momentum in main stream education programs.

The first thing that comes to mind for most people when thinking about the relevance of art is the development of creativity. Creativity is an important skill that can be nurtured though art education for children of all ages. Despite popular belief, creativity is relevant to more than just a child’s artistic ability. A creative child will use that skill in all areas of life from problem solving to communication. All of which is needed in everyday learning situations from math and science to reading. The goal of education is to prepare children for their adult life, creativity and problem solving skills are a valuable asset at all points in a person’s life. Many people tend to think that only artists need to be creative but what about the child who is able to come up with a creative solution to resolve a math or science question. It is the child who can resolve problems through reasoning as oppose to memorization that excels in the school setting. These same skills come in handy later on in life when that child finally enters the workforce.

Communication skills are also a valuable asset when it comes to success in school and then later success in the workforce. Art can be used as a method to help children develop better communication skills. Everyone has seen young children draw pictures of their house and family members. These types of drawings allow a child to express certain ideas that may be difficult to express through language. Having a child talk about the pictures they draw then serves as a tool to help develop those necessary language skills. As a child gets older art can be used to express the complex emotions that develop throughout childhood. Communication skills are vital to success in a school setting and increasing a child’s ability to communicate will enrich a child’s life well into the future.

An increase in ability in the areas of problem solving skills, creativity and communication directly translates to better learning in all areas of education. As more people begin to understand the relationship between art and learning hopefully the number of art related programs in schools will increase. There tends to be more focus on learning the skills associated with reading, writing, math and science. Increasing awareness about the role art education plays in developing these skills is a step in the right direction. This will help society create an education program that provides the best learning environment for our children and will in turn create more productive individuals later in life.

Science Education and Art Education: The Perfect Pair

After years of touting the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics ) educational programs, many teachers are discovering that by adding an “A” –for ART– student learning will pick up STEAM! This latest understanding of how students learn is changing science education by adding Art education back into the mix. This integrated education approach is developing a proven track record and being incorporated into public, private and homeschool education.

At its inception, the STEM bill authorized over 150 million to help students earn a bachelor’s degrees and teaching credentials. It also provided millions in additional money to help align kindergarten through grade 12 math and science curricula to better prepare students for college.

Now years later, people are asking questions like: Why are math and science viewed as standalone modalities? Why have so many schools dropped Arts education from their curriculum?

For too long, we have wrongly believed that Science and Art education were separate disciplines that demanded different teaching methods. However, now we know that Science and Art, as well as Math and Music are intrinsically related!

Educational researchers are recognizing that it is important to integrate all modalities into STEM lessons. By broadly using an integrated education curriculum, students are able to see how science education is important to aspects of everyday life. Integrated education also affords the opportunity for real-world application of the math and science education knowledge.

The use of Art as the glue that bonds these modalities shows students how form and function are guiding principles. Art is not merely illustrative or decorative, but represents an essential part of the process of inquiry, such as problem finding, problem solving, and communication.

The fervor that propels people to excel at mathematics and science education or engineering and art education are driven by the same desire: the desire to discover the intricacies and beauty in one’s world and chosen work. Furthermore, Art is also integrated into technologies such as engineering in the “form and function” debate. Does form follow function or does function follow form? Either way the two are fundamentally linked. Cars are a perfect example: From the Model-T Ford to the latest concept car, we have seen that the evolution of technology is as much about aesthetics (form) of the product as it is about functionality.

Many of the fundamental concepts of form and function are the same. Line, shape, color, structure/function relationships as well as perspective, patterning, and sequencing are the language of art and science education. Students create “an artistic representation of their ideas and solutions is a valuable way to make learning personal. This allows for a clear understanding of the underpinnings of science principles and how these principles can be extrapolated to solve existing problems. It has been proven that students who previously had difficulty in STEM classes are picking up STEAM quickly!

Healing Arts Education – Learning Natural Healthcare

Find Healing Arts Education in the United States and Canada. Prospective students who enjoy helping people will find that attaining a healing arts education is a great way to expand upon and fulfill goals to work with and help others naturally and non-invasively.

Healing arts education encompasses a wide variety of alternative, natural and integrative health modalities. If achieving a certificate, diploma or degree is in your near future, then a healing arts education can help you realize these goals. Today, candidates can acquire a healing arts education in acupuncture and Oriental medicine, herbal medicine, naturopathy, homeopathy, chiropractic, energy healing medicine, and more.

Degree programs in healing arts education include Oriental medicine, doctor of naturopathy and doctor of chiropractic. However, some healing arts education programs also offer degreed courses in holistic health, holistic nursing and other related fields of study. Degreed programs are course intensive, encompass clinical, class and laboratory training, and require several years of dedication

A healing arts education in massage therapy can help students to become certified and/or licensed massage therapists. Classes in this course of study involve training and education in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, deep tissue massage, sports massage and Swedish massage. Other bodywork modalities that students might learn through a healing arts education include acupressure, shiatsu, infant massage, prenatal massage, lomi lomi massage, lymphatic massage, and many others.

A healing arts education in herbal medicine is often broken into several levels of mastery, such as herbal consultant programs and master herbalist programs; however, there are natural health schools that offer herbal science degrees.

Blind Push of Students and Its Adverse Effects on Visual Art Education

Visual art education is one of the vibrant and resourceful aspects of general education that ensures skills development. This form of education grooms young students in the senior high school level with strong entrepreneurial drives to set up their own small-scale industries. This assists them greatly in performing their civic responsibilities which is also quintessential in the development of the nation. After all, it helps these youngsters in producing useful and marketable products that are used in carrying out everyday life activities. It helps them in fending for themselves, their families and even employing some other youth. This form of skill development prevents the youth from engaging in gross social vices that hinders national development like armed robbery, rape, and the like. This youngster no more become a burden to the society and does not add up to the pile of unemployed youth already in the burden sack of the ruling government.

This notwithstanding, if care is not taken, the primary goal of this aspect of education which is to train and equip students with useful skills for personal and national development would lose its grip. Skills development comes naturally to talented students as well as students who do not have any artistic gift but are hardworking, well disposed, and positive minded to succeed in their chosen art profession.

However, it is very sad to admit that most parents and some heads of second cycle institutions based on their own discretion and judgment blindly push most students who are not mentally disposed to read the art programme to the visual art department.

A critical survey of the academic performances of these students revealed that they are mostly below average students and/or poor students who performed abysmally in the Basic Education Certificate Examination for Junior High School students. They feel that these students are not very good academically or theoretically and as such blindly push them to pursue the art programme without their consent, conviction and approval. Most of these students stubbornly refuse to coy themselves in their new professional environment and thus ends up performing woefully in the visual art education offered them.

This challenge has been a huge canker and burden to the visual art tutors in most senior high schools who are just at the receiving end to transform these students to sing the tunes of visual arts whether they concur or not. It is even sad to know that most of these students who are blindly pushed hardly turn out for classes or engage in practical lessons given them. Due to the unwillingness on their part to adjust to their new professional environment, they end up been truants or half-baked in their training, defeating the principal goal of the visual art education.

This attitude on the part of parents and heads of institutions must cease. They have to realize that visual art education is a prideful, innovative and respected form of education that must be accorded with the same accolades like its counterparts like Science or Business education. As such, serious and willful students who would want to pursue the programme must be allowed to read it as it is done in other subject areas’ education.

Another remedy is not silencing the students whom parents and heads of institutions want to pursue the visual art education. They can be coached, helped and heard in lengthy, flexible discussions to gradually assimilate their needs, goals and aspirations. This must be done in conjunction with visual art experts and visual art tutors who can even be called upon to give orientation sessions to buttress the prospects and essentials of visual art education to these students before they are allowed individually to decide whether to pursue the programme or not.

If these measures are taken, it will help in maximizing expected learning outcomes of visual art education. It will also help raise the image of visual art education which is rubbed in the mud, labeled as the preserve of the dull and academically deficient students. In fact, this form of education has been pursued by academically vibrant and giant students who perform even better in general courses or subjects read by all students. Visual art education must be seen as a lucrative profession as it is truly. It must not be seen as the den of truants or unfit theoretical robots. This can be averted if the blind push of students to pursue this innovative form of education ceases while opening a new chapter for the enrolment of willing, hardworking, and academically serious students.

The Fine and Performing Arts & Education

Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world. (Paulo Freire)
I see too many public service commercials-today-exhorting us to support the Performing and Fine Arts in public education. We, as a nation, have evidently become so low-brow, or unsophisticated, that we can no longer see the need for Art education in our schools. So now, we have our children pleading with us, on television commercials, to keep Art education alive. This is a sad state of affairs for us and our children, because art is what truly separates us from the beasts and allows us to rise above the mundane drudgery of life. As many others, I believe art should be at the center of education and not just because it’s good for us. Art stimulates a child’s cognitive and affective domains, as well as their motor skills, which leads to learning, discovery, creativity and motivation.

Academics are very important, of course, but too often they only stimulate a very small portion of the student’s mind and heart. There are three, basic domains of learning: the Cognitive (mind), Affective (emotions or feelings) and Motor-Skills (hands-on). These three domains are key to our thinking/reasoning, learning, problem solving and creating. A healthy mind (Cognitive) is capable of taking in, retaining and processing information, which can then be applied, if retained and used, to the individual’s life. Emotions and feelings (Affective) are closely connected to an individual’s learning, because they aid in retaining and applying information, as well as stimulating the desire to learn more. Seeing, hearing, speaking, the ability to write, walk and run are all part of the individual’s Motor-skills. Without these three domains, learning, needless to say, would be impossible. Reading, writing, math and the sciences stimulate the cognitive and motor skills domains quite effectively, but the affective is too often short changed.

If we think back to our school days, then we should be able to remember that the memorization of facts and successfully spitting them back out on tests was our main concern as students. This is very much a part of the learning process, and I’m not denying that, but where does the Affective domain play a significant part in this teaching process? In much of this way of learning the affective is absent, and-therefore-much of the educational material, which has just been learned, has no real application in the individual’s life and is forgotten. I remember very little about higher level math, the periodic table and scientific jargon. Why is that? It didn’t relate to my life nor touch me in a deep way. This is not to say that I, or anyone else, shouldn’t have taken math and science classes, but what I am saying is academics are less effective than they can be, because they tend to ignore the Affective domain.

I contend that the Arts use all three domains effectively, and they can-therefore-stimulate the student to apply, as well as retain, what they’ve learned. Creativity is key in this process. The Performing and Fine Arts have a distinct advantage-educationally-in their ability to allow students to create as they learn. In painting, students are in the process of creating at the same time they’re mixing colors and learning brush techniques. The same applies to sculpting and photography students. Many middle and high school music directors are-now-using computer programs to stimulate their students to compose as they learn to play and sing. Dance and theatre programs are examples, as well, of applying skills as their students learn. This artistic, educational process employs the cognitive and motor skills domains, but it also stimulates the affective. The art student experiences the sense of joy and satisfaction that comes from successfully learning, and then being able to immediately apply this knowledge in a very personal way. The Arts can enhance a student’s ability to express their emotions in a very positive way. These students have ownership of what they have learned and are able to express this ownership through creativity. The Performing or Fine Arts student is motivated-educationally-beyond just memorizing facts and passing tests, because they’re using their newly-acquired knowledge to express what lies deep in their heart and mind.

Surprisingly, the arts and sports have much in common, educationally. The basketball or football player, as well as the long-distant runner, learn their skills while applying them. The learning of physical techniques and immediate application reinforces the athlete’s desire to learn and perform even more. In team sports, such as football, baseball and basketball, the student athlete learns to work with others to produce a product, or team. The young athlete learns that the whole, or team, is greater than the sum of its parts, or players, as do dancers, actors, singers and instrumentalists. As in performing ensembles, these young athletes experience the joy that comes from accomplishing something special with others. They learn, in a very intimate way, responsibility towards others and that the team is dependent on the very weakest athlete, as well as the strongest and most gifted. There’s really very little difference between a football player and a band member, when it comes to being responsible and understanding that it takes everyone-involved-to be successful. This is such a valuable and wonderful lesson, and it is learned primarily, through the affective domain.

Educational collaboration between artistic disciplines is a great way for young artists to learn while they create. The pairing of young instrumentalists with dancers and visual artists, or actors with singers, can open up a whole new world of artistic exploration, discovery and creativity. These collaborations can become a great vehicle for learning and motivation, as any arts teacher who has experienced this process will testify. The educational process becomes more important than the outcome, or testing results, because it is in the process of exploration, discovery and creativity where learning really occurs. The educational outcome is secondary, because it is only used, in this case, to measure curricular goals. The motivation for and enjoying of learning comes through the process of collaboration, exploration, discovery and creating.

In academia, the emphasis-today-is placed more on the outcome, or testing and grades, which, in my estimation, is a huge mistake. Academic instructors could learn much from their counterparts in the arts. The government and its politically motivated, educational policies, of course, stands in the way of any successful, corrective change to academic teaching methods. Political agendas, such as, “No child left behind” are meaningless and worthless to students and teachers, because they’re not concerned, as they so hypocritically claim, with the success of the individual learner. Instead, these agendas are merely an attempt to soothe the fevered brows of unsatisfied constituents.

I will agree with academic teachers that their process seems to be more set in stone than with the arts, and the only real way they can measure educational outcomes is through testing. There has to be a way-however-to allow a math, science, English or history student to become more involved in the process of learning. English teachers have a distinct advantage, since they could use writing essays and poems to instill a sense of ownership in their students. Their students-then-could use their essays and poems to collaborate with young composers, actors and dancers, as an example. Even though it would be difficult, science, language and math teachers could also seek these same avenues for educational exploration, discovery and creativity, which would-then-hopefully-lead to a student’s retention/application, ownership and motivation. This, of course, will be impossible, as long as we allow our government to force academic teachers to teach-solely-towards the outcome, or “standardized” testing.

American students, every year, fall farther behind their counterparts around the world, academically and intellectually, while their parents and teachers continue to buy into the educational propaganda, which is spewed out by the American-political machine in Washington. Every year, Art education becomes less and less important in our schools, because of it’s effectiveness in producing students who can think, reason, question, learn and create. Realistically speaking, Art education may be perceived as a threat to those who run this country and desire a race of middle-class, mindless, unquestioning and unsophisticated robots.

Education is the responsibility of the parents first and foremost, and if parents aren’t capable or willing to fight for their children’s education, then I guess America is doomed. If I were a parent-today-there would be no way I could allow my child to be intellectually molested by our current, public-education system. My child would either be home-schooled, at best, or in a private education system.

The Roman Empire was one of the greatest and long lasting nations in the history of the world, and yet, as the Roman government declined, then so did its human values and arts. There is only one piece of music remaining, one mere fragment, after one thousand years of Roman culture. Rome literally disintegrated from within, because of a corrupt government and decaying society. The United States is less than two-hundred and fifty years old, and we’re already starting the lingering slide into governmental corruption, cultural ignorance and decay. Perhaps, it’s too late to save our society, but if it isn’t, then it’s time to start rebuilding what we have allowed to be torn down for the last one-hundred and fifty years. If it isn’t too late, then we must begin to rebuild our values and education system. Our values and education system may not have been perfect, in the past, but they were worthy of being fixed, properly.

Most successful, world cultures, throughout history, have been measured by the quality of their philosophers and artists far more than their forms of government and technological advances. If we disappear as a nation, in another century or so, what will we be remembered for? What will be our legacy to the world?

Art does not solve problems but makes us aware of their existence. It opens our eyes to see and our brain to imagine. (Magdalena Abakanowicz)
In my estimation, art is an integral part of being human and-therefore-is integral to human education. If we die to our affective inclinations, then we cease to be human in any real sense, and the results of this can be seen on MTV and its “Hip-Hop” generation. Money, material objects, self-absorbed egos, low-life affections and brutal power will never make us more human, if anything these extrinsic motivators will simply and affectively dehumanize us. “The one with the most toys in the end,” loses! Art education can help us to see ourselves, the world and-yes-God more clearly. We are more than flesh and blood, and our affective, as well as cognitive, attributes are exhorting us to remember this truth. The arts should be at the center of our children’s education, and our children shouldn’t have to plead with us to give them what they need and desire!