Why Are Young People Made to Choose Between Math Or Art?

Why Are Young People Made to Choose Between Math Or Art?

When I was picking my GCSE's and A levels I had to pick between two routes, Maths or Art. This I believe, is still the case, but I'd like to ask why?!

Over recent weeks, we have had a large number of 15 to 16 year olds coming to our Open Days and chatting to us about what subjects they should be picking for their A Levels. I always say the same things: make sure you pick both Maths and Art. That way, whether or not you go into the VFX industry, there will be an ever growing number of jobs you can pursue later on. There are so many different applications for creative technology. You only have to take the worldwide web as an example. Not only does it take an ever growing place in our everyday life, it also offers an ever growing number of opportunity for young people to show off both their technical and creative skills.

I normally get the same response back from them: "Our school does not allow us two take both these options" or "I was unable to take Art for my GCSE's so I've not been able to do this for my A levels".

I believe that professionals in the secondary education should be continually looking at how their subjects are being used in today's employment sectors and responding to it. You can see how large companies such as Google are pumping money into new creative technologies. RO.me is the perfect example of how Google are doing this with creative web based GL sites and interactive online music video directed by Chris Milk. This site is extremely interesting and shows how you can take many different technologies and production techniques and combine them into a realtime webased platform which uses them in a creative new way. I would recommend you explore this site and take a look around the technology section. You'll be to see how these platforms are made and can also play around with some of the controllers that affect the look of the video. It's great fun, and you'll learn a lot.

They are also giving away all the code hoping that programmers and developers will continue to push this idea. It's amazing to see a company give away such expensive cutting edge code for free. It shows a real intent to drive this in the future.

Right now the VFX industry are crying our for these types of people. You only have to read what Alex Hope said at the launch of the new government Skillset handbook for the VFX industry last week.

For me, with so much of today's and tomorrow's job market looking for these two disciplines, the future for the creative geek has never been more exciting!

PS: if you like RO.ME you may also like Chris Milk's music video for Arcades Fire which was also designed with Google.

3 Comments Miles Pettit

Posted by
Miles Pettit
Mon 13 Jun 2011: 12:22pm

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  • Ataul Munim:

    I did both maths and art for GCSE and A Level. Alex, I heard a similar thing from my tutor, though about maths/science vs, history/english/art etc. Took them all, except Science (yuck).

    It's a real shame when colleges limit the module selection within their courses, but it's a sad fact that they have to try to cater for the vast majority, and the teachers available vs. potential students (who want
    a specific combo of classes) vs. time table clashes is a difficult balance to achieve.

  • Jordan:

    I've recentely had to make the choice of art or a more academic route, on this occasion I chose to go to an Art college, mainly because I feel so set on going into the VFX, I feel having the most artistic influences around me would only benefit myself and widen the chance of getting into the VFX.

  • Alex:

    I have heard (and believe) in a saying that 'good artists don't make good programmers, and good programmers don't make good artists'.
    There is not one bit of scientific proof to this quote, but I generally believe it to be true. Something to do with left brain/ right brain abilities.
    I'm sure there are people who are equally adept at Maths and Art but they are rare commodities (who must get paid a lot of money.)

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