Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.
-Feels a self-effacing artist Padmanabhan, who loves to sketch his thoughts and mind.
Those were the days when drawings, paintings, and art was thought just as a hobby and a lot many young artists were discouraged. Lack of knowledge about art, poverty, less motivation were few of the reasons for many not pursuing their career in art. Today with the emergence of appreciation for art and exposure, people are really following their love for art professionally.
But, coming from a family in which arranging daily food was also a struggle, following your passion for art and keeping it alive really deserves a salute. For Padmanabhan, passion for art was the only thing that made him never to give up. While his father spared no effort to feed the family and make the ends meet, he as a child was always interested in drawing and sketching everything that caught his eye and mind. With a hand to mouth existence, Padmanabhan could not even afford an eraser.
Well, an artist without a pencil and an eraser, it’s unimaginable, right? But as they say where there’s a will, there’s a way, his adoration to art made him invent his own ways.
I used the tyre rubber obtained from tyre shops as erasers. I used to mix various household things and made my own colours. Like, the turmeric makes a good yellow, while the turmeric with blue ink makes a green. I used rouge vermeil, coal, and other stuff from daily life for my paintings.
– says Padmanabhan with a megawatt smile as he gestures to emphasize just how deeply he loved his mission.
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Recognising his talent and determination, his father’s friend took him to a village exhibition where all the children could participate in a talent show. And Padmanabhan got his first break to become what he dreamed of. The officer of National Extension Scheme who was in the exhibition found him extremely talented and decided to fund his education through scholarship. With the scholarship, Padmanabhan finished an art course of five years in Mysore and started to work in Indian Institute of Horticulture Research, Heserghatta as an artist.
See, God helps those who helps themselves!!
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Remember those children books that you might have read from Amar Chitra Katha about our epic mythological and other comic stories? When such books were introduced, the use of computers was not much. Artists like Padmanabhan were hired to draw the pictures by hand, lettering, writing captions and write the entire ready script. He has written 100’s of such amazing story books under India Book House. He used to do those books after work, that’s what a passion is all about.
Today, Padmanabhan paints posters and wall hangings for free. He donates all his paintings to people, temples and to all who are interested in them.
When you love an art, you do not try to put a price to it. Because the kind of peace it offers you is something that one needs to experience to understand and it’s priceless.
True to his word, he also loves to teach children his techniques of painting. There are so many children who visit him to learn how to draw and his contentment becomes obvious with the patience he teaches them. Surprisingly, he does not charge even a rupee from them as well.
Padmanabhan is an artist who believes in simplicity, hard work, and being humble, truly an inspiration for youth who are aspiring to follow their passion in life. Isn’t he??
His message to youngsters is-
The world has changed in so many ways that today you have all the facilities to learn what you want. Do not waste the resources you have and use them to learn what you are interested in doing. Never give up on that one thing that makes you happy. There is always a purpose for why you are uniquely special in something.
Now, did that push you to do something? Well, his story has definitely made me work harder to follow my passion, writing. I have learned to walk that extra mile for what you want to be.
If you are inspired reading about him, do share it.