Friday, 16 December 2022


 I was happened to read an article covering the process of getting a seat in an arts college which specializes in teaching painting, sculpting and commercial arts. How was the selection procedure ? and what the students need to do ? How one needs to work to fulfill his dreams? All these are expressed in a simple style and it is a real incident that occurred some time back.

Reading this is sure to make us feel privileged for having  schools & colleges in our own city or town and completing our studies in  a regular stream and able to settle in a job of our choice. This article brings forth the hardships many face to make a living out of their passion. 

Here it is :

" I came to live in Madras in 1960, when I joined the Government college of Arts and Crafts. I grew up in the village of Gudiyattam in Vellore district. My parents wanted me to take up engineering after school, since I was good at Maths. But I 'd always loved drawing, and I applied to the Government college of Arts and crafts without my parents' knowledge.  I actually hitched a ride on a lorry from Gudiyattam to Madras for the interview! They let me off at the salt Cotaurs, and I had to ask around and find my way to the college, after stopping to wash up at the Central station.

In those days, the interviews for admission would go on for a week. We had to do model studies, portraits and full body studies, and composition in the afternoons. Finally , they chose 40 students for all three streams put together - painting, sculpture and commercial arts.

K.C.S. Paniker was the principal. The college had a remarkable environment - very active and competitive. The students were amazingly talented - my group included K. Adimoolam, R. B. Bhaskaran and S.G. Vasudev. Paniker would often organise evening get togethers on the college campus, and invite judges, consulate members and other prominent people in the city to see our art.

My six years there went by in a flash. The grounds were beautiful - quiet and peaceful, and the trees were our inspiration. We could draw landscapes and outdoor sketches on the campus. At other times, Adimoolam, Sivakumar and I would go off to the red Hills and surrounding areas such as Sholavaram to do landscapes - those areas were all lakes and greenery, with hardly anyone around.

When Paniker started the cholamandal Artists village in 1996, he asked me to join him. I lived and worked there for two years; it was a nice atmosphere. I remember, the land was completely barren, and we were the only ones in that area. We had to level the uneven ground, and build a shed to work in. We did a lot of batik there - it was our chief source of income since there was virtually no market for our paintings and sculptures.

There was no substitute for hard work. A small handful eventually succeeded in being noticed, and I was one of those fortunate few."

For every one to succeed in their chosen field, no short cuts - only thing to have  is sheer determination and hard work.


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