From an ordinary pencil to an extraordinary micro sculpture; meet Santosh, the city’s very own micro-artist.
In the hands of Santosh, a pencil ceases to be a common object anymore. It morphs into a work of art with amazing detail, messages and fascinating images. Micro-art is the art of minute detail, infinitesimally fine carvings and nerve-wrecking patience; aspects that this young lad is adept at.
His love for art began early, instilled by his father who was trained in Carpentry at ITI and an artist himself. “My father would carve on wood in his free time and then sell it to the shops.” Following his father’s footsteps, he started trying out new art forms himself.
After having created works of different kinds, the film ‘Eega’ inspired him and he began researching works online. “Taking cues from South African artists, I started by learning to carve the letter ‘S’ on a pencil. It broke over 80 times, took me the whole night and I used up nine pencils in that effort”, he reveals. But his patience and perseverance won out and finally with the tenth pencil, he got it right. S is the most difficult letter to carve in micro-art and with that major hurdle crossed, the rest became much easier.
More of a visual and practical learner, he uses his free time experimenting in micro-art. Since the past two years, he has been working with a variety of artistry tools including blades, needles, sandpaper and even safety pins. A tiny vibrator motor with a small fine drill is used to make fine holes too. “I also grind the blades for a finer and sharper cut,” he explains. While this started off just as a hobby, he is now a sought-after professional, who over the years has become choosy about the orders he takes. Currently working on an order from the US, he reveals that he charges about INR 150 per letter for ordinary works. His work involves varied challenges and marketing is an important piece of the puzzle. He has thus created a Facebook page where he shares his work. Being a technical engineer and designer with a reputed firm, micro-art is a hobby and passion that has become an additional source of income for him. He also dabbles in paint, using fingers rather than a brush adding a personal touch to his works of art.
His pièce de résistance is the micro-art fashioned on 0.7 mm leads. “No one else has done this till date,” he says, expressing the desire to get it listed in the Limca Book of Records. His next goal is to carve a camera on pencil, he says. Yo! Vizag wishes him the best for that and all other creative challenges that he wishes to take up. Those interested in the art form, check out his blog.