Published: 15th October 2019
This Hyderabad art teacher gives his students moral lessons alongside art. Here's why
Artist and art teacher Venu Madhav Vodnala fuses morals with art lessons to nurture complete artists. He has given workshops at corporates like Wipro and Infosys
Whether Venu Madhav Vodnala is more passionate about teaching or art is difficult to estimate — even after a long, insightful conversation. When it comes to art, this 38-year-old is proficient in all art forms, but specialises in graphite realism. He uses graphite pencils, or sometimes even charcoal, to sketch such lifelike drawings that really are breathtaking.
Venu is also a visiting faculty for many international artists. His ultimate aim is to establish a world-class academy of realism in India
It was in the year 2005 that he learnt graphite realism and he picked up this particular skill because not many in India were producing qualitative work in this field of art. "If you are able to impress people with just the colours black and white and also make it realistic, then there is nothing like it," says the Warangal-born artist who has been dabbling in art for over 14 years now.
The artist: Venu has his own studio in Hyderabad | (Pic: Venu Madhav Vodnala)
Why Venu, who has his own art studio in Nizampet called Madhav's Atelier of the Arts, took to teaching is because, "today, no one wants to become an artist. Maybe a product designer or an illustrator, but never an artist," he rues. So, he gives art lessons with a healthy dose of morals so that they can be artists in the true sense of the word. "Why morals? Because every student needs to be a good person to be anything, even a CEO. Whether they are interested in morals or not is immaterial to me," laughs Venu, who is a Project Manager in a software firm.
He is grateful to his guru Satguru Sri Sivananda Murty for everything
Venu has trained several art teachers, corporates and youngsters and he treats every student as a blank paper. His attention to detail is rather unique, we infer this when he tells us how every hair is cylindrical in shape and just drawing a line to depict is doing injustice to it. "Now, to draw each and every strand of hair that way is impossible, but there are techniques," explains Venu and these and many other techniques are taught by the artist in small batches. "If you need to bring in realism, that 3D effect, you need to show how light works, how it travels from the lighter areas to the darker areas," he says. Every Saturday, from 5 to 8 pm, you can find him at his studio, teaching art to those who opt for it. He has even been teaching online for eight years and has taught students from 16 countries.
Speaking further about his love for teaching, he goes on to say, "When I draw, I sometimes even forget to eat. In this state, art becomes the actual food, the bliss. I want to ensure that I help others experience this bliss. I believe this is the greatest gift one human can give to another," he says.
How does one become an artist? Let Venu tell you:
- Everyone is blessed in one way or the other, but to be an artist, you need to realise it
- You need to work really, really hard
- We Indians seldom love our work, but you need to love your work
- Respect each and every one
Some of his work:
For more on him, check out madhavvv.com