Published: 23rd January 2020
Meet this Coimbatore-based artist who has drawn over 50 species of birds and animals
B Lenin Dani Raj's 'Our tangled love' featuring a pair of Common rose butterfly on a Heliconia species bagged the award. Seven of his artworks were displayed in the Venkatappa Art Gallery, Bengaluru
It was the day that B Lenin Dani Raj set his eyes on a social media post by Bengaluru-based NGO Artists for Wildlife and Nature that life took a turn, a great turn. The post was about an annual show to exhibit wildlife artists in the country. He immediately followed the post and drew ten pictures for which one won an award for Artist for Wildlife and Nature in the Open Category and the rest were displayed at the Venkatappa Art Gallery, Bengaluru.
Our tangled love
The Coimbatore-based youth informed us that his artwork 'Our tangled love' was the one which bagged him the award. "It is a colour-pencil art of two Common rose butterflies mating on a Heliconia species. I drew it by taking reference from a photograph by Hayath Mohammed adding a dash of my creativity," says the 21-year-old. About 90 artworks by 25 artists were displayed in the art gallery for five days from January 17 to 21.
B Lenin Dani Raj
Lenin, who has been working on 'wildlife art' fort he last three years, tells us that this award is another feather in his cap. "Being an artist, that too a wildlife artist, getting an award from Padmashri Awardee and Founder of Centre for Wildlife Studies Dr Ullas Karath is an honour," adds the second-year student of masters in Social Work, PSG College of Arts and Science, Coimbatore.
B Lenin Dani Raj works has been drawing wildlife and birds for the past three years
Taking us through his art-routine, he says that he has been a colour pencil artist from childhood. "I always enjoyed playing with colours. And drawing wildlife is different from photography because here you observe and express through your vision. Hence perfection is a must," he avers. "I started drawing wildlife after I became part of a Coimbatore-based NGO Wildlife Wranglers three years back. One of my friends, who was also part of the NGO, suggested that I draw wildlife as I couldn't afford a camera then and couldn't go for a few wildlife expeditions with the team," he adds. His first artwork was a Scarlet Macaw and from then he has been drawing Indian wildlife and birds. Lenin has drawn about 50 species of animals and birds till date.
Balancing his studies and passion, Lenin says that he drew all the ten entries for the annual show during his exams. But how? "I draw from 9 pm to 4 am. I attended my exams in the morning. I scheduled my entire day because I wanted to participate in the show, that's it. However, my hard work did not go in vain," he smiles. "My mom used to give me coffee every two hours when I worked on my art. The support my family and college gives me is beyond explanation," he shares.
Apart from wildlife art, Lenin also draws pencil portraits.