Schools prioritise academics above extracurricular activities. I was not a bright academic student, particularly in mathematics and physics. Even though I tried my best, I could never grasp these concepts. When I was bored with studying, I would do my favourite thing, which I call my comfort place, art and craft.
Since my childhood, I've always adored art. I enjoyed creating innovative things, each telling a story. I grew up with colours in my hands and constructing things, which turned me into a passionate architect. My classmates teased me since I used to carve on a pencil nib and paint a lot in school, but I never gave up and decided to pursue a profession in architecture.
After pursuing my architectural career, I learned how amazing it is to design something that is still unknown. To create my medium of art, I experimented with several different mediums. Later, I began carving objects with pencil graphite, which ultimately established my artistic medium. My peers bullied me, and my seniors mocked me for doing pencil carving. They responded this way because this was something new to them, and they thought it would not propel me to new heights or that no one would consider my art a masterpiece.
I didn't lose hope for the same and kept trying. The pencil nib was so miniature that it took a lot of patience and effort to carve a letter V on it. After 11 attempts, I was able to achieve my objective. Though that was not something big, for me it was nothing less than an achievement. It was a calming and enthralling experience because it gave me the confidence to advance my career in this field. Great success, after all, "always begins with modest beginnings." I began receiving commissions for the same, and my career took off from there.
Today, it has been six years since the day I started doing pencil lead carving. In the past six years, I've received international orders, I've given workshops in renowned architecture colleges, I've been able to display my artwork in renowned exhibitions in the state of Bangalore, and the journey continues. I have conducted several workshops and exhibitions for this art to show people that art is all around us. To date, we used a pencil as a "tool" to create art, but this time I want them to see the pencil "itself" as an art.
Schools and other educational institutions prefer academics over extracurricular activities. The fact is that everyone is not meant for the same thing. Every person is different and possesses different qualities. You just need to explore that quality in yourself and work on it to reach the pinnacle and make yourself happy. I teach pencil carving because it's so tiny and miniature, people have to put so much concentration and patience into it, which develops this whole process as meditating. Because in the end, the real art is not in the final product, it's in the process!
I am grateful for whatever I've accomplished to date. From getting displayed in a magazine as the youngest pencil carver to becoming a full-time architect, I feel proud to be who I am today. In today's society, we are all pretending to be like others, following what others do and forgetting how beautiful we are and how much talent and skill we already have. Remember, no one is you, and that is your power!
So today, when I look back, I thank the younger Vipul for not giving up on his dream and thank him for believing in what he wanted and now has achieved.