KOCHI: Some artists like to paint on huge canvases, albeit, for Nikhil Soman, even the pencil lead is a canvas. Recently, the artist carved out the Indian National Anthem using 13 pencils in just 38 hours and won the Vajra World Record title. “Doing miniature artforms has always been challenging in comparison to other forms of art.
I always wanted to carve out the National Anthem in a pencil lead and I was able to complete it this time,” says Nikhil. This artist has carved out tiny sculptures on pencil lead, stones, feathers, seeds and even soaps. He is enlarging the purpose of reusing materials thereby carving out miniature works of art with perfect detailing.
Nikhil was always inclined to art since a long time. “Sketching and drawing was something I used to do from childhood. But I took it more seriously after I went for a lead art workshop in Jaipur conducted by architect Midhun R R. He was also awarded a world record in art around two years ago. This is how I started carving lead art works. The intricate detailing required in making these tiny objects is what got me interested,” shares the artist.
His tools consist of the ordinary cutter and blade in order to get precision in his lead art creations. He uses one blade for shaving wood from the pencil and the other for detailing. Each piece takes around one hour to be created into a work of art and if anything goes wrong then the entire activity is back to square one. “It took me about 38 hours to carve the complete lines of the National Anthem using 13 pencils,” says Nikhil.
His works include a miniature model of Baahubali with perfect detailing, that he sculpted out of one pencil, Kattapaa killing Baahubali where he has used two pencils and a scene from the birth of Baahubali. Out of all his lead art works, it took more time for him to sculpt out the lock and key model.
Besides this, he has also done miniature paintings of birds and animals on shells, seeds and stones using acrylic.
Nikhil is presently a third year architecture student at the College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram. He visits temples across the city and sketches them.