Patience & Love: Chennai-based artist sculpts figurines on chalk

Dhanalaxmi’s venture, ‘Carvistic Rogue’, is her pandemic baby where she makes customised sculptures in pieces of chalk.
Chennai-based artist sculpts figurines on chalk
Chennai-based artist sculpts figurines on chalk

By DEVISRI A

CHENNAI: Her bench was always covered in chalk dust not because she was the first bencher but because pieces of chalk occupied most space in her pencil pouch; so much so that her pens were covered in chalk dust. Unbeknownst to her, she was an artist in the making.

“In 8th grade, a fellow classmate threw a piece of chalk at me. I took it and started carving on it using a ballpoint pen. I didn’t even know that it was an art form, but that’s how it started. That’s what changed everything,” says 23-year-old, Dhanalaxmi G. Something that started out as a hobby for her has now grown into a venture.

Dhanalaxmi’s venture, ‘Carvistic Rogue’, is her pandemic baby where she makes customised sculptures in pieces of chalk. Her idea of holding a needle was different from that of her parents. From being a NEET aspirant to becoming a chalk sculpture artist, she had to fight the odds.

“Everything was ready for me to leave abroad for my higher studies. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the pandemic happened and everything took a wild turn. I posted the customised work I did for a relative of mine on Instagram. My work slowly began gaining traction and that’s when I realised I wanted to get a degree in fine arts. After that, it has been one hell of a ride working on something I’m passionate about,” she says reminiscing about how she began her business.

Talking about the way her art has progressed over the years, she says, “I believe I have come a long way. Initially, I used some random chalk and needles for carving and they easily broke as those were of low quality. That affected me a lot and I would be upset for a couple of days. Later, I started experimenting with different chalk and tools and slowly made some progress.

“I browsed the internet only when I had the idea to make it a business venture. I learned which chalk is the best to use, understood the ratio and proportion, and widened my creative space to create new sculptures.”

She has received appreciation for sculpting baby faces with intricate features. Making her parents accept her decision of exploring her passion was her hardest challenge. “I often fell ill as I was allergic to the chalk dust and that affected my focus on academics. My dad got angry and threw all my tools and equipment away. But today, he is one of my major support systems,” she says.

When asked about where she thinks this path will take her, “After completing my under graduation, I plan to pursue post-graduation and then start an institute for chalk carving and sculpting. The idea of starting an institute incepted when I was asked to conduct online sessions. Even then some people requested an offline class. As I am currently pursuing my education, it’s been shelved at the moment. However, it’s definitely on cards in the future,” she smiles.

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