News Karnataka
Tuesday, March 21 2023

Dr. Varnodhar: Shifting the canvass from dentistry to philanthropic artistry

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A basic human tendency is to strive to leave a mark on the dunes of time. To follow one’s passion and to walk towards it needs courage, conviction and dedication. When one’s desire becomes their passion, there is no barrier that can stop a person from achieving the desired goal.

Dr. Pradeep Kumar aka Varnodhar, a dentist turned artist, has taken Mangaluru by storm. Being specialised in live caricatures, digital caricatures, character design and paintings, Varnodhar has also extended his artistic touch towards logo designing, book cover art, poster, life size charcoal caricatures, wall art and even live stage event. Speaking to, Varnodhar shared his journey from a dentist to an artist.

How did you get an initial pull towards art work?

I loved to draw and paint from my early age and I did little sketches and other art works too. When I grew up, the pull towards art grew stronger. Initially I wanted to be a model too. I wanted to make something different; something out of the box. Though I was not doing art work as a full time job, I used to bring the artist in me alive during my free time at my clinic. But I was not satisfied with what I did; I wanted to work more with art. Look now, I am more an artist than a dentist. I am a dentist from 16 years and I have a liking towards dentistry. So I can’t leave it.

Is there a story behind you taking the decision to follow your passion?

Yes. Once when I got the job of a senior dentist in a reputed hospital, all was going well. One day a senior person came to me and asked who he was. With a blank mind I said “I don’t know.” The reply that came sent me to a stupor. The reply was, “I am the one whom you have replaced as a dentist”. I did not hear a single word after that. The one thing that was revolving in my mind was, “I don’t want to grow old sitting on this chair. I want to pursue my passion for art” and this made me resign and switch on to full time art.

Following one’s passion is not easy. What were your trials in the early phase of this career?

When I pursued career as an artist, I had to quit my profession as a dentist, especially without the knowledge of my family. That left me jobless and of course, I had financial issues because I was left with no source of income except for my 2-hour clinical practice and I had a family to look after. It was difficult to convince the family on shifting my profession at the age of 37 but I did not quit. I continued to work for six to seven hours secretly in a rented room. A year later when I created a platform for myself in the field of art, I was easily accepted by everyone.

What was the reaction of your family when they knew about your decision to pursue your passion of art?

After I resigned the job, I didn’t know how to tell the same to my family. This was a crucial time where I had to take a decision. Except my wife no one knew about this decision. Initially, I could not tell my family too. So I hired a room and continued my art work. I learnt a lot of things here. I never restricted my work to one area but I learnt different techniques through internet and became more versatile. I never calculated my success. I always wanted to follow my passion and do what I loved to do and this made me more recognisable.

What made you step into digital art?

Initially, I used to draw the traditional way using charcoal, pencil, acrylic and water colors. I was doing this in between the patient appointments in my clinic. But it was getting difficult for me to wash and clean up as the patients dropped in. Hence I decided to switch over to digital art which was better to handle in clinic. I started drawing on IPad; slowly switched over to Wacom tablet used by professional artists all over the world. I use various artist softwares like Sketchbook Pro, Photoshop, etc., to do digital drawings.

What inspired you to use art work for a cause, like Swacch Bharath?

In collaboration with Ramakrishna Mission and Awake Arise Team, we took up a task to paint a road roller that was abandoned near Jeppu market. When we found out that the road roller belonged to none, we thought of making it a “Selfie Spot” than letting it rust as a piece of junk. With the help of the students of Ramakrishna Mission, we cleaned the area and then painted the road roller to make it look beautiful as a piece of art. We are also planning to do several more selfie spots around the city.

What are your other contributions towards the society?

Social service is a part of my art work. I have visited Kargil War Memorial, interacted with the Army Jawans and made caricatures of them. I have also gifted some of my art works to them as a respect to the service that they render towards the country. I am also a regular contributor to an NGO called “Super souls” which works with orphan kids. I have also visited the parachute regiment and gifted them my works as a token of my respect to them. Along with few students I also visit orphanages during weekends and occasions and spend time with kids doing some art workshops. We have also done a fund raising event in Kinnigoli church fest and given the collected amount to HIV rehabilitation centers in Mangalore for two consecutive years. A fund raising live caricatures event in City Centre was done and the proceeds were given to a girl who needed to be operated for bone problems.

What is the message that you want to give to our readers?

Follow your passion and following your passion needs dedication. Nothing comes easy. Trust on oneself is very necessary. Initially, there will be a lot of problems and drawbacks. If one is able to bear all the difficulties and still work towards the goal, then there is no stopping at all.

Mangaluru, in the verge of becoming a smart city has found a lot of people working towards making it a better one. Varnodhar being one of them has left a mark for himself. Now it’s your turn. Are you ready?

Dr. Varnodhar: Shifting the canvass from dentistry to philanthropic artistry
Dr. Varnodhar: Shifting the canvass from dentistry to philanthropic artistry
Dr. Varnodhar: Shifting the canvass from dentistry to philanthropic artistry
Dr. Varnodhar: Shifting the canvass from dentistry to philanthropic artistry
Dr. Varnodhar: Shifting the canvass from dentistry to philanthropic artistry

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