This Guinness Record Holder from Vizag is taking miniature art to Govt Schools

What started off as a hobby became a full-time vocation for Venkatesh Gattem, who is inspiring the world with his miniature art. Carving his masterpieces on Pencil lead, chalk pieces, bangles, matchstick and even on toothpicks, he is setting new benchmarks in miniature art globally. 
From carving chessboard, building, ships and other monuments on pencil lead using a surgical blade and needle, he is re-defining what miniature art of today can be. Numerous years of practise following his 10th board exams and constant support from his parents has helped him enter the Guinness Book of World Record for intricately carving the Empire State Building (in New York) on a toothpick in 21 minutes.
Journey to Self-discovery
Art has always been Venkatesh’s passion. As a young lad, he spent his time watching traditional sculptors at work. He would enjoy watching the skilled artisans shaping blocks of wood into beautiful works of art. His interest took off as a serious skill after he playfully created a motif of Lord Ganesh with broken bangle pieces. This was just after his tenth grade. 
Impressed with his imagination and skill, his parents encouraged him to pursue this talent. “My father is a farmer and my mother a homemaker, but they have always encouraged me and my art,” says Venkatesh. From broken bangles, he began experimenting with various other mediums. 
Eventually, he learned that many of his works of art came under the category of miniature art. Spurred by the fact that it was a recognised work of art, he proved his prowess by coming up with more complex art exhibits. His work did not go unnoticed as he has over 100 awards and accolades to his credit.
Winning Laurels
A student of architecture from GITAM University in Vizag, Venkatesh was conferred with a honorary doctorate in the field of Fine Arts from the International Peace University in Germany. He was also invited to meet former President of India, Pranab Mukherjee. 
He received the Ugadi Puraskar in 2018 for his works from former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu. Additionally, Venkatesh is also the holder of the Guinness World Records title in 2017 and Limca Book of Records title in 2016.
Inspiring others
Coming from a rural background, Venkatesh has taken upon himself to introduce art, and its various forms, to government school students. Keen to share his knowledge, Venkatesh spends all his free time teaching his art to interested students in government schools as a part of art awareness camps. 
Through his classes and art camp which he organises in regular intervals has helped about 10,000 students till now. His aim is to bring awareness about art and encourage young students with raw talent.
Venkatesh believes that art knows no bounds and he stands as a true example towards creating a Better Andhra! 

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