How Koodal Kannan changed his misfortune into a passion for art

Accidents occur, most often resulting in pathos and crippling the victims. But here is a man of natural talent who turned a crippling accident into a period of identifying his artistic aptitude. He calls it “God’s gift.”

Koodal Kannan, brimming with cheerfulness, says the accident helped his fingers to develop the art besides filling him with positive energy. “The prolonged bed rest initiated his deft fingers to draw lines and curves, which surprisingly took beautiful shapes of human features and much more.”

He focused day and night on paintings more than on the pain. And soon realised art was his cup of tea.

His brush not only portrayed world-renowned personalities like Mother Teresa but also sceneries and life-experiences. In an initiative to preserve the architecturally-beautiful sculptures in various parts of the city, Koodal Kannan began to sketch monuments especially in Meenakshi Amman Temple and Pudumandapam.

Social cause

“My paintings are based on one sculpture and it helps ordinary man to understand and appreciate the profoundness in the piece of art. They develop a sense of belonging and everyone wants to protect it for the future generation,” he says.

A self-learnt artist, this 33-year-old youth, has completed only SSLC. That never holds him back from teaching college students including future engineers. The students come to him seeking assistance in drawing sketches and structures.

After his schooling, Koodal Kannan, began his career as a courier boy, lathe worker, labourer in aluminum factory, carpenter, painter, white-washer … “Wherever I went, I tried to involve myself in some artistic work that went hardly noticed by any including myself,” he says.

Earlier, as a son of a construction worker, Koodal Kannan also involved himself in commercial board writing but soon gave up as it was not soul satisfying.

Now he paints on egg shells, bottle caps, draw miniatures, makes minuscule carvings from chalk piece and designs greeting cards too.

A performer

He can also mimic 2000 voices including well-known personalities, animals and birds. He is also adept at funny dancing and has given over 300 such performances.

“I am sure, my dance triggers audiences’ laughing nerves irrespective of their age group,” he notes.

A champion of ‘Asatha Povathu Yaru’ on Vijay TV, he is also good at playing flute - an art he learnt from Tamil Nadu Government Music College at Pasumalai.

Besides, he writes Tamil and Malayalam upside down. One can read the words using mirror-image technique. Though he does not know to read Malayalam, his perseverance, keen observation and practice have made him achieve this feat of reverse writing.

Asked whether he is able to earn sufficiently, he replies, “Earning happens automatic when time comes. I want to excel in god-given talent and I want to teach interested children,” he asserts, adding that his students at present are both children and highly qualified persons.

“Neither my parents nor my teachers have identified my latent talent. If they had, by mow I would have established myself more professionally,” he rues.

His sole aim in life now is to establish an academy of arts for teaching young artists, who are ready to take a plunge into the ocean of art.