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Disabled Kerala artist Surendran finds his creative side in incredible ball pen art


Well known motivational speaker Henry Beecher said “Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures”.

The words are befitting for C V Surendran, a disabled ball pen artist from Kerala with thousands of pictures and portraits to his credit. His love for art knows no boundaries and the appreciation for his work has reached international platforms.This 45-year-old artist has a fan following that is spread across countries.

Born in Kannur, Kerala. Surendran has seven siblings, three of whom are disabled. Surendran attributes his success to his supportive family, including his wife, Nija, who is also a wheelchair user.

When he was 14 years old, Surendran was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy. In the first few months, he struggled to walk but his spirits stayed strong even when he was confined within the walls of his home. Instead of sitting around idle, Surendran decided to give to his creative side and found his medium of expression in a ball pen. This is how his tryst with ball pen art started.

The first few years were not easy since this requires a lot of concentration on intricate designs and patience. But Surendran did not give up. He kept practicing until he reached perfection.

I started ball pen art just to pass time when I was on bed. I never knew that I would take it up seriously. Soon, I got completely involved in it. I knew this was something to look forward in life. Ball pen art is all about focusing on the intricacy of each drawing. All details are minute and if you get one of it wrong, then the entire work gets ruined. It was only with rigorous practice that I got my pictures right- C V Surendran, Ball pen artist

Undoubtedly, ball pen art changed Surendran for the best. He remembers how he started developing a positive attitude towards life after getting involved in the art. It did change him and made him a positive human being. He points out the art literally made him get out of his bed and start doing things on his own.

A career in art

Surendran studied ball pen art on his own without a mentor or guide. Thanks to his undying determination to learn the art. He has conducted exhibitions in Kerala and other parts of India. His art works are in demand wherever they are exhibited. His works have been displayed in Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai, to name a few cities.

"Many people have asked me whether I would like to teach ball pen art. I hope I can start my own classes to teach others more about ball pen art," says Surendran. "But right now, I do not have the time for it because once I start a work, I sit on it completely till it gets over. This can take up to three or four months. I’am just completely involved in drawing now that I do not want to deviate my attention to anything else. I’am trying to improve my own work.”

The artist loves to draw abstract drawings. He believes that his drawings must reach out to people, and should be loved by all.

“I want to draw so that everyone loves the art work that I do. I know it is hard to please everyone. But I want my works to be an inspiration to everyone in some way or the other. I want my works to carry and message for the people”, adds Surendran.

Last year, writer Satyarajan wrote a book on Surendran’s life. The book titled Nishwasangal thunniya puthappu takes readers into the life of this remarkable artist.

“When I started writing the book, I wanted to know how Surendran overcame his disability to draw such beautiful art works. Then I realised that every human being needs something to cling on in life, something that makes them move forward. Art was the medium for Surendran. He is a born artist. So whether he was disabled or not, he was destined to draw. Ball pen art work is tedious and takes a lot of patience and determination. I believe only Surendran can do something so beautifully and exceptionally well”, says Satyarajan.

ALSO READ: Through his art, Ganesh Kumar spreads positivity and happiness to the world



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