Wonder what would life be without the excessive love for smartphones and the internet? The beautiful story of Vijaya Mohan Koppineedi is the crystal-clear example of dedication in a world full of distractions. Despite having to study and work on his art; this man from Andhra Pradesh wins the hearts of many with his micro art and has bagged many records and awards, including a stellar meeting with the former Indian president, Pranab Mukherjee.
“Artists do not make objects, artists make mythologies.”- Anish Kapoor
The Engineer with a talent for Art
Born to humble parents, Vijaya Mohan Koppineedi’s father is an auto-driver and his mother is a homemaker. He has a sibling, a brother, who is a licensed surveyor. For Vijaya, when he remembers his childhood, all he can think of is how he was always surrounded by art and how he could not stop creating things from things that were as good as nothing.
When he was a child, he had once arranged a bunch of mustard leaves, and his parents had thought that he would make a good artist someday. However, that alone was not enough. For Vijaya, being an artist in today’s time and with his financial condition was quite hard. Although his heart was set to be an artist, he really had no say in what he could become when he grew up. So he studied, worked hard, honed his skills and never gave up.
The hardest Decision for Vijaya
"It is important to achieve our goals, but not at any cost." - Mukesh Ambani
To follow your dreams, you need more than talent, you need dedication and you need the zeal to see through your decisions. And that is exactly what Vijaya Mohan Koppineedi did with his life.
Since the time he arranged the mustard leaves, his art had never found a stop. Springing into action whenever possible, he used anything at his disposal. When the artists’ calling comes, there is pretty much nothing that can stop an artist. Making use of rice grains, soaps, broken bangles, alcohol bottles, and pretty much any kind of waste, he found a way to create something beautiful. Deep in his heart, Vijaya had always known that he truly wanted to be an artist.
However, as he grew, he did continue his art, but along with his studies. Juggling between classes and exams was tough for him, but he never gave up on his dream and art. During his schooling, he bagged many awards and became known for his micro art.
He finished school, then went to degree college, DCE-M.R.K. Polytechnic College, where he studied to be a civil engineer. Once he graduated, he took up a job. With his financial condition, all he could do was work after he received the degree to make his life better. But, truthfully, his heart was never into it. And then, one day, he decided to work only on his art and quit his job.
The Aftermath of his decisions
It is never easy to make a decision and stick to it, but the same cannot be said for the ever-so-dedicated Vijaya Mohan Koppineedi. With a specialty in art with rice grains, there was no stopping him from living his dream. His parents had always been supportive of his creativity, and when he chose to quit his job to work on his talents, they were happy with his decision.
Although he had his parents on his side, his biggest struggle was still the aspect of finances. During this period, Vijaya had to let go of some things he really adored and loved in his life. With a heavy heart, he had to turn his back on his job and to some of his close relationships; and had to bear the worry of the finances not being enough for a while.
“Creativity takes courage.” – Henri Matisse
Powering through all of those troubles and personal setbacks when most people would give up and opt for an easier way, he never stopped working on his art and decided to dedicate all of his time to his projects. With a definite love for what he did, Vijaya worked hard as he could and began bagging all kinds of awards before he set-up his own venture.
The Sweet pleasure of success
The initial stages for him were sweet and simple. Vijaya hardly ever struggled with what he had to do. He bagged a record in the Asia Book Of Record (2017) for writing the Indian National Anthem in three different languages, namely, Hindi, English and Telugu, and that too with his naked eye alone! His talents were honored by the former president, Pranab Mukherjee; who appreciated him for his stellar art, and zeal when he honored Vijaya with Rashtriya Yuva Gaurav Award in 2018. In the same year, he has also bagged the Bharat Kala Ratna Purskar.
However, for him, he struggled when he tried to make it to the Limca Book of Records. Trying hard, and not being able to make it to the Limca Book of Records for the first few times, had left him sad. But his failures were just stepping stones to his success. Without taking his eyes off the goal, he worked relentlessly for hours and finally achieved his record in 2019, and quite a unique one at that. Vijaya became the first-ever artist in West Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh to get mentioned in the arts. And since then, this man has never stopped.
Holding multiple records, he also has his name in Global Book of Record, National Book of Record, Indian Achiever Book of Record, Assist World Record, Vajra Book Of Record and many more.
Vijaya’s persistent run after his goals and refusal to give up is the perfect example of the fact that success does not come to those who wait, or to those who quit when the going gets tough. Vijaya finally got his name into Limca Book Of Records, and he bagged even more records time and again. The specialty of this micro artist is that he never used a magnifying glass to make his art.
The second hardest struggle in his life: The Limca Book of Records
Ever heard of the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade out of it?” Well, that is what Vijaya did when he came across problems and obstacles.
For him, his art was the only companion during harsh times. He was trying to get the records on Limca Book Of Record and Guinness Book Of Record, he found himself paralyzed with a huge problem. For the first few times, he was stuck with the tricky issue of no knowledge of the process of these record-holding books.
Doing what he did best, Vijaya worked on his art by dedicating 18 to 20 hours a day, he took on difficult projects and even then he got shot down. Even after walking the extra mile to create a brilliant project for the Limca Book of records, he was rejected due to the fact that the project was not as per the norms.
“An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one.” - Charles Cooley
Had it been somebody else, they would have decided to let the record be and set another goal. But this micro-artist did not know how to give up. Although he had been dejected and sad for a while, he got back on his feet and decided to pursue his goal once more, with higher aspirations and with a bigger heart.
He worked on for two years, putting in his blood and sweat into a project. Instead of looking back and feeling sorry for his hard work that had gone to waste before, he powered through the tough times. He decided to learn more about the records, record books, and their process, for that was the only way to continue and go forward. And with that, in 2019, he bagged the Limca record!
His Private Venture and Philosophy
Like all great artists, Vijaya Mohan Koppineedi is driven by a zeal to give something back to society. When he was a child, he derived his inspiration from his parents, and now, he wishes to help many other artists through his venture, Vijju Art Gallery. Although the art gallery struggled in the initial stages, now it has been winning the India 5000 Best MSME Award for two continuous years, namely, 2018 and 2019.
Through this venture, Vijaya intends to help school children, youngsters and various other artists to follow their hearts. He also firmly believes that through this venture, he will spread more awareness about art and will help as many artists as he can.
His philosophy of life is, since the modern generation spends so much time with their smartphones and the internet, they have forgotten the beauty of art and the true beauty of our world. He feels that his venture will help those who find it hard to do art.
“The most interesting thing about artists is how they live.” – Marcel Duchamp
During his journey, he found it hard to manage time and found it extremely tough to work with his passion, given that it was riddled with setbacks and studies. However, with the help of his parents, brother and friends’ support, he grew stronger and fought through the troubles, only to taste the sweet flavors of success.