Mrs. Monimala of Isha Vidhya Nagercoil is a favorite among her students because her arts & crafts class is always a fun experience for them. But thi does not happen by accident; she works hard to achieve it.
The teacher begins her day by tidying up her art classroom and spreading fragrance throughout. She then prepares materials in advance for all of the day's classes, ensuring that her students have an uninterrupted art class.
Mrs. Monimala chose to become an arts & crafts teacher because she is passionate about art, and ten years after joining the school, she received the Isha Vidhya Arts & Crafts Teacher of the Year 2020-21 Award in recognition of her dedication and exceptional performance.
Mrs. Monimala researches on the internet for information about different drawing and craft techniques to encourage her students in order to try out new things. She says that at Isha Vidhya students are encouraged to understand the concept and arrive at their own creative interpretation rather than copying someone else's art. After each class, she takes feedback from her students to help hone their talents better and to improve her contribution as a teacher.
She dreams of decorating the school with paintings and seeing her students become great artists.
Priyadarshini, a Class 9 student of Isha Vidhya Cuddalore has been interested in art and craft since childhood. The daughter of a fisherman, she discovered natural colors when she couldn't find any artificial colors at home and now uses nothing else to paint.
She discovered her calling at Isha Vidhya in the craft class, where she learned to make artifacts out of newspaper and dried coconut tree waste, among other materials. She is inspired by both local art and Indian art forms that she learned about in the art & craft class at school.
A few years ago, her works that were displayed at Sadhguru's yoga program in Texas, US, helped raise funds for Isha Vidhya. Besides winning first prize in an art & craft competition hosted by noted film art director Suresh Selvaraj last year, Priyadarshini has consistently won prizes at inter-school art competitions.
She wants to take an art course after Class 12 to hone her creative skills, and then she wants to make and sell handicrafts to help poor students. Priyadarshini's parents are proud of her talent and support her.
Suriya, a Class 11 student at Isha Vidhya Vanavasi, wants to pursue fashion designing after Class 12 because he was inspired by what Steve Jobs said about design: “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
Suriya used to enjoy drawing pictures with his sister at home as a child, and when he started at Isha Vidhya, the art and craft class took over. He enjoys drawing because it relaxes him, and he enjoys art class because it allows him to be creative. Suriya loves working with oil pastels and has won numerous awards at the school, district, zonal, and national levels.
When he won third place at the national level in the International Child Art Talent Contest, which included a cash prize of Rs.1,000, he thought it was unbelievable at first. His parents are especially proud of his achievements because there are no other artists in the family.
As a kid, ShreeVishnu of Isha Vidhya Coimbatore devoured cartoons on TV and then discovered R. K. Laxman and Kode BossLogic.
When he was in Class 8, he won the ’Outstanding Award‘ at the 5th National Level Phegivef Drawing Competition, surpassing 52 other participants. This gifted artist has also won a few prizes at chess competitions.
ShreeVishnu enjoys the art and craft class because “every day is a new day with new things,” he says. Colors, on the other hand, he adores because they make his pictures bright and his hands messy.
In 2019, inspired by Cauvery Calling, an initiative by Sadhguru to revive River Cauvery, he created a widely appreciated painting with encouragement and motivation from his teachers.
ShreeVishnu is now in Class 12 and is experimenting and working on developing his pencil shading skills. While he is still weighing his options for higher studies, he says he will definitely continue to paint in the future, too.
Deebha has been dabbling with colors since childhood, encouraged by parents, despite the fact that no one in her family is artistically inclined. She enjoys painting landscapes the most and prefers to use pastel colors because she believes they give her drawings a more natural look. Naturally, the art and craft class is dear to her, and her favorite artist is Raja Ravi Varma.
Deebha has won awards at both the national and district levels in art competitions, and she was also chosen for the wall painting at Chennai Airport for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. This multi-talented student has also won awards in scientific and athletic competitions. She says that the numerous art competitions held at school as well as various locations has helped her hone her skills while receiving encouragement and motivation from her teachers.
A Class 11 student at Isha Vidhya Villupuram, Deebha is studying on a merit scholarship for her above-average grades in Class 10.
She intends to pursue further studies in Computer Science while continuing to nurture her love of painting.
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