Photo of Dinesh Holla

Dinesh Hollaverified_user

Artist, Social Activist, Trekker

Artist Dinesh Holla is a self-taught artist, with a unique style of handwriting and line art sketches. He is a multi-talented artist rotating between a trekker, environmentalist, amateur naturalist, freelance writer, artist, art critic and designing kites.

#LineArt, #AcrylicPainting


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About Me

Artist Dinesh Holla was born in Modamkapu village of Bantwal taluk on 15-06-1960 to Shankara Narayana Holla who was a teacher.  He had his primary education in St. Jesus Higher Primary school Modamkapu. Then he did his PUC in SVS college Bantwal. Thereafter he was sent to Polytechnic institute in Sunkadakatte.

Those days nobody could ever get any encouragement in art.  There were no drawing teachers in primary schools up to 7th standard. He had a good handwriting even during his primary school.  In high school, he was fortunate in having a drawing teacher called H. N. Hebbar.  He identified the artist in him and encouraged.

Hailing from a poor family background Dinesh Holla never had a chance to dream of becoming an artist. But the time and destiny brought him to this level. During childhood, he had no chance for practice. Those days he could not get drawing sheets or colours. His father was an ordinary school teacher.  He used to scribble or draw with pencil, copying the printed pictures of magazines.  He had copied calendars not for printing, but for his pleasure.

Soon after SSLC, he wanted to join for art classes.  But his parents decided that with art nobody can survive in this world. For a decent life, one should be a graduate. So he was enrolled for PUC in SVS College Bantwal. Even after PUC, he wanted to join for art classes.  But his father insisted that an engineering diploma will fetch a good job and he can lead a good life.  So he had to join for a diploma course in Sunkadakatte Polytechnic institute.

During his polytechnic days, he used to create cartoons of the Principal and teachers and put it on the notice board. The principal told him that the art field is better than the technical field for him. Once he created a big portrait of Niranjan Swamiji which was appreciated by the Swamiji and he suggested that such art may have good demand in cities like Bombay. Nobody was there to support him nor he had the finances. He came to Mangalore and met many people. He survived doing some stray jobs. He used to draw something or other.  Somehow in 1989, he could take up a small place on the 3rd floor, of a commercial building in Carstreet, Mangalore, where he is still there and started a commercial art business.

Thereafter some changes came into his life. Still, he could not get any support for his art.  His maternal uncle, in whose place Ganapathi idols were made for Ganesh Chathurthy Poojas, allowed him to make the idols. Nobody was there to guide him. He created Ganapathi idols as per his imagination.  Seeing this, his uncle said, with the blessings of Lord Ganapathi one day his art will give him the required lift in life. Even today down to Dinesh Holla never claims himself as a big artist. Because even after so many exhibitions including those abroad he feels he has not achieved the class, he is expecting.  He says "When I am satisfied that I have achieved what I dream then I will agree that I am a good artist."

When I am satisfied that I have achieved what I dream then I will agree that I am a good artist.

He wanted to be an artist during his initial days in Mangalore. But those days one couldn't get buyers for art in Mangalore. Many people suggested him that graphic art or commercial art can help in earning for his living. So he started the office. Once he has come out of his home he felt he should have some earning, at least to sustain himself.  Even today his base is graphic design only. He has developed line art for his pleasure and the art got developed through sketches for stories, articles, and verses which were published in magazines.

He always wanted artists to come up in life. So he always helped those who went to him.  He usually highlighted their artworks through articles, press, and media and he feels along with them he also grew. Even now he is doing that. He requests people to support the exhibition of artists.

He has not restricted himself to line art only.  He is a good writer too. He is well known in the literature field for his creative articles and poems. Along with that, he has a hobby of trekking.  He has a separate team of nature-loving trekkers and he learns from every friend of his.

He is great Artist, Art Supporter and A Great Art Guru, even though he says he never taught art till today. He has helped those who have gone to him for advice. Many had come to him to learn handwriting. Many of them have improved and are earning handsomely in cities like Bangalore.  He closely observes those who have come to him for suggestions on art.

One can make out in the initial stages itself about his probability of becoming an artist. To learners he always suggested, to become an artist, one should have the inner urge. Just because the elders have insisted, if one attends drawing classes he cannot become an artist. We should love the artist inside us. First we should be satisfied with our artwork.  Then only we should show it to the world.

Even today, if he creates a line art or writes a poem, it should satisfy him. If not he discards that. He has rewritten or redrawn poems and sketches.  Even after this, there were occasions that he has thrown it to the wastebasket after rewriting or redrawing.

He was observing. The light from the fire reflected on the dancer. He could see only a white line dancing in the dark night. There began his line art.

For his art, tribals are the subject. He recalls once he had gone to Biligere Rangana Betta for trekking. During the night the tribals were dancing around the campfire. He was observing. The light from the fire reflected on the dancer. He could see only a white line dancing in the dark night. There began his line art. The tribal life attracted him.  Their poverty, pain, their cries, and pleasures had influenced him. He still goes there to mingle with them. He had stayed with them for 3-4 days.  He listens to their sorrows and pleasures. If his artwork reflects the pleasures and pains of the tribals it makes him happy and he loves that work. If these emotions are not reflected in the artworks he will not be satisfied. He is still associated with the first tribal friends of his. This has been the driving force in his decision of creating a 36 meters canvas on all the Indian tribals.

If I take the money for my personal pleasures it will be a blunder on my part.  I repay my subjects of my works with gratitude.  That is one strong reason why my art is popular among the people.

This time for the Dieppe festival he has created a 36 m canvas on tribal art.  He is auctioning it there in France.  He says "If I take the money for my personal pleasures it will be a blunder on my part.  I repay the subjects of my works with gratitude.  That is one strong reason why my art is popular among the people." He doesn't want to just use the tribals as a subject and forget them. Hence he has decided and urged the organizers of Dieppe international kite festival to auction this artwork.  He has offered the organizers 50% of the auction proceeds and the remaining fund will go for the tribal welfare through Sahyadri Sanchaya. For his love on the Western Ghats, these tribals are the reason. For his trekking, they were his motivation. For his growth tribals have helped him a lot. When they have done so much for him, he says he is trying to repay them through his art. If he forgets the tribals in his works, in his fight for the Western Ghats, in his trekking or in his life, he feels he will be the cruelest person.  This he has always expressed to his team members.  Along with that, he understands the financial constraints of organizing an event because he knows the pains during our Panambur kite festival.  Hence he has offered 50% of the proceeds to the organizer. So they are also happy.  This has been conveyed to the Dieppe international kite festival organizers. Now they know that the proceeds of the sale go for a noble cause of welfare of the tribals of Western Ghats. So they will be more happy to buy his artworks.

Art and literature are parts of his life. He doesn't practice art. It just comes to him like that. Where ever he goes he just draws or scribbles.  He doesn't know what he has drawn or written. It may be some scene he has seen during his trekking or something that reflected in his mind.  At times during his, trekking he sits and observes the nature and he starts drawing.  It is not the scenery, but the cry of the nature or unseen pain of the environment which touches his heart, that comes out through his art.  The few lines drawn or written do not form the full work or poetry but later it gets expands into a full artwork or poem.

In art, be it any form of art we see a wonderful world through a small window. Supposing we sit inside the dark corner of a house and open a single window, we can see the entire sunlight through the window.  The way we see art, art reciprocate. If we look at art from an artistic point of view, it encourages us. There is a power in art. When we go through a road we may see a beggar sitting on the street and a well-dressed man sitting in an air-conditioned room. There will be difference of poverty and prosperity, but our insight seeing both the characters - is the artistic vision. Art is not that you see with your eyes, it is the heartfelt feeling, pain, pleasure, philosophy, that is art.

There is power in music also. He is an admirer of Yesudas and Kishore Kumar. Even today when he hears their old melodies he says he can recall all the incidents of his past connected with the song. Even dance has the power in it. He is an ardent fan of Michael Jackson. He recalls a meeting he attended in South Korea. "Mayor Kim Bokyo was the speaker. For us all Koreans look alike. He was speaking to Korean audience in Korean language.  We could not understand anything. When people laughed, we also laughed. When they clapped, we also clapped. When they kept quiet we also kept quiet.  But I observed his expressions, his way of looking at the audience, his gestures and the reaction of the people and their expression of expectations, all these put together was registered in my mind."  That is the artistic view.

The Message to Artists:

If an artist gets recognition through some sale of his works and gets some fame, he should not consider it as his success. It is the society which has given him the recognition. If he considers this as his success and forgets the society, that is his end. During trekking, we see a hill and when we reach there we can see a big valley before the next peak. This is true for artists also. For those with the ego, the fall will be fatal. This is his message to upcoming artists.

The Message to the Society:

Artists create artworks. When he creates something he has visualized, which ordinary eyes might have seen or missed to see. At times he recreates all that he has seen through his inner eyes.  If you don't understand it please don't negate it.  That may be an abstract work or modern art. It may fetch a big price or award for the artist.  When an artist creates an artwork and exhibits in a gallery and takes it back home unsold where is the value for it? Similarly, if a musician performs for 5-10 audience in an auditorium of 500 seats where is the value for the music? He will be depressed and his further performance also will be affected. Society creates an artist. So those who support art should be adored.

Holla's Success Mantra:

There are lot of opportunities in this world. We should not blame society, because we are a part of it. People blame society for their failures. That is not fair. We should correct ourselves first and take our opportunity. We will surely succeed.

Artist Profile:

Dinesh Holla,
Artist, Social Activist, Trekker
June 15, 1960, in Modankapu, Bantwala, Karnataka, INDIA
Self Taught Artist
Line Art, Water Colour Paintings, Acrylic Paintings


Exhibitions : # In the year 2012, 'Kuncha Sourabha' Group Art Exhibition at Lions Club Mallikatte, Mangalore.
# In the year 2011, 'Road Safety Week' Group Art Exhibition at National Youth Festival at Mangala Stadium, M G Road, Mangalore.
# In the year 2011, ‘Kudla Kala Mela’ Group street art show organised by ‘Karavali Chitra Kala Chavadi’, Kadri park, Mangalore.
# In the year 2011, ‘Art fest’ Group Art Exhibition at Urva Church Hall, Ladyhill, Mangalore.
# In the year 2011, ‘Sachalana’ Group Art Exhibition at Prasad Art Gallery, Mangalore.
# In the year 2010, Group Art Show for charity at Orchid Art Gallery, Mangalore.
# In the year 2009, ‘Chitra Santhe’ group street art show organized by Karnataka Chitra Kala Parishath, at Kumara Krupa Road, Bangalore.
# In the year 2008, ‘Kudla Kalavali’ Group Street Art show organized by United Karavali Artists at Kadri park, Mangalore.
# In the year 2008, ‘Lord’s’ Last Supper’ Group Art Exhibition at Orchid Art Gallery, Mangalore.
# In the year 2008, ‘Art Insight’ Group Art Exhibition at Deepa Comfort, Mangalore.
# In the year 2008, ‘Ganesh’ Group Art Exhibition at Orchid Art Gallery, Mangalore
# In the year 2008, ‘Yakshavarna’ Art Exhibition for Yakshanidi at Vibhuthi Gallery, Udupi.
# In the year 2008, Group Art Show at 74th all India Kannada Sahithya Sammelana, Udupi.
# In the year 2008, ‘Varnotsava’ Group Art Exhibition organized by Ecard Association, Udupi.
# In the year 2008, ‘MRPL Art Fest’, MRPL Surathkal, Mangalore.
# In the year 2007, ‘Kudla Kalavali’ Group Street Art show organized by United Karavali Artists at Kadri Park, Mangalore.
# In the year 2007, ‘Art for cause’, Group Art Exhibition organised by Mangalore Ladies Circle 82 at Empire Mall, M G Road, Mangalore.
# In the year 2007, ‘Chitra Santhe’ Group Street Art show organized by Karnataka Chitra Kala Parishath, Kumara Krupa Road, Bangalore.

Awards & Accomplishments:

Accomplishments : # Felicitation ‘Shatha Charana Mala’, by Youth Hostels Association of India, Mangalore unit for organizing 100 no.'s of trekking as an organizing secretary of the association.
# Poem published in ‘Kavithe – 2007’, an anthology of Kannada poems written by various authors published by Karnataka Sahitya Academy.
# Poem published in ‘Kavithe – 2006’, an anthology of Kannada poems written by various authors published by Karnataka Sahitya Academy.
# Designed Kite Kathakkali which was 965cm high and 335cm wide for Team Mangalore entered National Record - Largest Kite in India; Limca book of records.