Heard about this tween who aces sketching, drawing, Lego, jigsaws and more? Tanmay Karmarkar’s creativity and range of interests will blow you away.
11-year old Tamay Karmarkar, a creative genius, wants to be a Lego designer when he grows up. These are not just boyhood fantasies of an adolescent whose ambition changes from wanting to be a fireman to an engine driver on a monthly basis.
Tanmay knows with absolutely certainty that working with Lego blocks is what he wants to do with his life. But that’s not all he can do. The story of this young child’s achievements will enthrall you!
Jigsaw puzzles fascinated him
When he was around five years old, his mother Supriya noticed that he was working on complex 250-piece jigsaw puzzles without referring to the original picture and completing them without any help. He had loved puzzles since the day he was given a simple 6-piece set when he was barely two and half.
But she saw now that to her son, these puzzles were not just about playing with random oddly shaped colourful pieces of cardboard. Tanmay loved analysing the pieces and moving them around strategically to fit them together and bring pictures to life.
Drawing and sketching drew him in
Supriya and her husband Sandeep had discovered a few years earlier that the best way to keep their toddler sitting still in one place was to give him drawing materials, building blocks and other little DIY sets. But instead of drawing squiggles the way other kids his age did, when he was three and half, little Tanmay was drawing geometrical shapes with accuracy and with time his lines grew stronger and his doodles more imaginative.
Making of a Chess enthusiast
Noticing that he had a remarkable visual memory, his parents decided to introduce to him Chess at the age of 5, a game that he turned out to be a natural at! He was able to remember the first 15 opening moves each for both sides (that’s a whopping 30 moves!). A suitable coach was found and soon Tanmay was playing competitive chess.
“Tanmay has very quick at grasping the principles of the game and showed creativity in his moves. He would rarely go by the rulebook and constantly questioned why something had to be played a certain way. As a coach, I admire that in a student.” Says his coach Hanumantha Rajanna of Chess Shoots Academy under whose mentorship Tanmay went on to play competitive chess for three years at city, state and national level.
Love for all things Lego
Tanmay’s 7th year bday gift!
It wasn’t till he was six and half that he met the one true love of his life – Lego. Tanmay’s extraordinary spatial skills coupled with his penchant for creativity found the perfect outlet in 3D Lego sets.
In a short time, he went from building 40 piece sets to complex models from Lego Technic, creator and architecture series, which included London’s iconic Tower Bridge with 10,214 pieces. He built the Tower Bridge when he was 7 years old and took approximately 14 hours to complete it, spread over 5 days.
Tanmay’s version of ‘The Capitol’
The more be built, the more he wanted. When he ran out of ready made sets, he started building new objects from his imagination using Lego pieces from his existing collection.
He clearly inherits his creative genes from his parents. Sandeep is an accomplished artist and photographer in his spare time, with a degree in fine arts, and Supriya designs and paints terracotta jewellery and pottery.
So what is it like to parent a creative genius?
“To bring the best out of Tanmay, we had to spend a lot of quality time with him from the beginning, in whatever activity interested him — be it jigsaw puzzles, chess, building Lego sets or even drawing something that he likes. We have to constantly give him new and creative challenges to feed his ever-growing curiosity.
As parents, we feel our job is to expose him to multiple aspects of any subject he is interested in. For example, to help him grow as an artiste, we started introducing him to different artistes and varied styles, such as Van Gogh and M. C. Escher. We showed him the different mediums available to an artiste (pens, color pencils, water colors etc). We try to give him all the opportunities possible to help him develop his talent further.”
Last year, his parents took him to Lego Land in San Diego, a trip that Tanmay describes as the “best day of his life”. Normally, not very vocal about his excitement, this was one trip where he couldn’t contain himself.
Tanmay designed a unique building at the Tech museum in Chicago, where he got this sticker from a volunteer ‘ Master builder’ & ‘ I am building the future’
Tanmay in Lego Land is the equivalent of any other kid in a candy store! He was so delighted to be in his dream destination, it was hard to pull him away from the merchandise stores without buying more new sets. He has recently developed an interest in Lego Robotics and is learning more to prepare for that career he is determined to have.
But if you think this is some nerdy, bespectacled boy who is glued to his electronic gadgets and Lego blocks all day, think again. Supriya and Sandeep have made sure that despite all his obvious talents, Tanmay still has as normal a childhood as possible.
Tanmay is an outdoors enthusiast, often joining his parents on hikes and bike rides. He also trained at the BFC Soccer school in Bangalore for a year.
For now, Tanmay enjoys surprising his parents with his drawings. He loves Cartoonist Mario Miranda’s illustrations and has reproduced the complex details of bustling Goan life in black gel pen, almost to perfection. He is also learning flash animation at school and likes to surprise his parents with little animated clips.
We wish Tanmay all the best on this journey and hope to see his dreams as a creative artist come true in the future.