Born in 1941 at Nagapattinam in Tamilnadu, Manivelu A, also known as Manivel, learnt art as a child from his father SN Arumuga Achari, who was a temple builder, a muralist and also made temple chariots and iconic statues. The young boy acquired the nuances of Silpa Sasthiram and creating iconic imagery while assisting his father. Later, it was MS Kumaraswamy, chief artist for a Tamil monthly magazine, who taught him skills to draw and paint godly figures and to illustrate religious epics. Working with other religious magazines helped refine his technique further. Manivelu is known for his fine and detailed paintings of gods, goddesses and various deities. Working on handmade paper stuck onto cardboard, he sits and meditates before the idols in temples before he begins with the drawing. Initial drawings and sketches are then developed into paintings. The icons and narratives are depicted exactly as in the originals, complete with all their features, ornamentations and attributes. The artist has worked with Hinduism Today, an international magazine, for several years and later with Tamil astrology magazine Bala Jodhidam. He has also worked on the illustrations for The Picture Book Ramayana, edited by H. Daniel Smith and published by Syracuse University, New York. His work is part of several private and temple collections, besides galleries in Los Angeles and Hawaii. The artist lives in Chennai and leads a simple life with his family. He works from his studio at home.