Japanese art scholar, Kojiro Tomita observed: “It has been said that art is a tryst, for in the joy of it maker and beholder meet.” On Doodle Day, MetroPlus catches up with five of the city’s most popular illustrators/cartoonists who concur that a sense of humour is most definitely a part of their art.

Balraj K.N.

How did you come to be a cartoonist?

I doodled in school while others by hearted answers. Of course, 30 years ago they could neither Google answers to questions nor their futures. After 12th grade, the fact that I was good at nothing helped me pursue a career in nothing particular. I accidentally stumbled upon cartooning everyday!

Where do you get your inspiration to doodle from?

That’s a trade secret. But it helps if you are a little weird, wear casuals and are bad at counting money. On a serious note, good cartoonists and doodlers look at the world around them with inquisitive eyes. Observation, association and lateral thinking can give birth to great ideas.

Your process/way of working/doodling?

I start by scratching my head non-stop, a way to pique my brain to kick start for ideas! Because, more often, I need to think before I draw. I doodle but rarely at random. Based on whether it is a cartoon or illustration, I either put on my thinking cap or let my fingers do the talking. Sometimes, I alternate between the two for the requirement at hand.

Your favourite doodle?

My own cartoon, ‘Cricket-A Religion’ that was published in Deccan Herald.

What does it take to make it big as a cartoonist?

Burning fire in your belly. And the lack of fire extinguishers with editors, clients, family, friends and foes.

Rasheed Kappan

How did you come to be a cartoonist?

I had always enjoyed looking at society from a tongue-in-cheek prism. Marrying this attitude with a bit of drawing skills, I dived deep into cartooning. And yes, I knew where to draw the line!

Where do you get your inspiration to doodle from?

When you doodle, you get oodles of ideas. You draw from that rich pool, put pen to paper and let it wander like your mind. Our city and its fumbling governing class are so outrageously generous to give me ideas to make fun of.

Your process /way of working /doodling?

I chose the graphic style to create my cartoons. Because, I believe that every cartoon is a work of art, with the right composition. The art, graphics and design should be compelling enough for the viewer to sit up and notice, laugh and think.

Your favourite doodle?

I loved doing the one on the cop stopping the motorcyclist, inserting his nose deep into the biker's mouth and analysing the latter's breath. That's called invading your private space!

What does it take to make it big as a cartoonist?

You need a funny bone for sure. You ought to shed your inhibitions to laugh even at yourself. Basic drawing skills are adequate, provided you don't respect anyone beyond reasonable limits.

Rohan Chakravarty

How did you come to be a cartoonist?

I write and draw a series of cartoons on wildlife and conservation called Green Humour. It all began with a sighting of a gorgeous tigress bathing in a waterhole at Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary. When ladies in bathtubs are the reason why you picked up a pen and started drawing, there usually isn’t any looking back!

Where do you get your inspiration to doodle from?

Inspiration is like a spam advertisement phone call- it can ring anywhere, at any time, is almost always unexpected and barges in bang when you’re in the middle of something. My sources could be anything from watching and observing birds and animals, to reading or even spending some time feeding and playing with dogs and cats; and of course, ‘last minute panic’ in the words of Bill Watterson.

Your process/way of working/doodling?

I write my ideas first in a very unkempt notebook, which is always accompanied by sketches I hate to claim ownership of on a second look. I then do a rough sketch using a ball pen and take it to Photoshop

Your favourite doodle

Among the work of artists who inspire me- the cartoons from Gary Larson’s Far Side series, the art of Genndy Tartakovsky, Hanna-Barbera and Chuck Jones. I love the wildlife caricatures of Brendan Wenzel and the cartoons of the late Jay Norwood ‘Ding’ Darling.

Alicia Souza

How did you come to be a cartoonist?

I think it happened by chance, really. It was just a fun, alternate way to document stories and funnies. When I realised I had an audience, it then became a daily mini obsession. My pencil has been scribbling post work hours since.

Where do you get your inspiration to doodle from?

Everywhere, from everything and everyone! Since it's always been about just documenting or a visual one-sided conversation, my topics always included doings or happenings in my daily life.

Your process/way of working/doodling?

It involves 5 steps that I’ve doodled for my followers online who ask the same question! Gathering raw materials, combining the materials, incubating, the A-ha! moment and finally, the idea to reality!

Your favourite doodle?

I love Peanuts by Charles Shultz. He's probably one of my favourite cartoonists. Everything he draws is just so loveable!

What does it take to make it big as a cartoonist?

Lots of drawing time.

Prasad Bhat

How did you come to be a cartoonist?

Chance fuelled by passion for art. I was still working as a designer for firms when I started working on my first caricatures. Soon, people wanted to pay for my creations and then, there was no looking back! Graphicurry came into being.

Where do you get your inspiration to doodle from?

My favorite subjects are from the movies, music or television. I am a movie addict. I draw inspiration from every scene, every dialogue, and every movie. I get my sense of light, direction and angle from each scene.

Your process/way of working/doodling?

I study my subject for days or sometimes weeks. I analyse their gestures, body language as well as their personality. I do a lot of character study to come up with each subject. Maybe that’s why I end up getting biased and creating subjects which hold my affection most!

Your favourite doodle?

Mario de Miranda’s depiction of scenes from Germany in his book of travels is precious. I am not into travelling, but his books manage to transport me to a whole new space mentally and spiritually.

What does it take to make it big as a cartoonist?

Only being grounded, patient and perseverant can get you there. Art is still not a socially accepted form of livelihood for a majority of our ecosystem. Hence, it is absolutely imperative to pay heed to the right signs and advises. Be honest in accessing your own skills, set realistic goals and work towards achieving them.