S. D. Phadnis has been creating cartoons for almost seven decades and still has the unerring ability to make his audience chuckle
What does it take to create art that makes people laugh?
Cartooning is based on one important fact – no one is perfect, however learned or eminent he or she may be. Everyone has some element of incongruity or absurdity in thought or action. Cartoonists highlight this in drawing or cartooning but without malice. Cartooning is related more to wisdom than knowledge. Everyone enjoys purely humorous cartoons with no burden of a ‘message’. Having a good laugh is very important in our lives. It is an antidote to human pains and frustrations.
Why did you opt for caption-less cartoons?
I entered this field through painting humorous magazine covers in color. I could not use words to express the idea. I have always thought in a visual alphabet of line, shape and color. This process for me is a blessing in disguise. All my cover design cartoons became caption-less cartoons. These cartoons easily transcend the barriers of language, geography and society.
What, in your opinion, makes a cartoon popular in the age of digital media?
Computer graphics, internet, TV channels, and animation are the new tools and media in cartooning. One must be aware that computers and software are tools; these are magic brushes that save time and labor, but do not provide creativity, which is the soul of any artist. The types and character of cartoons may vary, but they all require creativity and an immense sense of observation – the two most powerful tools for a cartoonist.
What would you advise youngsters pursuing professional cartooning today?
My advice to them would be to develop good drawing skills, a good sense of humor, and the ability to observe the world around them.