“I was always interested in art but I started concentrating on cartoons since my II PUC. My first cartoon was about Mangalore bundh,” says John Chandran speaking to City Herald.
John, a gifted artist, illustrator and graphic designer, is popularly known for his cartoons and comic line on ‘Nimmi’.
John’s talent was seen right from childhood but he nurtured and made it a profession when he went on to acquire his Drawing Master Certificate from Mahalasa School of Art and Art Master from Hampi University which qualified him as an Art teacher in St Aloysius High School since 1994.
“John is like a candle that spreads the knowledge of art to his students. A great artist like him has opted to teach students hence motivating the budding artists of the future,” says St Aloysius High School Head Master Fr Melwin Pinto.
John’s cartoons have already adorned newspapers and publications and he has been selected thrice for the Hindustan Times Delhi cartoon exhibition. His first solo exhibition was ‘Anaka’ at Prasad Art gallery in 1996 and this was followed by string of exhibitions such as ‘7th National Cartoon Exhibition,’ ‘Karavali Utsav Cartoon exhibition,’ ‘Kala Sangam State Art Festival,’ ‘State cartoon exhibition’ at CBOO Hall, Kudla Karavali Painting Exhibition and ‘E Bhoomi Nammadu’ cartoon exhibition on global warming.
“I was thrilled when my cartoon was displayed by a leading newspaper alongside the works of masters like R K Laxman and Ajit Ninan,” says John who himself is a great admirer of Ajit Ninan’s cartoons.
John also is keen in Tanjore and Mysore style painting but says he enjoys sketching cartoons the most. “People may like or may not like a painting but everybody loves cartoons,” smiles John.
Cartoons deliver public message, opines John and says “I want my cartoons to impact the society. Most of my cartoons portray the problems faced by the city.”
“I keep my eyes open and ears sharp and notice the sarcastic moments that happens in day to day life,” says John revealing the secret behind the humour that delivers a punch.
John is also very popular for his comic line ‘Nimmi’ that appears on Udayavani every Sunday. The cartoon strip started in 2006 and John has over 200 cartoons published on Nimmi.
“John has a talent of personifying a character which enables any person to understand the qualities and the personality of a person whose caricature is featured,” opines Captain Ganesh Karnik in his address at a recent inauguration of N20 laughing Bomb exhibition featuring John’s cartoons and book release of his popular cartoon ‘Namma Nimma Nimmi’.
“Words are not sufficient to express everything and cartoons play an important role in such situations. John’s cartoons are truly equal to 1,000 words,” says Udayavani News Bureau chief Manohar Prasad.
John is also the recipient of 1996 JC Outstanding Young Person Award and 2001 Kalotsava Award. John’s N20 Laughing Bomb exhibition is open to the public till October 24 at Prasad Art Gallery.