Doodling his way to world fame

Doodling his way to world fame

He turns the frowns into smiles through his cartoons. Now, he has drawn his way to glory.

B V Panduranga Rao, a freelance cartoonist from Namma City, has won the ‘Best Cartoon’ award at the 2nd Sejong International Cartoon Contest-2013 held in Seoul, South Korea.

The caricature that stood out and helped him win the award was the image of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. As many as 557 cartoonists from 60 countries took part in the contest. A total of 1,821 works vied for awards under different categories such as theme-based, free section, among others. Rao said he had submitted four caricatures, out of which one was adjudged the ‘Best Cartoon’ in the free section.

When asked why he chose to caricature Manmohan Singh, Paandu, as Rao is fondly called, said: “People will be familiar with only those faces which are in the news.

Hence, I chose to sketch the prime minister, colouring his turban in saffron, white and green. The image represents India and I used only straight lines for sketching, except for the forehead.”

Seventy-year-old Rao was one of the three participants from India but the lone from Karnataka. He received the award on Aug 23, that included a certificate of merit and a cartoon album, which is a compilation of his works published by the organisers of Sejong International Cartoon Contest.

The proud cartoonist has taken part in more than 60 national and international cartoon contests till date. He has about 32 cartoon catalogues in his kitty and is eyeing the half-century mark.

“For a cartoonist, getting a catalogue, in which his award-winning caricature is printed along with the other prized drawings, is a great achievement,” he explained, adding that besides India, he had got catalogues from such countries as Russia, Turkey, Croatia, South Korea, Israel, Serbia, Portugal, Taiwan, Cyprus and Brazil.

“I represented India in the contests held overseas. My aim is to get a total of 50 catalogues,” Rao said. Over 7,000 cartoons drawn by him have been published in various newspapers, magazines and journals.

“From early childhood itself, I was interested in drawing sketches and went on to do a diploma in cartooning from Raye Burns School of Cartooning, USA. When my caricatures began getting published, there was no looking back,” he said. “I like drawing cartoons of all genres such as political, social, 3D, environment themes, etc.”

His other achievements include creation of smallest and biggest flip book and smallest desk calender. The feat earned him an entry into the India Book of Records and Limca Book of Records. And not many know that Rao is also a qualified cricket umpire.

A former president of Karnataka Cartoonists’ Association and a member of Indian Institute of Cartoonists, Rao also conducts cartoon workshops for schoolchildren and budding talents.

“For a cartoonist, it is important to keep abreast of current events and most importantly, he/she should have a good sense of humour. These are the biggest challenges,” he concluded.

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