Inspirational quotes are this Aussie cartoonist's sketch to glory

Inspirational quotes are this Aussie cartoonist's sketch to glory

Gavin Aung Than is not your struggling cartoonist, beckoning your generosity for a quick roadside caricature. Well, not exactly. But this Melbourne-based ex-graphic designer would have ended up that way if that creative spark hadn't hit him, turning him into a global star with 'Zen Pencils' online.

The power of his cartoons based on inspirational quotes from Gandhi to Kalam, Einstein to Van Gogh, was in full flow at the Bengaluru Comic-Con.

On Sunday, as his avid fans queued up for his autographed books, Gavin reminisced about those dull, boring days as a corporate designer, a day job that had his creativity chained.  He had dared to quit that job, sell his house and dive deep into online comics. In quick time, he produced 300 comics. But success eluded him. It was then this thought struck him: Why not turn inspirational quotes from historical figures to tell compelling stories through cartoons.  

In one of those cartoon strips, he had an overweight man decide to take control of his life and start running. Gavin's lines did the trick. "People loved such life-changing ideas illustrated through cartoons. They would connect with me through social media, even urge me to illustrate quotes of their choice," he told DH.

As Gavin's works grabbed global attention featuring in The Washington Post, Slate and more, an American publisher offered to publish the cartoons in three books. He put out those inspirational works on mugs,  T-shirts and posters. Gavin was now getting known to fan clubs across the world.

So, how does his creative process unfold? "I start with rough pencil sketches before inking. They are then scanned, coloured and processed with Photoshop or other software. Once the work is uploaded onto my site, I take the social media route to promote them. I prefer the  e-commerce route to sell my merchandise," Gavin explains.

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