A comical twist to the wild –An interview with the creator of Green Humour
Rohan Chakravarty, the creator of Green Humour, a comic series on wildlife conservation and awareness is a brilliant cartoonist and an illustrator. His comic strips are not only published in The Hindu, Mid-day, Round Glass and many other wildlife journals, but they are also extremely popular on Instagram.
From the polar bears of the Arctic, koalas of Australia to tigers of India, he spreads awareness on a wide range of wildlife species through humorous cartoons.
A dentist by education, Rohan transformed himself into an artist. Either way, his work puts a smile on our faces through hilarious, yet thought-provoking comics.
He says that no awards or accolades are more valuable than the actual impact that his comics have on his viewers.
Read more to find out about his journey.
When did you start making comics? How did you decide to pursue it?
Ever since I was a kid, I have been in the habit of drawing and cartooning. It is only after I made the mistake of choosing dentistry that I realized that it wasn’t my calling. Soon after, I worked at various media houses and animation studios for a few years. The experience of creating custom artwork for my clients helped me not only sustain myself as a full-time cartoonist, but also gave me deep insight into the world of design.
It’s been over 10 years since I started making comics, and 7 years since my work started getting published in the Print media, and I do not regret any of it.
Why did you choose wildlife as the central theme for your comics series – “Green Humour”?
Wildlife has been something that has fascinated me throughout my life. I was on a trip to one of the National Parks when I saw a wild tigress and I remember I was captivated by this beautiful majestic sight, that’s when I found my calling. I thought why not combine the two elements – Art and Wildlife, and “Green Humour” was born.
For someone like you whose comics are based on wildlife? How important is traveling?
Although I do not travel much as I’m conscious of the carbon footprint that is associated with it, certain projects demand my visit to the place, especially when I have to create illustrated maps of sanctuaries and parks.
However, I would definitely recommend traveling to artists. Personal experiences and first-hand information are incomparable with any other secondary source of information.
Have you seen every bird or animal which are illustrated in your comic series?
I have drawn a lot of animals that I haven’t seen or probably will never see. I derive inspiration from books or watching documentaries mostly.
Lately, you’ve also done a couple of comics on political satire? How have the responses been?
Certain issues had to be addressed. Many supported and liked the comics, while others started trolling. I would call it “Destructive Criticism”. After a point, you learn how not to pay heed to such trolls, you could say that it helps one in anger management.
Would you like to explore other verticals in comics apart from wildlife?
I have created comics on various themes in the past. But, I am not sure if I can do a good job at those. For now, I will continue making comics on wildlife.
What can one expect from the Art workshops you organize?
They’re basic cartooning workshops in which I guide participants through the process of creating comics, from drawing characters, capturing expressions to compiling all the elements to make complete sense which could help you create a comic strip.
Could you name some artists you look up to?
Well, this could take some time. But, here are some on top of my mind – Gary Larson, Bill Watterson, Patrick McDonnell. When it comes to Indian Artists, R K Laxman and Maya Kamath are some of my favorites.
If you were to go back in time and change a decision what would it be?
Although I’ve no regrets as such, I think I should have explored the internet better. I see a lot of young artists creating content regularly and posting them. For someone like me who is excessively dependent on Print Media, the Internet is challenging. Sometimes, I feel like I have a generation gap with the new artists.
How do you think artists and freelancers have been affected by the pandemic? How do you think people can support them?
Artists and small businesses have definitely been affected big time. Many artists like me are dependent on Print Media, but due to the pandemic the print industry has taken a major hit and is running short of Ad money, hence there might be layoffs; NGOs that collaborate with artists are lacking funds at the moment; Book launches and releases have been postponed for months together.
I think this is the time when you can grow your business online. Learning how to monetize digital consumption of art is a very important skill to learn. Companies like Stoned Santa should play an important role in helping the artists to enable the same.
Answering the latter question, people can support fellow artists through Online patronages.
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