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An Interview With Akbar Torabpour, the Cartoonist and Animator

An Interview With Akbar Torabpour, the Cartoonist and Animator

Akbar Torabpour is a cartoonist, caricaturist, and animator. He was born in Hamedan in 1985. He majored in graphic from Hamedan Mofateh University. He awarded several caricature festivals such as: the first prize at two Blue Lines festival 2004, the first prize at the great prophet festival 2006, recognition plaque and statue at international digital media festival 2008, recognition plaque and statue Fuel (Chicory) festival 2008, the first prize at Bojnourd citizenship caricature festival 2009, the third prize at international press festival 2009, the third prize at Boukan cross- country cartoon festival 2009, the second prize at cross- country media culture festival 2016, statue award at Jiaxing China international festival 2008, competence award at Italy international festival 2014, the first prize at Italy fax for peace 2014 and 2015, the third prize at 4th international book fair biennial 2016.

The artist has also awarded numerous prizes in the field of short film and animation such as: golden butterfly for the best director at international children and teenager film festival 2010, golden statue for the best director at Roshd film festival 2011, Mohsen Rasoulov award at year’s image festival, golden statue at 9th festival of the 100 seconds films, and special award of the Iranian film at Toronto Canada 2015. As follow, we have interviewed him.

 How did you become a cartoonist?

- I was interested in animation, and the world of cartoon is close to that. But animation need more money and time. But in the cartoon, you can show the same theme in a frame. In the last periods, there are many humor magazines and press, so I was interested in the cartoon. Of course, there isn’t such as an area.

 What was your first cartoon?

- In 2011, I attended the addiction festival, which I drew burnt matches that has been converted to a house. It was published in cartoon Tabriz magazine that belongs to Tabriz cartoonists association.


What was your dream in childhood?

- I was interested in painting and visual arts and I worked in that field and I sent them for T.V.

 Now, what do you wish?

- I wish all people around the world especially artists and cartoonist live in peace and calm.

 What was your first prize?

- In 2008 at a festival with Palestine theme.


What was your last prize?

- At Jiaxing China, in 2019.


What’s your last work?

- I have drawn the sketch of the Trumpism contest. I should draw 4 works, two portraits and two cartoons.

 Do you work digitally or manually?

- I work digitally because it is accessible. Indeed, I draw the sketches and original structure manually. Then I color it digitally.


What tool and application, do you use?

- Kinetic light pen

 Which of your works, is the best?

- It’s very hard to choose one of them. But I have a work with the theme of book that I have worked on it very much and it was very effective.


How does an idea form in your mind?

- When you are involved with a special theme, it becomes a subject. Then we compose and set it to become a subject.

 Is it possible to teach the caricature and cartoon?

- Any arts can be taught but the person should have the potential and essence of it in himself. It is possible that someone interests in art but when he starts it, he finds that it isn’t easy. However, it can be taught completely. Cartoon and caricature have some elements, when you know them, you can be a cartoonist or caricaturist. I think caricature can be an academic field and it is taught at the university.

 Is it possible to teach the idea?

- Unfortunately, not.


How do you select a technic after you manufacture an idea?

- It depends on the form and the story of the idea. But sometimes the idea needs a good performing and this needs many experiences.

 How much time do you usually spend on a work?

- It depends on the idea, because the idea is very important. For example, I had thought about Trumpism contest for several weeks to find a good idea. Then I drew it in one day.

 What is the main feature of your works in terms of form, execution, and content?

- The sketch is important.

 Is the simplicity or complexity of the form, related to the complexity or simplicity of the idea too?

- Both of them. The idea and fiction should match together. However, the works for a festival or press are different. For example, last week we work on a bicycle theme in Tehran, it is different from festival’s work because it is more public but the festival’s works are shown in an exhibition, so the visitors are more professional.

 The language is more public, isn’t it?

- Yes, when your audience are common people so it should be easier. It is better to pay attention to the main subject.


The language is more public, isn’t it?

- Yes, when your audience are common people so it should be easier. It is better to pay attention to the main subject.

 How did you do with the bicycle theme?

- I worked about accompanying the bicycle with nature and I choose my motto. It’s going to get on the billboard. In this work, the bicycle is in the pedal of nature and a person is pedaling. The bicycle has also more differentiated and exaggerated, its wheels are the branches and leaves. That is, the roots and branches are intertwined and become bicycle wheels.


How effective are the awards and participating in domestic and foreign festivals, in developing your works?

- Prizes aren’t important for me, but when the jury review my work and they see something in my work and they select it. It means my works are noticed. The payment is important for me. Cartoonists and caricaturists should work in the press but unfortunately, Iranian cartoonists and caricaturists don’t earn enough because the press financial situation are not good. There isn’t any supporter. The payment for publishing each caricature is only 5.5 dollars. So Iranian caricaturists participate in the festivals and they earn money in this way. There are few artists work elsewhere. The foreigner festivals give the cash prizes in dollar or euro, but unfortunately, we can’t receive them because of boycott unless a few festivals invite the cartoonists and award them there. This is a big problem insofar as Piracicaba festival in Brazil has informed in his invitation that if Iranian artists participate and award, they can’t send the cash prizes.

 As you mentioned, you have created some works for Trumpism festival. What is your assessment of the international Trumpism cartoon and caricature competition?

- Yes, I attend with 4 works. This is a very good event and many foreigner cartoonist have attended. Trump is the subject for international cartoonist and caricaturist. It is very easy to show his face with a simple form. I hope this festival will continue in the future. Unfortunately, Iran caricature biennial was very well-known, but it is no longer being held and the government can’t afford it that is a bad event.


Who is the best foreign caricaturist in your opinion?

- Kino, Cozy Boykin, and Sempe.

 Which Iranian artist do you like?

- There are many good cartoonist in Iran, but I like humor in Javad Alizade works.

 What is the best movie have you ever seen?

- God Father

 In your opinion who is the best Iranian and foreign actor?

- Among Iranian actor I like Reza Ataran and among foreigner Leonardo Dicaprio.

 What is the best book have you ever read?

- Gabriel Garcia Marquez by One hundred years of solitude.

 Which Iranian artist do you most in contact with?

- Mahmoud Nazari, Ali Paknahad and the others.

 What‘s your opinion about Iran cartoon website?

- It is the source website in the world.

 Do you have any special talk?

- It is very essential to organize a caricature association in Iran.


 Thank you that spend your time with Iran Cartoon and we wish you the best.

Here you can see Akbar Torabpour works.

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