Your biography in three lines:
I was born 1947 in a small village in Upper Austria. I was already drawing cartoons when I came to Vienna to study Graphic Arts at the University of Applied Arts. I stayed in Vienna as a free lance cartoonist and illustrator, sometimes graphic designer. My wife is an artist too and so is my son.
What was your first satirical cartoon?
At the age of 16 I created a simple character. He was the hero of my first cartoon-adventures. (01)
When did you start your professional working?
During my studies in Vienna I started to draw cartoons for an Austrian intellectual magazine called „NEVES FORVM“. By my critical drawings I became also known and printed in Germany and Switzerland.
What was your first published artwork?
At the age of 17 I saw my first drawings published by regional Newspapers and by the German magazine „twen“.
What was your first prize?
First prize at the „Cartoonsalon Cvorak“, Croatia 2000
What was your last prize?
Third prize at the Museo Diogenes Taborda, Argentina 2018
How do you find new ideas?
I am playing with thoughts and ideas in my head... sometimes when I am walking my dog, when I read something or when I see drawings I have made in the past. If something „drawable“ comes to my mind I start with sketching. At this point there may occur new ideas...
What's your idea about inevitable similarities?
There are thousands of cartoonists racking their brains every day – so similar ideas are inevitable. Many things you see go down to your subconsciousness and may emerge some day in different shape. That's no intentional plagiarism, rather bad luck... especially if Julian Pena-Pai or Louis Pol find out.
What do you think about plagiarism?
Intentional plagiarism is a poor undertaking and the disadvantages will be bigger than the benefit.
Who do you think is the best Iranian cartoonist?
There are so many... One of my favourites is Sajad Rafeei. He combines great ideas with sophisticated techniques.
Who is the best cartoonist in your country?
I like the works of Marian Kamensky.
Who do you think is the best foreign cartoonist?
I have always been a fan of Sempé from France, but I also like the woks of Michael Leunig from Australia. And of Victor Bogorad from Russia. And some others too..
What's the best cartoon that you've ever seen?
Maybe this one of Michael Leunig. Although it's rather sad... (02)
How much time do you pay for creating an artwork?
I cannot tell how much time it takes to find an idea. Sometimes it takes minutes, sometimes hours.
I am rather quick with drawing – also with colours.. it takes more time to finish it on the computer.
I use to work from morning to noon and later in the evening.
What are your tools and techniques for creating artwork?
I use to draw with fineliner on paper, sometimes wit pen and ink. Sometimes black and white is enough, sometimes I add watercolours. Finally I finish my work in photoshop.
Which software do you use?
Photoshop, sometimes Illustrator.
What's your recommendation to your colleagues?
Try to be the only jury you want to please.
What do you think about cartoon situation in the world?
Our world's situation is complicated, to say the least and so is the situation of cartooning.
It's different eyerywhere. Through pages like „Irancartoon“ and some others and through social media there is developing a worldwide movement of cartoonists and artists and we are able to learn from each other.
Did you ever have problems with your cartoons?
Not really. I once had a little problem with my father when one of my cartoons attacked teachers.
He was a teacher..
What was your best cartoon?
I still like this one... it was awarded at the Tourism Cartoon Contest, Turkey 2013. I sent it there, although I was afraid it could be understood the wrong way: Archaic ways of life delay progress.. that's not, what I wanted to say. (03)
Have you ever been jury member in a Cartoon Contest?
Yes I have...
2018 at 5th KalDerBursa International Cartoon Contest, Turkey 2018
What about caricature?
... sometimes I try.
Have you ever worked in cooperation with another artist?
Yes. I am happy to be member of the „Group of Worldwide Designers“, and there have been some initiatives to bring together designers to create posters in cooperation. I have been cooperating with artists from Mexico, Japan, Indonesia and Kosovo.
What's your idea about Irancartoon website?
I think it's one of the most profound websites, a rich source of information. Maybe it's one of the reasons for the flourishing Iranian cartoon-scene.
If you were born again what did you choose as your career?
One life is not enough to exploit your full potential as an artist.. so I would continue where I left..
What do you think is the boarder between cartoon and caricature?
Maybe there is a fluent transition... the cartoon tells a story about somebody who must not necessarily be a real person, the idea of a caricature is to strengthen the facial features of a real person.
What and when was your last exhibition?
During April 2018 there was an exhibition of my drawings in Timelkam / Upper Austria, the village where I was born. (04)
What's your description about cartoon?
A good cartoon should need no description: it's a combination of drawing, painting, story telling, maybe journalism, psychology, philosophy, humor, concern about mankind and the whole creation, concentrated into one or a few pictures...
Do you think an artist can have enough money by creating cartoon and caricature?
I can only tell about my country. It's possible although it's quite an adventure all through your life.
It's no disadvantage if you know how to deal with related media, like illustration or graphic design.
Who's your favourite artist except in cartoon world?
What was the last book you've read?
One of my favourite artists of the past is Olaf Gulbransson (1873-1958). I read his illustrated memories „Es war einmal / Und so weiter“ (5)
Do you think humor can be learned?
Humor is a natural gift, maybe you can refine or unveil it.. We can try to learn to understand the humor of different cultures..
What's your idea about Black Humor?
I like black humor.. it's the answer to an overregulated world which lost the ability to laugh at itself.
Who is the best artist in Black Humor?
One of my favorites was Edward Gorey.
What was your last performed Caricature?
It was a portrait or rather a caricature as a gift for a journalist who was about to retire. He was easy to draw as he was looking like a viking.
Dear Claus Pitter ,Many Thanks for your kind attention about your time and interview
Massoud Shojai Tabatabai