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Interview with Saeed Shams

Interview with Saeed Shams

Saeed Shams was born in 1989. He has started working in graphic fields in an advertising agency since 2006.

He was interested in designing and painting so he started it seriously.

He majored in animation associate’s degree in 2011. Then he worked in press, animation projects and caricature.

He attended several domestic and foreign festivals and awarded some prizes too. We have interviewed him and you can read it as follow:

How did you become a cartoonist?

- I started artworks with oil painting. When I was a student, I illustrated and designed character. I always liked caricature and I exercised and I was interested in it more and worked seriously and I spent much time on it.

What was your first cartoon? Do you remember it?

- I think I attended in national gas company festival.

When and where did your first work publish?

- It was a motion comics that it was displayed on TV in 2010.

What was your dream in childhood?

- My dream was to become a pilot like other children.

Now, what do you wish for?

- I wish to be a durable artist.

What was your first prize?

-  It was the third prize of International Ending of Daesh cartoon and caricature festival.

What was your last prize?

- It was special prize of International Trumpism 2 festival.

What’s your last work?

- It is a collection of world scientists’ caricature, and I design it for an educational journal.

Do you work digitally or manually?

- I design the projects digitally but sometimes I design manually or paint with oil paint.

What tool and application, do you use?

- I usually use Photoshop and painter.

What is the most important element that you emphasize in creating your works?

- I try to use accurate exaggeration. I think, in drawing face caricature, besides idea and content of a caricature, similarity, exact exaggeration and showing the inner and outer manner of a character is important too.

Is it important for you to connect with the audiences?

- The audience gives an artist positive energy for working. I try to design my work for attracting audiences and their views are important to me.

Do you regard the durability of the work or the range of audiences?

- If a work can attract audience attention, it will be durable. So, audience attraction is significant for me.

Is it possible to teach the caricature and cartoon?

- Yes it is.

What about caricature and cartoon idea?

- It is possible to teach the idea but it depends on the person himself and depends on how he sees or thinks. However, all of them can be reinforced by education.

Have you been taught cartoon or caricature?

- No, I haven’t but I try to learn from great people and I follow their works. I read their interviews and advices. Totally, I always try to learn everything.

Which is the most important to you Technique or idea?

- Both of them are determining and important.

How ideas are formed in your mind?

- When I want to start a work, I think about the idea and I study about the subject or the person.

How do you select a technique after you create an idea?

- At first, I scratch some lines manually, then I test the color by software and choose the best between them.

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

- I consider the exaggeration and details of facial features more than others. At the same time, I try the content of work doesn’t become too complex to convey the content hardly.

How long do you usually work on a caricature?

- It usually depends on the amount of time I have. If I have enough time, it takes a week or 10 days.

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

- They don’t relate to each other, an idea may be very complex but it is executed very simple and vice versa. I usually work on detail even though the idea don’t be very complex.

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

_ Very much, because I am encouraged and I get positive energy. Also, I can visit many great caricaturists. All of these have positive effect on my work and creating new works.

Apart from form, execution, and technique, what can you do with cartoon, caricature and animation and which approach do you have for their subjects?

- It is depends on the project or festival. It is variable in different conditions but I try to satisfy my work and I don’t consider it easily and I work powerfully.

In your opinion, how much a work should rely on form and idea, and content?

- Form, idea or content are important and they are like a puzzle that complete each other. So a work includes all of these element, definitely, it is durable and great work.

Do you prefer one of these more important than the others?

- I think all of the elements are important in a durable and good work. But sometimes a work includes just humor and nice appearance so, we can prefer one of them.

What is the relationship between the form and content in your designs in terms of companionship?

- Form and content have a direct relationship. If an artist understands the content well, he can match the content and form together, and he can attract the viewer too.

What is your favorite visual arts beside cartoon and caricature? Do you have any experience?

- I like music and playing it but I don’t have this chance yet.

How much is the media aspect of cartoon and caricature important to you?

- It’s a lot, because media has a significant role in cartoon and caricature. I try to become in this area and I display my works using it.

What can be done about the artistic nature of a work that it isn’t impressed by media aspect and its messaging mission?

- It is hard for an artist who earns a living through art, because, sometimes some works are ordered that it doesn’t have a good theme. So, an artist should decide to do it or not. I personally believe that we shouldn’t accept a work, we don’t like it.

How much have the cartoons and caricatures dependent or independent of the day issues?

- Cartoon is related to the day issues directly and all its ideas are based on social issues. And it is also about the caricature. However, if we want to design the face of a person, sometimes we need to show his inner characteristics, that it is based on social and day issues.

What points should a cartoonist and caricaturist consider in his works?

- Caricature is a cultural tools and I think we should say the fact and we should be clear and honest.

Does a cartoonist and caricaturist soften the bitter issues by humor or makes them ridiculous? What is your approach about it?

- A caricature should be logically and intelligently and it depends on artist view. Some caricatures are just funny, but others convey important message besides exaggeration and humorous concepts. I try to convey my message shortly, simply and honestly besides exaggeration and humor to the audiences.

Who is the best foreign caricaturist in your opinion?

- Sebastian Kruger from Germany.

And among Iranian artists?

- Mr.Hossein Safi.

Image and visual aspect is the main material and nature of cartoon and caricature, cinema and photography, so, what is the point of the intersection of them?

- Painting have had a great effect on forming and developing cinema, like the cartoons and comics narrate a story. Also, in cinema lighting, perspective, scene designing is similar to the painting. Today, photography helps painters and caricaturists a lot, because they don’t have to need work on live model.

What is the point of the intersection of cartoon and caricature with other visual arts? And what are their differences?

- Cartoon and caricature includes many arts, so a caricaturist should know painting, designing, color and animation well until he can create an effective and great work.

Is the nature of an animation based upon cartoon and caricature or it has other nature? What relations have they with animation?

- In fact, cartoons and caricatures have great effect on animation evolution. We can see the composition, lighting and exaggeration both in animation and cartoon clearly. Exaggeration and fantastic is the most important similarities between animation and cartoon.

What is the best movie have you ever seen?

- Green Mile by Frank Darabont

Who is the best Iranian and foreign actor in your opinion?

- Ezzat allah Entezami and Tom Hanks.

What is the best book have you ever read?

- The art of thinking clearly

Which Iranian artist do you most in contact with?

- I contact with many artist in social media.

What is your opinion about Iran Cartoon Website?

- It’s a comprehensive, complete and professional website.

Do you have any comment?

- I appreciate Iran cartoon website and my artistic friends in cartoon and caricature fields. I hope Iranian artists improve more than before and shining at international arena.

Thank you for spending time with us.

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