Shahab Jaafarnezhad is a cartoonist and caricaturist. He was born in Tehran. He started his activities with the press and he cooperated with magazines, newspapers and different websites in 1997. Up to now, he’s had different positions such as the service secretary, designer, art manager, and member of the editorial board in different media and newspapers.
Lucky break in Shahab Jaafarnezhad works is the frequency of his portrait caricatures. One of most important event in his work was field exhibition including portrait caricatures of the famous actors and athletes for 30th Fajr film festival in Shahrak Gharb in 2018. He drew the full length of the some celebrity caricatures and exposed them to the public, many artists saw and welcomed them.
Mr.Jaafarnezhad is always considered because of his serious presence in press cartoon and caricature and his different activities in art fields. Recently, he awarded the second prize of the year’s sticker that it was 2400$. We have interviewed him and you can read it as follow:
How did you become a cartoonist?
- I read humor and caricature magazines such as Gol Agha and Keyhan caricature. So, I was interested in cartoon and caricature. I redrew Mr.Alizadeh’s work several times until I learned how to draw.
What was your first cartoon? Do you remember it?
- I can’t remember it because I drew fantastic works.
When and where did your first work publish?
- It was published in Donya_e_Tanz magazine in 1997. It was about two wrestler who were wrestling for falling coin.
What was your dream in childhood?
- I liked to work in caricature and humor magazine that they were published very much.
Now, what do you wish for?
- Now I would like to have an animation and movie studio that I cooperate with professional persons. But unfortunately there are too many expenses and it isn’t possible for me.
What was your first prize?
- It was 24$ and a certification of a student festival in 2001.
What was your last prize?
- It was the second prize of the year’s sticker in January 2020.
What’s your last work?
- I made 20 music videos for a famous artist but now I can’t manifest his name, because this project doesn’t inform yet.
Do you work digitally or manually?
- I haven’t worked manually for a long time and I draw digitally because I can draw fast and with better quality.
What tool and application, do you use?
- I draw with light pen and Photoshop. Unfortunately, I don’t know other tools and softwares.
What is the most important element that you emphasize in creating your works?
- It is different in each work. The most important element in caricature is similarity. Subject and content and triggering the audiences are important in a cartoon. In making video, scenario and the quality of pictures is significant.
Is it important for you to connect with the audiences?
- I consider the audience until I remain in the art area and maintain the quality. I never think low quality works to attract the audience.
Which is the most important for you, the durability of the work or the range of audiences?
- Durability is definitely important to me. However If a work is durable, it is able to attract the audience too.
Is it possible to teach the caricature and cartoon?
- Yes, it is. But this job needs love and enough time. Finding an idea depends on dynamic mind and presence of mind to the world around and it hasn’t certain rule.
Have you been taught cartoon or caricature?
- I haven’t been taught academically but I attend in Mr.Hossein Safi classes and they were very useful class and I appreciate him very much.
Which is the most important to you Technique or idea?
- If you want to create a durable work, you must pay attention to both idea and technique.
How ideas are formed in your mind?
- I think a lot about subjects and I avoid to select the first subject. I try to get a different and innovative idea in a short time.
How do you select a technique after you create an idea?
- Each subject should create in different technique, for example some subjects should create simple or some complex. Subject determines the type of technique.
What is the main feature of your works in terms of form, execution, and content?
- I use color in my works very much and visual attraction is very important to me.
How long do you usually work on a caricature?
- It depends on who orders the work. For example, for press I have only 2 hours to design and send the works. But if I have enough time I do my works better.
Is the simplicity or complexity of the form, related to the complexity or simplicity of the idea too?
- Subject determines how a work should be designed.
How effective are the awards and participating in domestic and foreign festivals, in developing your works?
- I’m not much of a prize and I rarely participated in the contests. I believe that an artist can’t improve in festivals. It is possible to improve in media and more popular areas where we have more audiences.
Apart from form, execution, and technique, what can you do with cartoon, caricature and animation and which approach do you have for their subjects?
- My most significant mind factor in designing cartoon is expressing my opinion, and I try to design logically. In critical animation, mental and moral honesty is important to me.
In your opinion, how much a work should rely on form and idea, and content?
- At first, form and idea attracts the audience, then content causes the durability of the design.
Do you prefer one of these more important than the others?
- If a design should transmit a point to the audiences, I consider both of them and I don’t prefer one over the other.
What is the relationship between the form and content in your designs in terms of companionship?
- I consider both of them, if the subject is important and serious but in simple and humor subjects, I don’t involve it.
What is your favorite visual arts beside cartoon and caricature? Do you have any experience?
- I like making video a lot and I’ve done it since two years ago.
What is the importance of media in cartoon and caricature?
- I have worked in media for about 22 years. I think media plays major role for a cartoonist and caricaturist because he can directly connect people.
What can be done about artistic nature of a work doesn’t impress by media aspect and its messaging mission?
- We should avoid accepting the orders that they have a tendency to show off.
How much cartoons and caricatures have dependence or independence of day to day issues?
- They depend on each other very much and we don’t separate them.
How is the main attitude of cartoonist and caricaturist to the issues?
- It must be fair and without precipitancy and fanaticism, and of course, it is created by consciousness.
Do cartoonist and caricaturist soften bitter issues by humor or make them ridiculous? What is your approach about it?
- A cartoonist doesn’t show the issues ridiculous but he soften them by humor. Sometimes, he tries to make it bitterer. It depends how we can tease it.
I know you are busy making video music and designing new character now. Do you use cartoon art in your works?
- In music video I usually work on real space and it is less fantastic but sometimes it happens and I use it.
Who is the best foreign caricaturist in your opinion?
- Sebastian Kruger, Sempe, Quino
And among Iranian artists?
- Hosein Safi and Ali Radmand
What is the common point of the cartoon and caricature with cinema and photography?
- Serial cartoons are very close to the cinema area and they are based on the scenario and camera movements and it is along with cinematic surprise. Also in photography, if there is no photo, it isn’t possible create something spontaneously.
Is nature of the animation based upon cartoon and caricature? What relationship they have with animation?
- The nature of the animation is based on fantasy so, it needs cartoon and caricature designing.
What is the best movie have you ever seen?
- Gladiator by Ridley Scott and Hamoon by Darush Mehrjooee.
Who is the best Iranian and foreign actor in your opinion?
- Marlon Bernardo and Khosro Shakibaee.
What is the best book have you ever read?
- Animal Farm by George Orwell.
Which Iranian artist do you most in contact with?
- I have many friends but I love Mr.Kianian very much.
Thank you for spending time with us.