Mohammad Hossein Akbari was born in 1983 in Jahrom and has a diploma in technical drawing. Akbari has been working as a cartoonist and caricaturist for about 15 years and has received more than 80 national and international awards, including: The prize of the International School Cartoon Festival- Portugal, the first prize of VIII Graphic Humor Contest 2020 Elda Alicante -Spain, the first prize of International Cartoon Festival- Indonesia 2020, the first prize of the International Gas Cartoon Festival-Iran 2010, the third prize of International Biennial Cartoon of Tehran (theme: Fear 2009), the third prize of International Tunzmag Cartoon- Norway, and Silver Medal of the World Cartoon Festival of Azerbaijan 2021.
Here is our interview:
- Please tell us about the International School Cartoon Festival- Portugal, 2021, what was the theme?
- The theme was "violating human rights" (peace, justice, gender equality, combating abuse, exploitation, contraband and all kinds of violence and torture of human beings) and so on. The theme I chose was gender equality.
- Did you create this before or that was special for the festival?
- I drew that a few months ago. In my opinion, an artist who participates in the festivals should always have an archive of good cartoons.
- What are you working on these days?
- Besides creating cartoons and caricatures, I design vases, in which I inspired by historic sites and Ab Anbars (cisterns in south of Iran).
- Tell us a little about your artwork that entered the Fajr Visual Festival / Cartoon section in 2021.
- This cartoon was one of my new pieces and I was very optimistic about it when it was created because it contained many standards of a good cartoon. Besides good ideas and performance, creating cartoon needs the right use of humor, metaphor, contradiction, conceptualization and communication with the audience that can be very effective. After all, in this cartoon, worms, which have always been a delicious food for chickens, have trapped the chicken, because of chicken laziness.
- What was the last prize you received?
- The Fajr Cartoon Festival of Kurdistan, 2021, the theme was American human rights.
- It seems that you often participate in festivals and contests. Do you mostly consider yourself a festival cartoonist?
- You are right, but I only participated in 50% or 60% of the festivals. I consider myself an exhibition and popular cartoonist because people use most of my works in shops, supermarkets, real estate agencies, hairdressers, etc. Of course, attending festivals is very exciting, but I thank God that I have been able to share the art to the people so that they can enjoy too.
- What was the most important award you received?
- The first prize of Fars Province Cartoon Festival- 2009, because it was a great motivation for me.
- Of course, you have received prestigious international awards. I think you mean Fars Festival was the most influential one, am I right?
- Yes. That's right. My best award was the first prize of the Alicante International Cartoon Festival, Spain, 2020.
- What do you consider in terms of form, technique, coloring, design in creating the work?
- I refer to the paintings I drew when I was a child. For a long time I followed the works of Pawel Korzeniowski, a prominent Polish cartoonist, and also Alessandro Gatto and Agim Sulaj. In my opinion, a good cartoon should have a good performance and a very good idea in order to be more effective to the audience! All I have is a simple drawing board, a pack of 24 crayons, a pencil and a few pieces of paperboards. I got most of my ideas by inspiration.
- How did you learn cartoons and caricatures? Who most influenced your success?
- I have never had a teacher. Of course, my mother's encouragement and my own perseverance; But I need to thank the Mr. Saeed Sadeghi, my dear friend and fellow citizen, here. Another person who has been very influential in my recent success is my niece, Dr. Forough Mousavifard, and Iran Cartoon House.
Thank you for your time.