Dr. Smitha Bhandare Kamat is educationist, Cartoonist and Columnist based in Goa, India. She’s in the teaching profession for over two decades and has many awards to her credit including the State Award (2018)Government of Goa. She’s into cartooning since 2009, where she started contributing for local media houses and moved on to international level events and exhibitions. She has successfully organised two global online cartoon events She has received much appreciation and several awards too at international contests ( Toons mag Norway, Birkitabindost etc) and has been featured in le Crayon ( France) and Turkey TV. She has authored four books on creative writings (Fiction) including one on socio-political cartooning. She also writes for local and global e mags such as Goa Today, Herald and Global Goans. She conducts free workshops for street kids and marginalised section of society
– Dr. Smitha Bhandare Kamat views on art, cartooning and challenges associated with IndiaToons: We are indeed fortunate to enjoy the rich culture of art, architecture and sculpture in India. Our ancestors were very talented and patrons of skill and creativity. They have left behind marvellous and varied forms of art for us. Be it the Ajanta Ellora caves, wonderful temples like Khajuraho, Meenakshi Amman, the musical pillars of Hampi, the Sun Temple are but a few of the incredible master pieces amongst a long list of marvels. Some of the world masterpieces too are found here and includes the Taj Mahal, Monolithic Gomateshwara Statue, Konark Sun temple etc. When we make a mention of paintings, particularly folk painting, we have the appealing and incidentally my personal favourite- Madhubani art, as also Worli art, Kalamkari, Phad, Ghond, Tanjore etc which till date have survived the tests of times and have carved a niche for themselves on a global scale. Coming to the contemporary times, it is indeed heartening to observe the culture of cartooning is getting established in India. Cartooning is gaining popularity like never before, thanks to the role of social media. The biggest challenge it faces is not lack of material, or resources but memes. Technology has given a boost to the artist to enhance and showcase their work. Innumerable apps, tools and techniques have helped the artist to present their idea more effectively to garner and sustain the interests of the viewers. But nothing can replace the pen on paper work of the masters. We have had innumerable talented cartoonists who have left their footprints in the sands of time. My all time personal favourite is the legendary Mario Miranda, who also incidentally happens to be from my own state-Goa. I love the social cultural documentation he had undertaken. His incredible pictorial depiction especially of the village, villagers along with the customs and traditions which he has left for posterity is is not just voluminous but moreover exceptional . I love not only his lucid poetic style of capturing events, but also effectively reproducing the varied expression of his subjects. Be it humans or those from the animal world. His works reflects his liking for the animals be it cats, dogs, pigs, fowl which he has incorporated in his works by equally absorbing and incorporating their comical expressions. Let me conclude that Indiatoons entry in the toon world is very apt and most welcome. We need such encouraging platform to ensure artists finds medium to showcase their talents and creativity. It also serves as an important link to connect cartoonists and artists world over, as one family. It is a proud moment for every Indian that we have a magazine that will cover, issues beyond the regular social, political and environmental ones. I take this opportunity to wish Indiatoons a very successful and fruitful journey ahead.