Nanjunda Swamy, a native of Shivamogga, is a relatively new entrant to the world of Karnataka’s cartoonists. Known for his vigour and enthusiasm, he has evolved as a fine cartoonist and caricaturist in a very short span of time. Creating cartoons and caricatures on a daily basis, his work reaches out and amuses people through the social media and many popular newspapers in the country.
Swamy’s father was an artist and painter. As a child, Swamy grew up in an artistic environment and naturally his father became his first art teacher. Later, he went on to study the nuances of traditional art and drawing under the guidance and tutelage of master sculptor K Jnaneshwar.
Nanjunda Swamy practiced both commercial and traditional art in Shivamogga. It was during those years that he was closely associated with other artists such as Ramadhyani, Megaravalli Subramanya, James Vaz and others. Having made a mark in commercial art in Shivamogga, it was in his fiftieth year that he moved to Bengaluru. And thus began his foray into cartooning. Many casual cartoons and caricatures which were shared on social media and websites caught the attention of stalwarts in the field and overnight their encouragement began to flow.
It was Megaravalli Subramanya who first identified and appreciated the new style of Swami’s cartoons, which was further promoted by James Vaz, a veteran artist of ‘Taranga’ magazine. It was James Vaz who helped create the pen name “Nanjunda Swamy” for YSN.
Apart from them, some of Karnataka’s most famous & senior cartoonists such as Gujjar, Narendra, V.R.C . Shekhar, Prakash Shetty, Naganath & Satish Acharya have all had their influence on Swamy. Also, members of various cartoonist groups have been instrumental in giving a feedback and fine tuning Swamy’s skill. If it wasn’t for them, it would not be possible for him to create more than a thousand cartoons and over two hundred caricatures within a short span of four years, feels Swamy. His wife Manjula and son Pranav are not only a great source of strength but are also his first and most ardent critics. Nanjunda Swamy has also participated and won in many online caricature contests such as International Caricature Spirit Contest (india), Traditional Caricature Art Contest and Vyangya Tharanga Caricature Contest.
Though I enjoyed watching Shankar Pillay’s cartoons, it was my good fortune to have had close contact & the guidance of Shri Narendra, a veteran cartoonist of Karnataka who worked with Shri Shankar Pillay.
The national and international cartoon exhibitions that are constantly held in the Indian Cartoon Gallery have been a great source of inspiration. The gallery and the interactions with members have been very useful to me. What greater happiness can I ask for than to have my cartoon exhibition in this very gallery?