Ponnappa is one of the most well-known cartoonists of Karnataka. He has created a niche for his craft in a career spanning over two decades. This architect-turned-cartoonist has an excellent sense of humour which he expresses through his cartoons.
Ponnappa’s Early Life and Education
Ponnappa was born in the year 1948 in Mangalore. He completed his early education from Mangalore and Pune before moving to Chennai. He studied to graduate as an architect and then went to Chicago, USA for higher studies.
He is the grandson of Nadikerianda Chinnappa, a well-known compiler, poet and singer from Kodagu.
Ponnappa is a self-taught cartoonist who was interested in cartoons from his early childhood. He began to publish his cartoons in his college magazine.
Ponnappa started his career as an architect and worked as one from 1970 to 1981. During this time he worked in Chennai, Delhi, the US and Africa. After that he decided to give up his steady career as an architect to become a cartoonist. Accordingly, he left his regular job and settled down in Bangalore in 1982 to become a full time freelance cartoonist.
Over the years he was successful in earning the reputation of being an expert cartoonist. His daily cartoon ‘Offside’ is a regular feature of the local Times of India. He also contributes for the Economic Times. His cartoons have been a regular feature in Midday in Mumbai for the past 17 years.
Ponnappa’s Signature Style as a Cartoonist
Ponnappa has expertise in drawing cartoons belonging to almost all genres. However, his main focus is political genre in his line of work. He mainly loves to draw cartoons that convey social messages or provide entertainment through ‘comic strips’.
Over the years Ponnappa has developed his signature style of drawing cartoons. His cartoons are the result of a unique drawing style, use of language, satire, choice of subject, etc. He constantly challenges himself to innovate and produce a piece that is different from all the other pieces. One of his aims of drawing cartoons is to express the collective concerns of the general people and try to bring about changes in mass psyche.
Ponnappa organises workshops on cartooning to encourage the new entrants or aspirants wanting to enter the world of cartoonists. The workshops are generally held once a year and continue for 3 days. He usually trains around 20 people who are genuinely interested in cartooning.
His only pre-requisite for people who want to join the workshop is that they should have a passion for cartooning and they should possess good artistic skills. During the workshop Ponnappa imparts knowledge and tips on various aspects and techniques of cartooning.
As a cartoonist N. Ponnappa is considered to be among the top talents in India. He has been spreading smiles on the faces of people for many years now and it is expected that he will continue to do so for many more years to come.