Jayanto Banerjee

'Vipin's Guitar' by Vipin Mishra

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It all started when a bunch of bullies forced me to draw as they dictated on an unusual subject and a weird medium. The canvas was the girl's bathroom in my school, Christ Church School then, now a college, situated in the heart of Hazratgang, Lucknow's upmarket hub. 'Princee' (the school Principal obviously) knew of my abilities as an artist as did some of the girls in my class, so it was I who got caned in front of the girls, who blushed further.

Ever since, cartooning has landed me in various situations, mostly tight spots! Later, as a teenager struggling for freelance work in Delhi, I landed in a children's magazine, headed by an unmarried, puritan British editor. She was horrified at the kind of women I used to draw and when I explained that it was for lack of visual experience of the female anatomy, she promptly sent me to one of her dear friends ~a lady who was a great illustrator and artist~ for further study of the anatomy!

Well, things moved on and so did I, finally to the leading newsmagazine in India, India Today. I worked on many projects here-politics, business, technology-but working on the lifestyle magazine of the publishing house was quite an experience. Here I could put my years of anatomical study to full use, and flaunt the title of a 'sex specialist'.

Looking back on 20 years of drawing, I feel what I enjoyed the most was conceptualizing and drawing comic strips for children, and doing the story on fun subjects with a little message ~ social or environmental...

I have traveled from Lucknow, in Uttar Pradesh, the cow belt of India to the capital. My NGO friends took me to the deserts of Rajasthan to help illustrate a book on conservation and desert farming techniques-it taught me a lot about how people survive in such tough conditions.

Quite late in life, I got married to a very dear friend of mine who has spent lot of her prime time in correcting my drafts and proof-reading my scripts, including this one. She is a writer and a very creative person ~ she created my married life and our two-year-old daughter. My father, now a snow-bearded old man, was a cartoonist and my mother, a fine artist.

I live in Delhi, next to a beautiful (despite a lot of mosquitoes!) lake, at a place called Mayur Vihar, and have recently shifted jobs from India Today, one of India's premier news-weeklies, to the Asian Age, a top Indian daily newspaper.

My works are generally all begun with traditional pen/brush and ink, which I then scan, colorize and finish in a computer.

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Jayanto Banerjee
Infographics & Illustration
The Asian Age
D-27, South Extension, Part II
New Delhi - 110 049 (INDIA)