You will be fascinated by the array of artwork based on human faces created by Sanket Lawande. He is a caricaturist based in Marcela, Goa, and graduated from Goa College of Art, Altinho, Panjim, with a degree in Applied Arts.
He is currently teaching art at the Government High School, Morlem, Sattari, in addition to taking on caricature and design projects.
He began his artistic journey at a very young age, but he claims that his abilities were strangely overpowered by studies. He did, however, occasionally paint and draw in his spare time.
He says, “My parents have been very supportive throughout, especially my father, who is also an artist and has motivated me to draw ever since I was a kid.”
After graduating from Goa College of Art in 2015, for three years, Sanket performed in theatre and worked as a graphic designer. Since then, he has illustrated children's books, textbooks and newspaper editorials. Only recently, he began with the art of caricature.
While most creatives are night owls, Sanket is an exception. He likes to work in the early morning, when his mind is clear and has an internal drive to bring out ideas on paper.
He tells us about his source of ideas for caricature art, saying, “People! People inspire me.
Everyday faces. Faces of all kinds. Initially, I began drawing portraits of film stars and national leaders. That fascination grew as I became more and more interested in studying facial features.”
He continues, saying, “I spent a lot of time outdoors noticing and observing people, their traits, their character and their behaviour which eventually turned into an obsession with drawing caricatures.”
Sanket is experimenting with various mediums, but he says “currently, watercolour — one of the most tricky yet fun mediums” is his favourite.
He further adds, “Most of my artworks are traditional, which allows me to experiment with various other mediums and styles. Inks, gouache, poster colours, acrylic and pencil colours are some of my favourite mediums to work with.”
Sanket expresses himself through his work. And, in addition to striving to improve with mediums and hone his skills, his primary goal is to enhance a person's fundamental qualities, creating a different version of them with a dash of humour and obtaining the much-desired grins on their faces.
He has been part of the second edition of Illustrators and Cartoonists of Goa 2019 where Goa’s prominent illustrators and cartoonists had on display some of their finest works. He has also participated in state art exhibitions and different national-level exhibitions.
Sanket was a part of the recently concluded Kalavishkar 2023 organised by Samraat Club Marcela, where a group of young and veteran artists from Marcela exhibited their best.
Describing himself as an artist he says, “I’m a very impulsive person, but when it comes to art, I try to be very patient. I believe in giving it the adequate amount of time it requires.”
Talking about his process, he adds, “Everything starts with a rough sketch. Initially, I sketch out shapes. Then I select the most suitable one and go further with the detailing. Most of the time, the colour medium I choose depends on the mood of the design or the requirement of the client or an idea/concept I have chosen to work on. Sometimes I do refer to different art books and guides. Listening to music while drawing also helps with the process.”
Sanket declares that pretty faces are the hardest to draw. He says, “The textbook definition of a caricature is finding the most prominent feature or features on the face and exaggerating them to the point that it creates a parody of the subject or a person you are drawing. It takes extra effort and time to exaggerate a perfectly aligned face and find the likeness.”
He defines very beautifully what art is for him in the following manner, “Art evokes emotion and enables people to introspect and reflect. In today’s world where people get easily offended and become conscious about their physicalities, caricature as a medium allows us to accept one’s flaws and celebrate and laugh at them.”
“We tend to lose consciousness in a polarised world where there are many differences among people in terms of religion, opinion and ideals. To regain the lost humanity in oneself, art is an essential aspect of life. So, never stop creating art,” he advises.
Just like every Goan cartoonist/artist is greatly inspired by Mario Miranda, Sanket is heavily influenced by his style.
He recollects, “In the 12th Std is when I first was introduced to his work and started imitating his drawings. I was very much fascinated by the top characters he drew, which made me dive into the world of caricature. Social media exposed me to a variety of different artists across the world which had a major influence on my art. Jan Op De Beeck, Joaquin Aldeguer and Thomas Fluharty are some of my favourite caricature artists in the world.”
Speaking of his experience of illustrating cover pages of books, covers of CDs and the frames that he has been commissioned to do, he says, “For me illustrating books is my most favourite thing to do, rather than drawing caricatures for people and clients. While illustrating them, there’s freedom and enough room for creativity, and sometimes you get the time to experiment with your style.”
He continues, “Whereas, when it comes to doing caricature commissions for customers, there are quite a few challenges you face. First of all, every person perceives caricatures differently. You have to make your customer aware of the style and the process. Sometimes the clients bombard you with changes one after another, or make you change the whole design itself at the last minute. Being a traditional artist, it gets tiring and time-exhausting.”
Agreeing that there are no shortcuts in caricature art, Sanket advises young artists saying, “Just keep at it. You have to take the long exhausting route to reach your desired destination. One of the most underrated qualities of being an artist is having patience, being honest with your work and no hesitation to commit mistakes. Keep drawing – practice makes you progress.”
Sanket plans to hold an exhibition of his caricatures, illustrations and paintings, displaying a range of works dating back to his undergraduate years, when he was just starting out, and he will include all his unpublished works.
(Carlos Luis is a priest belonging to the Society of the Catholic
Apostolate (Pallottine) and is currently studying for a licentiate
degree in Moral Theology. He comments on social and moral issues.)