Neelima Nivedita, a female caricature artist from Odisha
Bhubaneswar: While flipping through the pages of a newspaper we often come across a cartoon based on various issues or themes. In Odisha, most of these cartoonists are male who excelled in the field and have created a name for themselves.
However, recently a female cartoonist is making a buzz in the cartoon world of Odisha. A journalist, poet, story writer, and now a cartoonist, Neelima Nevadita wears many hats.
Not a trained cartoonist, however in a short period Neelima has created a name as a female caricature artist in Odisha.
It was during the Covid-19 period she rekindled her childhood love for drawing. She was doing normal sketches and posting on social media platforms where people appreciated her attempt. However, it was Dwiti Chandra Sahu who recognised her talent and motivated her to try her hand at cartoons.
“Caricature happened by chance. To drain myself with all the negative thoughts, I started drawing. I posted them on social media and people appreciated my attempt. One day Dwiti Chandra Sahu Sir called me and told me that I have a good drawing hand and I should focus on one category instead of doing miscellaneous work. He motivated me to take cartoons as it’s fun, can convey a message and it has better scope,” shared Neelima.
For me he is a real guru who guided me to explore the art form, she added.
Neelima has been making caricatures of people since 2021. Her works are being appreciated by everyone, many approach her to create their caricature. “In a short period I polished my skill and now I get commissioned work which I love to do,” she said.
Neelima used to love drawing in her childhood. After plus two examinations she wanted to pursue a degree course in arts from BK College of Arts in Bhubaneswar. “My parents didn’t like the idea as it had no scope at that time, so I pursued B.Sc. and later did MCA. I joined the software sector but due to family issues I left that job,” she shared.
She wanted to have a career in the IT sector but destiny had different plans for her. Before turning to a cartoon she tried her hands at different fields.
In her late 30’s, she has published two books in Odia, a poetry collection titled ‘Nila Nirabata’, and a story ‘Baki ta Bektigata’.
Writing also happened accidentally. After leaving various jobs and not getting professional satisfaction, she started feeling depressed. To ease and calm herself, she started writing poems for fun and started sharing them on social media. “It gave me an identification as a writer and motivated me to continue writing. Gradually I also started writing short stories, columns, and articles,” she shared.
Her writing skills landed her in journalism. She started working as Sub-editor in an Odia magazine. She also pursued a degree in journalism and cleared in 2021.
She is planning to pursue her career as a caricature cartoonist. “I am focusing on caricature only. In India, only a few artists do caricature works. I want to do caricature works of common people whom no one knows,” she said.
In 2022, she participated in a cartoon exhibition held in Bhubaneswar organized by the Cartoon artists association of Odisha. She was the only female cartoonist who participated in that event. “While all the other cartoonists exhibited their issue-based, theme-based cartoon works, I was the only cartoonist who exhibited caricature work,” she informed.
Her works have been also included in the recently inaugurated Cartoon Museum at Pune University. The museum is the brainchild of the famous cartoonist and illustrator Suraj Eskay Sriram. “I feel happy to be part of that museum,” she added.