Nur Firdaus Abdul Rahim
KUALA TERENGGANU, MALAYSIA
CARTOONIST Mohd Nor Khalid, or popularly known as Lat, regards Ramadhan not only as the most blessed month, but also the time of the year when he is able to get ideas and inspiration for his work.
Born on March 5, 1951, in Kota Bharu, Perak, Lat, who is known for his cartoon series the ‘Kampung Boy’, said the best time for him to focus on his cartoon work is after the subuh (morning) prayer.
“I can be said to have retired, as my work no longer appeared in the newspapers, but I do still draw just to pass the time and is working to produce a comic book soon.
“So, the best time for me to get ideas for my work is in the morning, when my mind is still fresh.
“During the fasting month, after the ‘sahur’ (pre-dawn meal) and Subuh prayer as well as doing other religious rituals, I’ll spend time until noon on my cartoon work. That’s the time when I can focus,” he told Bernama.
He was met during an event “Jelajah Potret Penerima Anugerah Merdeka” by Petronas Gallery at the State Museum here recently. Lat is one of the recipients of the award. He received it in 2014.
On how he got himself into becoming a cartoonist, Lat said he had the skill since young and his father was the first person to discover his talent. He said most of his work was influenced by local cartoonists at that time like Raja Hamzah, Alias Kulub, Raja Sulaiman and Saidin Yahya.
“My father was the one who actually encouraged me. I remember during my childhood days, he would take us to the circus and when we got home, asked me to draw the animals which performed at the circus.
“That was how my interest in drawing started and it then progressed into drawing cartoons,” he added. The winner of the 2002 Fukuoka Asian Culture Award has so far published more than 20 cartoon series.
The first when he was 13 years of age. Most of his work depicts the life of the multi-racial society in Malaysia. Referring to “Kampung Boy”, he said it was based on his personal observation, life and experience.
“I don’t know how to create political stories because it is not an element that can last in the cartoon world.
“I prefer elements that are more remembered by the people, like friendship, neighbours and living in a society,” he added. He said the role of a cartoonist was not merely to produce work for people to view.
“At the same time, a cartoonist should be an agent to unite the people, especially in a country with various races, only then there is harmony,” he added.
Sunday, July 10, 2016