Shubhajeet Dey, a.k.a. Calmchor, is a digital illustrator and a 2D animator based in Delhi. His animations and comics are fun, quirky, relatable, and a scroll through his Instagram feed will definitely make you laugh your heart out!
After finishing his BSC in animation and VFX, Shubhajeet Dey, aka Calmchor, started working in a healthcare creative agency. But, unlike his expectations, everything at his office was new and completely different than what was taught to him in his college. The unrealistic deadlines, long working hours, and some tough seniors made it difficult for Shubhajeet to continue at his first job. And, so one day, out of frustration, he drew a 4-panel comic on a corporate topic and posted it on his social media.
"After a few days, one of my colleagues shared an image on my WhatsApp. When I opened it, I was completely shocked, as it was the same corporate comic I had drawn a few days back. And, it was with someone else's watermark. So, I told my colleague about this, and he suggested I open an Instagram page where I can post such comics. That's how my journey started, and I became a comic artist on Instagram", says Shubhajeet.
After this, Shubhajeet kept posting comics on his page and decided to name it "Mister Doodle". But then came across another artist who had the same name, and that's how Calmchor was born. "As all my posts are about Indian real-life scenarios, I decided to keep the name in Hindi. I opened google and translated the word "Doodle" into Hindi. The translation that appeared on the screen was kaamchor. So, without giving it a second thought, I named my page as Calmchor", he says.
Today Calmchor features a great combination of reels and fun comics. Some of his reels have even crossed a million views and are so good that they can be watched over and over again. But what makes them this entertaining? Well, it's the illustration style and a nostalgic touch of the cartoons that Shubhajeet adds to each of his creations.
"I do flat illustration style with single solid colours, and make them weirdly cute(weird+cute). I love creating weird characters with big faces, abnormal eyes, and everything unrealistic. Also, I am a big fan of cartoon series like Ed, Edd and Eddy, Real monsters, and SpongeBob. So, these are the few shows from where I take my inspiration", Dey says.
Finding inspiration from cartoons to collaborating with Cartoon Network is definitely a big achievement. Working for CN's show "Ekans" was like a dream come true for Shubhajeet, as Cartoon Network has been an essential part of his childhood. "Growing up watching cartoons like courage the cowardly dog, looney toons, Powerpuff girls, and many others, I had never thought I would ever get a chance to work with them. But, I did and worked on their promotional project for their newly launched show Ekans. They were asking artists to show their creativity and draw their version of "super snake". It was an enjoyable learning experience for me", shares Shubhajeet.
Other than Cartoon Network, Mr. Calmchor has also collaborated with Alt Balaji, Disney, Hotstar, and Bingo. "It took me four days to finish the illustration I created for Alt Balaji's Paurashpur , as there were many details. It was quite complicated, but also something very fun. The final output worked very well, and became everyone's favourite, including mine", he says.
Calmchor is definitely a pitaara of creativity! How does this creativity shape into entertaining posts, and how does he come up with such fun ideas we ask, to which Shubhajeet says, "All the ideas that I put into my artworks came from my surroundings only. I observe things a lot. I watch many web series and movies based on Indian life stories from where I get a lot of inspiration for my cartoons. All I can say is observation is the key. The more you observe, the more you get different ideas", he adds.
But then there are also times when Shubhajeet runs out of ideas and faces creative block. To solve this problem, Shubhajeet makes sure that he takes small breaks. "Just like our body, our brain needs rest too. So whenever I go to creative block, I stop thinking about everything and either go for a short trip or take a deep sleep. Pressurizing your mind while going through a creative block can worsen the situation. So take a deep breath, and give your brain some quality time", he explains.
Since Shubhajeet is a 2D animator, we couldn't help but ask what made him take up animation as a career. He says it's pure magic, an entire world within, and one can show and do things that can only be dreamt of. "It won't be possible to ride a unicorn in real life, right? But through animation, it's possible, and I think that's beautiful", he explains.
But at the same time, it's a time-consuming job and requires a lot of patience. Each video has its own journey, a separate creative process, and Shubhajeet is definitely in love with it. "We have to play with millions of frames to create 5-minute animation, but it will always be worth the wait when you see the final output", he smiles.
The process of creating animation videos is all tiring, but with the support of his dear ones, Shubhajeet does it every day. "Everyone supported me a lot. But, then there are some people who believe productive work can only be done by sitting behind a computer. So, I have to prove them wrong and tell them that even if a person scribbles on a notebook, can also be very productive", he says.
And, so Shubhajeet likes to keep working and is not planning to stop. He also appreciates the love he receives and has many sweet memories. "There is a delivery guy I know. One day, my package was delayed for some reason, but he somehow managed to deliver it at 12 am. I told him there was no need to come this late, and that it could have been done tomorrow too. To which he gently replied, " Sir, I thought the package was important and had something essential". I was overwhelmed! So, I created a cartoon portrait of him and gifted him later. I still remember seeing the happiness and joy in his eyes", says Shubhajeet while smiling.
1. Your favourite Indian animators and comic artists: I love RG Bucket List as well as Corporat Comics!
2. If you have to make an illustration of a local place, a spot in a city, or favourite eatery, which place would
that be: So, it has to be Cannaught Place!!
3. Three tips for budding animators: So, first, always choose quality over quantity. Secondly, know patience and practice are the keys. The third one would be First, learn, then earn.
4. If not illustrating, what else we would find Shubhajeet Dey doing? Working as a Chartered Accountant!
5. Describe Calmchor in 3 words: Introvert, quirky, Kaamchor!
Currently, Shubhajeet is planning to launch an animated cartoon series and has already started working on it. " So, it is on a very initial stage. But, it will be complete by the end of 2022", he concludes.