Harum Robert is his name, but he’s mostly been Rob ever since he came on MAD, a children’s show that he anchors and directs. As the 35-year-old talks of being one of the lucky few who follow their dreams and get to love their jobs, it is evident that it is his zeal that speaks. In the city on Saturday to conduct an art workshop at Oakridge International School, SAS Nagar, Rob smiles and says, “Being an animator is the best job in the world. Animation is like giving birth to a new object, it’s a process where I get to do what I love and the best part is that someone else is paying for it.”
His journey, says the artist, began when he realised his passion for making illustrations and weaving a story around them. After graduating in fine arts from College of Art, Delhi, he headed to Mumbai in 2004, after doing an animation course from NID (National Institute of Design), Ahmedabad.
“Stop motion animation (a technique by which physically manipulated object is made to appear to move on its own) has always been my USP, for I feel that it is a fascinating form of animation where one uses props and models. It is also unlike traditional animation (that is hand-drawn) as used in cartoons such as Tom and Jerry,” explains Rob. Different media, such as models, brushes or anything that requires the skill of his hand, are what catch the artist’s fancy. “Even 3D animation is not much fun since I can’t feel the medium.”
Working with the children’s channel POGO for the last seven years now, he is the brain behind the show, MAD (stands for music, art and dance). In its ninth season now, the show is about inspiring children to take up various arts.
Rob reveals he now understands a child’s psychology better, after having worked with them for so long. Not one to preach, Rob says he lets the kids be. “The sky doesn’t have to be blue; if a child wants to imagine it in pink, he or she should be left free to explore the joy of making things.” Now that parents and teachers recognise art as a profession, it makes Rob glad, because he thinks the country needs good artists and designers.
Meanwhile, his show continues to make Rob popular amongst the children and their parents. “Not just children and their moms, their grandmothers also tell me they love the show since it brings them closer to their grandkids, who they help with their work,” shares Rob with pride.
In love with children, who Rob believes make his ‘most challenging and most honest audience,’ he plans to continue to working in this sphere. “Other channels have offered me jobs, but now I have my own team at MAD. And, I have the freedom to travel that helps generate ideas and keeps me going,” he says.
Soon, Rob plans to make an animation film on a child whom he meets at a tea stall. “I am also planning a unique travel show,” he signs off.