San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Cartoonists Unite to Celebrate UNICEF

Tico Times cartoonist Arcadio Esquivel is one of 33 artists from 23 countries who donated drawings to honor the United Nations International Children’s Fund, better known as UNICEF, on its 60th birthday.

Together with UNICEF, which turned 60 last month, German publicity company Synchronis sponsored the Draw Attention project to “illustrate what UNICEF is all about,” said Synchronis founder Christian Langer.

The project will exhibit the drawings in Germany, said Theresa Hallermann, also of Synchronis. Next year, Synchronis, which contacted the artists and solicited their drawings, will put them in a book highlighting the story of UNICEF.

Esquivel (Arcadio) said he’s content to be part of this. Many of his fellow cartoonists are big names internationally, he said.

The project tries to show what really happens in the world, Hallermann explained. The cartoons show kids unleashing the power of books and education, kids suffering the absence of clean water and food, kids saddened by military handouts that prioritize weaponry, kids smiling from friendships and a safe place to sleep.

Esquivel donated eight full-color, original drawings highlighting these themes. The project made him think more about kids and childhood, he said. He plans to submit more art of this nature to the cartoon syndicates he draws for: Daryl Cagle’s Professional Cartoonists Index and French Courier International. Besides working for these agencies, Esquivel does weekly drawings for The Tico Times and daily ones for the Panamanian newspaper La Prensa (TT, Aug. 5, 2005).

Draw Attention features 13 artists from Europe, 11 from the Americas, six from Asia, two from Africa and one Australian. “UNICEF is one of the few organizations in the world that has the support and cooperation of countries and governments everywhere. Whether one is Israeli or Palestinian, Hutu or Tutsi, Chinese or Nepalese, Indian or Pakistani, or any other opposing group or culture, we all can unite to help those who are most vulnerable among us – children,” said Canadian artist Josh Beutel on Draw Attention’s Web site,


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