Many cartoon-lovers regularly ask me about how a certain idea is born. Even cartoonists don't have answers to such questions. But I can share with you some ways I think of an idea. There are many ways to ideate.
-One way is getting spontaneous ideas and such ideas are beyond any explanation or reasoning. Here you read a certain news and a cartoon idea arrives in your head just like a flash.
Though such ideas arrive as a flash, I believe your regular following of news plays a vital role in such ideas.
-One more way is where you plan an idea. You pick a talking point of the day or you choose a subject which has been bothering you and work towards presenting your opinion in a cartoon. Here you need to spend more time on shaping your opinion on the subject. You need to think from different perspective, from different angle. Once you're convinced about your opinion, then follows a tougher part. To present that opinion in a creative way. This stage can drain you mentally.
I try my best to present the opinion in a different way(sometimes bizarre way), because many cartoonists think in a certain pattern and it's common for cartoonists' ideas to overlap. And because of the wild spread of the social media, lots of similar ideas are being circulated on the web, making a cartoonist's job tougher and risky. I have very bad experience in this regard, so I try to be extra careful to put a stamp that it's MY OWN IDEA.
-Another way of ideating is, through connecting two or more news items. These news subjects can be different, but you need a pick a common factor to connect them to come up with a punch. This is very effective way also, since most of the cartoon-lovers are keen followers of news. And such ideas can touch them easily.
-And also there must be hundred other ways of getting ideas, which cannot be put in any formula or method. A certain word in a newspaper/tv news report can trigger an idea. Certain visual may lead you to an idea. A particular personality or his/her mannerism can inspire you. It's a complex process, which can be simplified by the amount of news you read/follow and your unbiased opinion. When you're biased you restrict your ideas and miss many golden opportunities. Similarly when you spend less time on following news, you're missing out on many ingredients which could make your ideas more powerful/colorful.
In this cartoon, my idea was triggered by Supreme Court's observation on election freebies. But the background was certainly Food Security Bill, which the govt was desperately trying to implement, to gain some electoral brownie points. First my idea was to show only MMS, the court and the poor family, where MMS tells the court "This was an older order". But I wasn't convinced and felt the need for a stronger punch. Some more pushing helped me come up with an idea about how the govt would try to convince us that it's not a 'freebie'