Francis Cleetus

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Francis Cleetus
Francis Cleetus portrait.jpg
The cartoonist at a book launch event
NationalityIndian American
OccupationCreative director, cartoonist, painter, sculptor
Notable work
It's Geek 2 Me

Francis Cleetus (/ˈkltəs/) is an Indian-American creative director,[1] cartoonist,[2] painter,[3] and sculptor.[4] He picked up and developed these skills while working on multinational brands at ad agencies in India, Hong Kong and the US.

A member of the National Cartoonists Society of America, Francis is the creator of the tech toon It's Geek 2 Me. He has drawn cartoons for the Pittsburgh Tech Council's TEQ magazine,[5] Tata Consultancy Services' @TCS magazine and other publications. A self-taught artist, Francis has created contemporary art based on Indian themes since the nineties. In the course of his day job as a creative director, he has also developed award-winning ad campaigns for brands like HP, Moen,[6] Philips, Maker's Mark,[7] Nike and MTV,[8] among others.

Francis lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the United States with his wife and two daughters, and continues to create new ads, cartoons, paintings and sculptures for a global audience.

It's Geek 2 Me cartoons[edit]

"It's Geek 2 Me" cartoon characters.

A tech cartoon about people and their off-center relationships with computers, the Internet, social networks, smart phones, MP3 players and e-book readers, "It's Geek 2 Me" pokes fun at the ubiquitous role of technology in people's lives. Francis self-published his first compilation of tech cartoons in 2012 as a paperback titled Wish Your Mouth Had A Backspace Key in the United States through[9] In 2013, a new compilation titled It's Geek 2 Me – Total Timepass Tech Toons[10] was published by Hachette India for the Indian subcontinent.

Adding finishing touches to a mural.

Contemporary Indian art[edit]

Over the years, Francis' art has been featured in various visual art exhibits. In 2012, the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh commissioned him to recreate ceiling murals from a 16th-century palace[11] for their 'Tropical Forest India'[12] exhibit. In 2017, the Asia Institute – Crane House based in Louisville, invited Francis to showcase his artwork in a solo exhibition.[13] Pittsburgh's #Notwhite Collective featured Francis' work in their 2018 juried exhibition[14] 'In Between the Middle[15]'. In 2018, the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council (GPAC) invited Francis to create "Karmalogue",[16] a themed art show,[17] as part of the quarterly Gallery Crawl[18] organized by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. The Westmoreland Cultural Trust put together "Conglomeration",[19] a group art show featuring a diverse body of work from Francis and three other artists in August 2018. The RAW artists organisation invited Francis in November 2018 to participate in their Pittsburgh creative showcase "Ovation" [20] featuring over 60 artists, performers, and models [21].

Print Ad for Kentucky Tourism.

Advertising campaigns[edit]

An insightful copywriter, art director[22] and creative director, Francis has created advertising campaigns across traditional, digital, social and unconventional media at ad agencies in three countries. After spending his formative years in the ad business at Draft FCB in India, he moved in the mid-nineties to Hong Kong and worked at Ogilvy, JWT[23] and D'Arcy, before relocating to the United States in 2001 to work at Doe-Anderson.[24] In 2007, he moved to Pittsburgh-based agency, MARC USA[25] and worked there for several years. His integrated advertising campaigns[26] have crossed geographic as well as cultural borders, and won a host of international creative awards.


  1. Total Timepass Tech Toons (August 2013, Hachette India, ISBN 978-93-5009-624-6)
  2. Wish Your Mouth Had a Backspace Key (October 2006,, ISBN 978-14495-8712-3)


  1. ^ "Ad campaign for Mohawk Flooring". Adland TV. June 5, 2008.
  2. ^ "Cartoonist launches Cartoon compilation". Upper St. Clair Patch. April 3, 2012.
  3. ^ "Ceiling Murals at the Phipps Conservatory". Upper St. Clair Patch. February 16, 2012.
  4. ^ "Upper St. Clair painter and sculptor". The Almanac. January 18, 2018.
  5. ^ ""It's Geek 2 Me" Lands on the Pages of TEQ". Tech Burgher. April 30, 2012.
  6. ^ "Print campaign for Moen faucets". Ads of the world. November 12, 2008.
  7. ^ "Magazine ads for Maker's Mark bourbon". Best Ads on TV. November 30, 2005.
  8. ^ "MTV – Magazine ads". Lürzer's Archive. April 10, 2000.
  9. ^ "Pittsburgh cartoonist takes aim at technology". PopCity Media. May 4, 2011.
  10. ^ "Hachette India releases 'Total Timepass Tech Toons'". Hachette India. August 15, 2013.
  11. ^ "Ceiling Murals at the Phipps Conservatory". Upper St. Clair Patch. February 16, 2012.
  12. ^ "Tropical Forest India exhibit". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. April 5, 2012.
  13. ^ "Francis Cleetus Exhibition Gallery Opening". All Events Louisville. June 9, 2017.
  14. ^ "Notwhite Collective holds inaugural exhibition". Pittsburgh City Paper. January 10, 2018.
  15. ^ "In Between the Middle at the Brew House". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. January 9, 2018.
  16. ^ "Opening Reception :Karmalogue". Pittsburgh Arts Council. January 26, 2018.
  17. ^ "Vibrant Art on Display". Pittsburgh Patrika. April 10, 2018.
  18. ^ "Upper St. Clair artist's work featured in Gallery Crawl". The Almanac. January 18, 2018.
  19. ^ "Group Art Show :Conglomeration". Trib Live. August 2, 2018.
  20. ^ "RAW Artists Showcase:Ovation". Popular Pittsburgh. December 1, 2018.
  21. ^ "Pittsburgh Ovation Showcase". RAW Artists. November 28, 2018.
  22. ^ "Campaign for Pearl & Dean". Advertolog. February 1, 1998.
  23. ^ "Print Ads – Pearl & Dean LED Panels". August 16, 1998. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |work= (help)
  24. ^ "Cleetus leaves Darcy for US position". Campaign Asia. February 2, 2001.
  25. ^ "Print Campaign for the Epilepsy Foundation". July 10, 2009. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |work= (help)
  26. ^ "Maker's Mark ad campaign". Best Ads on TV. November 30, 2005.

External links[edit]