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Sketsa Sketsa is a monthly visual art magazine that celebrates contemporary art and illustration. Published and distributed in Indonesia and internationally, Sketsa presents compelling and insightful art news and information of the latest contemporary art trends through feature articles, interviews, rare portfolios, sketches, and reviews. The mission is to introduce established and ground-breaking new artists promoting their artwork in Indonesia and the rest of the world. Through this forum, Sketsa hopes to create a synergy between artists and readers across the globe and constantly become a source of inspiration for young artists in Indonesia and abroad.

ISSUE ONE JANUARY 2015 FOUNDING EDITOR Email Fatharani Fadhilah info@sketsa.com fatharanif@gmail.com Follow Us EDITORIAL SUPERVISORS @Sketsamag (Twitter & Instagram) Kristen Palana Sketsa Magazine (Facebook) Anthony Villani Contribute to Sketsa FEATURED We are always on the look out for Annisa Shinta Azzahra talented illustrators, designers and Yelena Bryksenkova writers to work with - email us at Anna Emilia sketsasubmissions@gmail.com Rukmunal Hakim Mayumi Haryoto Advertise in Sketsa Diela Maharanie To find out about advertising in our Safira Yulia next issue please get in touch info@sketsa.com COVER IMAGE Rukmunal Hakim Write to Us Jl. Mawar Raya 02/13, Jakarta, 15154, Indonesia Š SKETSA MAGAZINE 2014

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EDITOR’S LETTER ISSUE ONE Welcome to the first issue of Sketsa! First and foremost, I want to thank all the artists who have contributed their time and their work along with everyone else who helped make Sketsa possible. Also thank you to everybody reading and viewing this magazine. I have to be honest; the idea of creating an art resource guide came to me because of sheer necessity. Drawing has been my passion ever since I was little. I have been keeping a sketchbook with me wherever I go. I sketch to record things I want to remember, feelings I want to let go of, and I learn things about myself that I never knew before through the whole process. And I love learning from other artists, too, I want to know how they went through the first stage of becoming an artist, what they have learnt, and what advices they can give to those who are just starting or in need of constant inspiration and diverse perspectives of the art world, especially in illustration. If only I had an inspiring art source with everything I needed at my fingertips… And because of this frustration, Sketsa was born. Sketsa has been created to help YOU – visual artists, art professionals and enthusiasts – look for art and stay inspired in whichever phase you are in. This magazine is an adventure for me as I have been discovering some amazingly talented artists that otherwise I would have never known about. So I greatly encourage you to check out these amazing artists and show them your support! And if you have anything you would like to see in the future issues, you are more than welcome to email us at info@ sketsa.com Enjoy! Fatharani Fadhilah Founding Editor DECEMBER 2014 | S K E T S A

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YELENA BRYKSENKOVA ILLUSTRATION , 2013

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1. Benny: collaboration with La Mode Outre, 2012. Ink on paper 2. Untitled, 2012. Pencil, pen, and ink on paper 3. Fast & Loose. 2012. Pencil and ink on paper 4. Untitled, 2012. Pencil and ink on paper

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I found out that I am color-blinded right after I graduated highschool. Since then I get myself used to memorizing colors and patterns of things. I don’t want my limitations to stop me from trying.”

First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview; it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. Perhaps you could start by telling us a bit about yourself and how you first got into illustration.

myself with professionals and creative people who shared my interests. It really opened up opportunities to me. I was back chasing my dream. Since then I have been a freelance illustrator and slowly going towards full-time.

Hi! Thanks to you guys for the interview, the honor is mine. In 2008, I never thought that being an illustrator was a profession and that you could actually live off that. At one period of time, not long after I was diagnosed with total color blindness, I kind of lost my hope and stopped drawing as I felt it brought me nowhere. My poor economic condition forced me to drop out of school. I did anything I could to make money.

Wow, what a journey! You mentioned being color blind? How does it affect your work?

One time, I worked as a game player, or what they called it ‘gold digger’. In the game, I collected virtual money, which then I sold to the other gamers. It was illegal – and yes, such a thing actually exists. *chuckles* I worked every night from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. They paid me Rp. 500.000 ($44) per month. I was in my darkest period of my life. It was so depressing. But then, in 2008, a good friend encouraged me to apply to an animation company, called Progres, in Bandung. It had been ages since I stopped drawing. So when I had to draw for the entrance exam, I just drew whatever – praying and hoping that they would let me in. Now, when I look back to that drawing, I just want to rip it out, burn it, and throw it away. Til’ now I don’t understand how I got accepted – they told me to work the very next day! I’d like to think that I got lucky. *smiles* I also joined an online art community called DeviantArt where I posted my artwork and surrounded

*chuckles* Yes, I found out that I am color-blinded right after I graduated high school. Since then I get myself used to memorize colors and patterns of things. I don’t want my limitations to stop me from trying. Sometimes, I just use whatever color I see on the object, or if I really need it, I’d ask one of my illustrator friends to assist me in coloring my artwork. How would you best describe your style of illustration? What informs and shapes your taste and style? I think “Lowbrow Nouveau” describes it best. Your illustrations are always undoubtedly so polished that it is hard to believe that they could have been achieved with a simple pencil! So, do you have other favorite tools to work with and how do these tools help you work better? I’ve been drawing with pencil or ink on paper all my life so I take it as breathing or blinking. The scale it has and the immediacy of the tool helps to perform everywhere I go, that’s why I like it so much. It’s the minimum kit you need to draw. Also, they give me confidence while drawing.

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Original Illustration for zodiak gembira, 2013

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Original Illustration for zodiak gembira, 2013

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Original Illustration for zodiak gembira, 2013

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Original Illustration for zodiak gembira, 2013

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Original Illustration for zodiak gembira, 2013

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Original Illustration for zodiak gembira, 2013

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Original Illustration for zodiak gembira, 2013

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Details: original illustration of Membakar Jakarta (Burn Jakarta) for Carlsberg Project, 2014 You and Ykha Amelz recently had an exhibition called Carlsberg Project at WAGA Studio & Gallery, would you mind to tell us the stories behind the project? “Hashtag Now Playing” exhibition is one of the many project proposals chosen by ‘Carlsberg Project’. Ykha and I came up with this idea, which is very simple really, of how music can give so much inspirations for visual arts. Both music and illustration influence each other. This exhibition is our form of appreciation for local musicians who have inspired, not only me and Ykha, but also individuals in general. Who / what is your greatest visual inspiration? Alphonse Mucha, Gustav Klimt, Aaron Horkey, Moebius, Richey Beckett... and, of course, women :) What do you do when run out of ideas and get stuck? Usually I would step away from whatever project I was doing and I would try to draw something from my mind or anything in sight. When all else fails, I just go out and see my friends.

‘Black Amplifier’ - The S.I.G.I.T.

Original illustration for Carlsberg Project, 2014 Ink, brush, and gold marker on 12" wood Waga Studio & Gallery

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Rukmunal Hakim with some of his illutstrations for Carlsberg Project, 2014

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‘Black Amplifier’ work in progress, 2014 What’s the best thing about being an illustrator? What would be your ultimate goal as an illustrator?

Thanks again for your time! Do you have any advice for aspiring illustrators who are building their portfolio?

The best thing about being an illustrator is, in my opinion, the pleasure of creating something that amazes and inspires other people as well as myself – that’s when I know all my hard work pays off. My ultimate goal as illustrator would be to improve our level of appreciation towards the art of illustration in Indonesia.

I always remember what Ira Glass says on creativity, “Do a lot of work!”. Being an illustrator is like being an athlete, in order to be the best you have to practice hard to develop your skills. Think of creativity as a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets.

Who / what motivates you to keep doing what you are doing right now? I motivate myself. I believe that motivation comes from within you rather from the outside. There is no one who can motivate you except yourself.

FOLLOW HAKIM ON:

Behance: www.behance.net/RukmunalHakim Instagram: @r_hakim Tattoo Design: www.hakimtattoodesign.daportfolio.com

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‘MAKE & SELL’ CULTURE: make it or break it? In this age of websites, online shops, and virtual market places, more illustrators are offering their own products for sale as a side-line to their (adjective) work. Is the popular ‘make & sell’ culture adopted by many illustrators today a response to a changing industry, and does this self-marketing attract buyers?

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MAYUMI HARYOTO

RUKMUNAL HAKIM

As a freelance artist, I find work through networking. I did not go to college. Monetary crisis that hit Indonesia in 1997 hit my family really bad. I started working at age 18, and I treated those early working experience as my college time. That’s why I kept changing job from 2D artist in a game developer company, art director in advertising agencies and record labels, storyboard artist, line producer in film, etc. to gain knowledge and fulfill my big curiosity. I even did medical illustrations.

It is true that many illustrators nowadays, especially those who are just starting, choose to make and sell their own work as oppose to join the agencies. Speaking from my own experience, self-marketing requires a lot more work and time, so you need a good strategy in order to make it work.

Illustrator, Indonesia www.mayumiharyoto.com

Illustrator, Indonesia www.behance.net/RukmunalHakim

If an advertising agency wishes to commission an illustrator, they would do so regardless of whether they have products for sale or not. Also, the chances of you getting commissioned by commerThat experience not only helped me build a strong cial buyers through agencies are usually higher. network, but also understand the bigger picture of the creative industry itself. It also gave me knowledge on Having said that, selling your own work can be used how every field is connected to others and allowed me as a way of supplementing your income because life to better understand my own place as an illustrator. as an illustrator can be pretty tough financially. Many Of course, the Internet plays a big part in network- illustrators like me have a second job, so to start selling, too. Self-promotion has never been easier and/or ing your own work is a step being closer to being inmore affordable. dependent, living the dream and going “full-time!” What will make you successful is your unique personal style. Keep learning, keep exploring; wider knowledge is always best. Also it’s really important to set your goals, both long – and short term.The hard part of being a freelance artist is you just can’t expect to climb up a career ladder like people in other fields, you need to keep making new goals and evaluate them to give your career a better chance to grow. Nothing is certain in this life to begin with so if you choose to be a freelance artist, prepare yourself for the unexpected to happen to you, not all of which will be good.

“Unless it is done professionally, I don’t feel self-marketing necessarily makes illustrators more appealing to buyers.”

Just be persistent enough. I’ve learnt that my best surviving tool is the ability to improvise. If things don’t come up as you expected, just deal with them, improvise and make it work. If you don’t succeed, just quickly think of something else until it works… even while licking your wounds.

“No matter what way you choose to market yourself – through agencies or self-promotion – my advice is: make sure you stand out from the crowd.” DECEMBER 2014 | S K E T S A

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SAFIRA YULIA

ANNA EMILIA

I encourage the ‘make & sell’ culture as it gives you, as an illustrator, total control as to how you promote yourself and create things that you want to see, and not what somebody has asked for.

I think that this ‘make & sell’ culture, like almost anything else, has both up and down sides. In the best case, people see more options how an artwork can be used, hence, order a custom work for their own means.

Graphic Design Student at BINUS, Indonesia www.behance.net/piyul

Also with the advancement of technology now you can sell through your own shop website without any major investment. Aside from the money, it’s also a boost to your confidence, a validation that people like your stuff enough to hang it on their walls. .

Illustrator, Finland www.annaemilia.com

On the other side, it might be very time-demanding to keep the online shop going and filled with nice products. But I still think that, at least in my case, being an independent illustrator has brought a lot of new customers, some of whom I made good friends with Waiting for that call or email from the big advertising (I have delivered some orders personally here in my agency can take a very long time, so it’s good to keep hometown to Frankfurt in Germany. I am always so yourself busy, and it helps to get your name out there. thrilled with butterflies in my tummy, waiting who It’s important to keep working and come up with new comes to fetch the order!). ideas.

“Now with the spread of social medias and virtual market places, promoting, reproducing, and selling your work has become much easier and more affordable.”

“This [make and sell culture] makes the artist gets a wider audience.”

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Sketsa of the Month

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FOLLOW annisa ON: Instagram: @ichaazzahra

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t

Six Must-Follow Illustrators on

Founded in 2007 by Adobe, Behance has become the leading online showcase where you can discover the latest work from top online portfolios by creative professionals across a number of design disciplines. Whether it’s photography, graphic design, branding, or illustration, you’re bound to find creative inspiration just by spending a few minutes browsing through the hundreds of thousands of portfolios available. Follow these 12 designers SKETSA has spotlighted on Behance and keep up with their work. Maybe they will inspire you to create something great!

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OVERCOMING

CREATIVE BLOCK Illustrated by Diela Maharanie

For a creative professional, a creative block is not only frustrating, it is also potentially career-damaging. When you rely on your creativity to pay the bills and build your reputation, you can’t afford to be run out of ideas or the energy to put them into action. 40 S K E T S A | DECEMBER 2014


“Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work,” legendary photorealist Chuck Close scoffed.

“A self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood,” composer Tchaikovsky admonished.

“Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too,”

Chilean American author Isabel Allende urged.

Although this idea may be true, it is not always an easy or liveable truth – most creative people do get stuck every once in a while, or at the very least hit the so-called “OK Plateau” – the point at which we perform a task within our comfort zone that we stop caring for improvement. One of the recurring themes in dealing with creative block, which a number of the artists articulate, has to do with mastering the right balance between freedom and constraint. Mixed-media artist Trey Speegle (treyspeegle.com) puts it perfectly: “You have to set up the narrow parameters that you work in, and then within those, give yourself just enough room to be free and play.” Painter Lisa Golightly (kikiandpolly.com) adds: “I give myself permission to just make for the sake of making without any thought to the outcome, which can be surprisingly hard. What I would tell my younger self is this: There is no “right” way to make art. The only wrong is in not trying, not doing. Don’t put barriers up that aren’t there — just get to work and make something.” Many artists also emphasize the importance of stepping away from the work when feeling stuck. Multidisciplinary artist Ben Skinner (benskinner.com) captures this: “I know that forcing something is not going to create anything beyond mediocre, so I step aside and work on a different project until it hits me.”

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And then there’s Illustrator Ashley Goldberg (www.etsy.com/shop/ashleyg) who chooses to let the block happen rather than resisting it: “If it is a bigger creative block, I try to ride it out and just let it happen. I will still draw, but most pieces will end up in the trash, and that’s OK. I think some of the biggest bursts of creativity and artistic growth I’ve had are usually preceded by a big creative block.” While Illustrator Sydney Pink does not want to rely on the imaginary divine inspiration to produce art: “The idea of divine inspiration and an ‘aha!’ moment is largely a fantasy. Anything of value comes from hard work and unwavering dedication. If you want to be a good artist you need to look at other artists, make a lot of crappy art, and just keep working.” The most powerful part deals with handling criticism. Some artists, like painter Amanda Happé, choose to close their ears and focus on satisfying their own soul instead: “It’s one of the most beautiful things about doing this — you don’t have to care. No one gets to have their say and have it stick. No one can wrestle the pencil out of your hand. You get to keep going in absolute defiance.” Ceramics artist Mel Robson (feffakookan.blogspot. ca) offers one of the wisest meditations on the subject: “I think it’s important to remember that making art is a process. It is never finished. The occupation itself is one of process, exploration, and experimentation. It is one of questioning and examining. Each thing you make is part of a continuum, and you are always developing.

There is no “right” way to make art. The only wrong is in not trying, not doing. You don’t always get it right, but I find that approaching everything as a work in progress allows you to take the good with the bad. You’re never going to please everyone. Take what you can from criticism, and let go of the rest. When it comes to constructive criticism, I welcome that and think it is important to have people you can discuss your work with who will give you honest and constructive feedback. It’s not always what you want to hear, but that is often exactly what is needed. It can be very confronting, but very useful.” This brings us to the question: How do you free your work from your sense of self-worth? As Collage and mixed-media artist Hollie Chastain (holliechastain.com) reflects: “I think as an artist it’s very easy to [equate self-worth with artistic success] because of the nature of the work. If you think of art as a job, then your product is so much more than hours invested. The product is a piece of yourself, so, of course, if the reception is not the greatest, then it can feel like a direct hit to who you are

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I think this happened a lot more when I was younger and still finding my way around. I would doubt my direction when a viewer wasn’t thrilled. The trick for me is not to put more distance between my work and myself, but to close that gap completely. I can see myself in the art that I create, and that builds a wall of confidence.” Last but not least, embroidery and fiber artist Emily Barletta reminds us that soul-satisfaction requires defining our own success: “I make art because the process of making art makes me happy. Being successful with it and doing it for personal fulfilment are separate ideas.”

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SKETSA - Contemporary Art, Illustration and Design Magazine  

A monthly visual arts magazine that celebrates contemporary art and illustration. Published and distributed in Indonesia and internationally...

SKETSA - Contemporary Art, Illustration and Design Magazine  

A monthly visual arts magazine that celebrates contemporary art and illustration. Published and distributed in Indonesia and internationally...

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