back to top
  /    /    /  Ayang Cempaka

Ayang Cempaka

Ayang Cempaka

Meet Indonesian graphic artist & illustrator based in Dubai, Ayang Cempaka.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Ayang. I am a freelance illustrator based in Dubai, UAE.

I used to draw with gouache, but when my second child was born in 2016, I learned to draw digitally, with an iPad Pro.

I graduated as an architect, but in 2007 chose to make bags instead. I’ve been running a creative studio where I make bags, fabrics, clothes, scarves, hand embroidered clutch bags, art prints, stationeries with my little sister in my home country.

I drew since 2013 in Dubai when I realized that drawing is the easiest creative counter I can access here. No fuss.

 

Describe the city you’re living in and what it’s like to live there.

Dubai is multicultural, it’s a melting pot where you can find sooo many different people all around the world, and undoubtedly very glamorous with the wonderful array of luxury hotels and restaurants, hundreds of skyscrapers and the landmark is the highest building in the world (Burj Khalifa).

For some people, living in Dubai is like a dream. For me, it’s quite comfortable, especially in winter. While in summer, the temperature can reach 48 degrees Celsius, you can melt!

 

Dubai is multicultural, it’s a melting pot where you can find sooo many different people all around the world, and undoubtedly very glamorous with the wonderful array of luxury hotels and restaurants, hundreds of skyscrapers and the landmark is the highest building in the world (Burj Khalifa).

What is the best and worst thing about living in your city?

Best: Dubai is very safe, you can even leave your bag in a public space, and no one will touch your bag :)) Dubai is very clean and very shiny.

Worst: It’s too clean, too shiny, and too artificial. VERY HOT, expensive, and lack of greeneries.

 

Give us 3 words that describe what it’s like to be a creative in your city.

Not much really.

 

How did you start your career in art?

Initially, I didn’t want to be an artist like my mom and grandpa. I thought that all artists are financially unstable, their hair looking weird, they don’t wear matching outfits, they look hippie, etc. Although I do enjoy drawing during my childhood.

I knew immediately that I can’t work 9 to 5, I’ve got anxiety every single day when I was still working in a furniture company after I graduated my architecture study. I knew I wanted to do something creative. So I thought, making bags would be nice. At that time, I had zero knowledge about making bags, materials, where to make them, I was just learning by doing. 3 years later, I had to move to Dubai, because my husband got a job in Dubai. We thought we will just stay in Dubai for 2 years max. I was totally wrong. We’ve been in Dubai for 10 years and counting! Making bags from afar is not easy. While in Dubai, I get bored so easily. Then I re-discovered my ability to draw, thanks to Instagram. From there I got my first drawing commission, many clients, even an agent. Then my journey as a freelance illustrator began, and since this January 2019, I’m represented by Illustration Web.

 

While in Dubai, I get bored so easily. Then I re-discovered my ability to draw, thanks to Instagram. From there I got my first drawing commission, many clients, even an agent.

Were the people around you supportive of your decision on working as a creative?

Absolutely! I spent my childhood weekend either visiting a gallery, art exhibition openings, making pottery with my sister, meeting my mom’s artist friends. Art is kind of mandatory in our family, it is a privilege and I am thankful for that 🙂

 

What are some goals and ambitions you have for your future work?

Drawing for a children’s book and have it displayed in Bologna Children Book Fair.

Use my drawing to promote tolerance, save our planet and animals, and introduce Indonesia to the world and for education, especially to the kids who are less fortunate

 

If you could collaborate with any person in the world who would it be?

Mark Zuckerberg, so I can use his influence to reach millions of people!!

 

How would you describe the women around you?

Around me where? My close circle of women, they are supportive and creative.

 

My close circle of women, they are supportive and creative.

Were there any local female creatives that you looked up to when you were growing up?

Hmmmm… I am not sure, I can’t remember. I never idolized anyone. Maybe it’s because I like too many things too easily, I can’t even remember most of them.

 

Are there any challenging aspects of being a female in your industry?

I don’t think so. Once you are committed to a project, there’s no male and female anymore.

 

Just keep drawing, build a great portfolio and your true style.

Do you have any advice to young women who are aspiring to work in your field?

Just keep drawing, build a great portfolio, your true style and eventually, money will follow.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Ayang Cempaka.

Instagram:

Category:
Date:
4Like