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Hana Augustine

Hana Augustine

Meet illustrator from Jakarta, Hana Augustine.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Hana, a 28-year-old self-taught artist. As a girl, I always had my paper and pen with me everywhere, and I would scribble sketches from the moment I woke up till I went to sleep. Drawing has always been my way to express my inner emotion, hence my drawing’s central subject is mostly characters. But it was until I saw Glen Keane‘s Ariel that I was really mesmerized by drawing and found how it could turn to life through animation. Right now I am working as a freelance artist, working with my fiancee on a storybook. I love rainy days and being surrounded by nature. I love reading books, and I love discussing things about life with my fiancee.

 

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

I live in a big city where every day (except Sunday) the traffic is so bad that I’d rather stay at home. We have too many shopping malls here and too little green spaces to breathe. There can be 2 to 3 huge shopping malls in one area. You only need to walk to get there because there’s usually one just across the road. Everything is so expensive here. Prices are usually not worth the quality and they go up every year! People strive to work to pay their bills and entertain themselves after the long week’s work. This results in the decline of the quality of life and passions. Honestly, it is quite stressful for me as an artist to live here.

 

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

The worst thing is that the status quo does not require us to try out new things or to give our best in what we do. The people here are subconsciously programmed to survive, not to serve. The competition to have a better job, better income, and a better life are quite severe. Dreams fade as you get to work in corporate industries. I experienced this and when I finally met the right person to work with and do something different, we are ridiculed and not supported. The best thing that makes things bearable is some friends who truly support us and whom we can sharpen our thoughts. I am truly grateful for them.

 

The people here are subconsciously programmed to survive, not to serve. The competition to have a better job, better income, and a better life are quite severe.

 

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

Challenging, thought-provoking, unconventional.

 

How did you start your career in art?

When I was in college, I found that every artist I look up to has an art-blog. I was so inspired by them that I started to do one drawing a day and made my own an art-blog. It became my portfolio. They are all drawings I made out of my own pleasure, fun, and leisure time. From there, I got into the creative industry, then into the game industry. Since they don’t require the kind of illustration that I do, I decided to quit and do freelance jobs. 

 

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

At first, not quite. They think being creative is only good enough as a hobby and you don’t necessarily have to work (a lifetime job) according to your passions. As creative industries rise, they see that the world is changing, but they only see it as good if it can turn into a business and make money. 

 

As creative industries rise, they see that the world is changing, but they only see it as good if it can turn into a business and make money. 

 

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

Since I have always been inspired by the art of animation, I really would like to achieve the skills to evoke richer emotions through my drawings. When I am able to do that, I would like to share the stories that my fiancee and I have been creating to the world. We hope to accommodate the stories of many people through the magic of storytelling, drawing, and animation. Our hope is to make people around the world relate with one another through stories of pain, loss, faith, beauty, hope, and love.

 

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

Truthfully, the only person I want to collaborate with right now is my fiancee. He is a brilliant story-teller and I am always amazed by the stories he makes -all our friends would agree! He reminds me of the power of storytelling which is now lost in our generation. I want to work with him but my ego makes it hard for us to work together. I see the service that he does out of love for others. It’s so beautiful and I want to able to share the same.

 

How would you describe the women around you?

Due to the status quo, I find that many women are not encouraged to take risks. Many are afraid of what people would think so they settle for lives which have been decided for them by their surroundings. They don’t really know what they want to be. Not many have the privilege to learn and observe the world outside of the harsh community that they live in. However, I also know a few women who fight alongside men against the narrow-mindedness of society’s demands. They are great mothers, virtuous women, and gentle leaders. I’d like to learn from them.

 

Many are afraid of what people would think so they settle for lives which have been decided for them by their surroundings.

 

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

I remember a woman from my first-time job. She was a senior graphic designer and she helped me a lot to survive in that company. She was innovative and very creative. She took things from the clients calmly and was able to shoot out brilliant ideas to resolve issues. She introduced me to the world of social media, which helped me broaden my scope of ideas, references, and libraries. Although we were very different in what we believe in, I respect her so much and I am grateful for her. I learned the importance of design because of her. 

 

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

Yes. With the rise of social media, which manipulates people into thinking that they are so good because they have many followers (quite some of them ARE genuinely good, though!), it sometimes tempts me to think that it is useless to create. Everything is now weighted by how good you are in promoting yourself – which I’m terrible at doing. As a woman, I am happy that we are free to create and enrich the industry alongside men. On a side note, with the rise of gender equality and with the freedoms we have now, I would still give honor to women who put their ambitions aside to wholeheartedly serve and manage the household to respond to the privilege of motherhood.  🙂 

 

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

There is no short cut. There is nothing inspiring about talent without hard work. Everything in social media allows you to get what you want in an instant, and that is the death of passion and perseverance. Do not be swayed by the number of followers or likes you or other people get on Instagram, it won’t help you in any way (I learned this the hard way, credits to my fiancee who knocked some sense into me. This is something that I have to remind myself over and over). Be inspired by those people who give their heart out to creating their art. Without heart, there will be no life in your work. It might be great to gain many followers, but no one will remember that. There is no need to aim for a great audience. Do something with honesty and wholeheartedly (I’m saying this to remind myself, too). Though not with many, what you do will resonate to the ones who truly appreciate what you do.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Hana Augustine.

 

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