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Kathrin Honesta

Kathrin Honesta

Meet illustrator from Jakarta, Kathrin Honesta.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born and raised in Indonesia. I was born in Medan, North Sumatra and only moved to Jakarta when I was 13 years old. I have stayed in Jakarta for about 12 years now.

As a child, I have always been very drawn to stories & drawings. I drew comics on pieces of A4 papers, I would clip those papers together and made a view series of different comic titles. Sometimes, I would do collages and layout it as a magazine page. It has always been my favorite entertainment as a child. Give me pencils and papers and I’ll stay quiet for hours going into my own world.

 

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

Jakarta is a very crowded and fast-paced city. Growing up, I don’t see so much nature, so sometimes it can feel very suffocating and I have to go out of Jakarta once in a while to have a taste of beaches or mountains.

 

I guess it’s Jakarta’s community, legacy, and charms that uphold my love for this city despite everything else that might not be so pleasant. It has grown so much for these past years and I have great hope for this city.

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

Let me start from the worst part first. From the outside, this city can feel frustrating because of the infamous traffic, but for us who lived here, we have learned to just laugh it off because it has been a part of our everyday life. However, Jakarta is developing. The government is planning to build more effective public transports to tackle this issue.

The best part of this city is the passion. Jakartans are really passionate. There’s always something going on at the other part of the city; this art market, another seminar, new places, new local brands, new businesses, the sense of community is very strong.  The people are very hungry for growth and are striving. To live in this culture, I can’t help but be motivated as well.

The other perks of Jakarta are her hidden gems. There are a lot of hidden neighbourhoods and places that are just charming. We have this old town neighbourhood back from the Dutch Colonial. There are a lot of beautiful old buildings and people started to build an art community there. We also have this old teahouse from the 1920s that is located in the preserved Pharmacy building back in the olden days. Also, don’t forget the food. The best food is always served at humble street hawkers.

I guess it’s Jakarta’s community, legacy, and charms that uphold my love for this city despite everything else that might not be so pleasant. It has grown so much for these past years and I have great hope for this city.

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

Community, Diversity, Passionate

 

How did you start your career in art?

I went to The One Academy at Kuala Lumpur, majoring in Advertising & Graphic Design. I guess that’s my very first encounter with the art industry. I’ve always loved drawing, but attending an academic setting opens up a whole new world.

After graduated, I worked at Leo Burnett KL for about 1,5 years before decided to quit and pursue my illustration career fulltime as a freelancer. It was a bold move, but during my working years at Leo Burnett, it became more apparent to me of which path I really want to do. And the rest is history! This year is the beginning of my 4th year in my illustration career!

 

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

Yes, I am really lucky to have my family to have been really supportive. But it isn’t always the case. At first, my parents didn’t allow me to have graphic design as a major. Like all Asian parents, they rather see me pursuing business or accounting. But I was stubborn and really eager to show my parents that I am really serious wanting to do art. I participated in competitions and won, and I guess my parents really saw the seriousness of my intent. In the end, they gave up and that’s how I got into the art school hahaha.

 

Like all Asian parents, they rather see me pursuing business or accounting. But I was stubborn and really eager to show my parents that I am really serious wanting to do art.

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

I have a duo collaboration team called “Shadow Stories”, it’s a team of my writer friend, Kay Jen, and me. I would love to publish a children storybook as a result of this collaboration someday.

 

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

I would really love to collaborate with C.S.Lewis. But he has long passed, but I hope it still counts!

 

How would you describe the women around you?

Strong, passionate, caring 🙂

 

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

I wasn’t really exposed to Indonesian creatives even when I was growing up. However, since I got back from KL, I became got so much in touch with the community of female creatives, and I look up to many of the individuals.

 

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

For now, not really. However, I can only speak as far as my experiences took me. Sometimes, what I feel are the advantages. When you’re very distinct in your art, you’ll automatically attract clients or certain markets to your work. In my case, in being a woman, the theme of my works consist of a lot of women figures & feminine elements. Some clients who have commissioned me for the past months like skincare & sanitary pad brands came to me, the small part of it is maybe because of me being a woman, and how it shows in my work.

 

The theme of my works consist of a lot of women figures & feminine elements.

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

Find your value, be honest to yourself, and show it through your work. Be patient, and don’t be so hard on yourself. Do not think too much (because we do it a lot!), and just start. It won’t be easy, so don’t give up and have fun!

 

 

Photos courtesy of Kathrin Honesta.

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