back to top
  /    /  Lenny Wen

Lenny Wen

Lenny Wen

Meet artist and illustrator from Jakarta, Lenny Wen.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born in Medan, North Sumatra and moved to Jakarta when I was 5 years old. Since I was a kid, I love storytelling and drawing. I love mangas, animations, movies, picture books and any kind of storytelling. When I was a kid, I used to create a lot of my own mangas. I would talk with myself to create the dialogues while I was drawing. I loved to draw doodles on my school’s textbooks. As an introvert person, most of the time, drawing and my imagination really help to provide me a place to escape from society.

 

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

Jakarta is a very busy and hectic city. As the capital city of the country, lots of people stay here to make a living. When I have a day job and worked in an office, I struggled with the “famous” Jakarta’s traffic. But after I became a freelancer, I didn’t have much problem with it anymore. Living in Jakarta is probably mostly the same as living in other big cities. What I like about living here is that everything is convenient and lots of stores open until quite late (even some 24 hours). Jakarta is a very diverse city so we can find many types of people and food here. Although it is far from a perfect place to live in, I think a lot of things are improving and it keeps getting better.

 

Jakarta is a very diverse city so we can find many types of people and food here. Although it is far from a perfect place to live in, I think a lot of things are improving and it keeps getting better.

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

The best thing about Jakarta is it’s convenient. You can find any kind of food, stores, and transportation. The worst thing is the “competition”. Sometimes people here are overly “competitive” over small things like taking a lift, bus/ transportation, watching a movie. People sometimes tend to always want to be “first” and don’t care for others.

 

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

diversity, competitive, humor

 

How did you start your career in art?

My family always struggled financially, so after graduating from high school, I immediately took a job which was offered to me from my friend’s family. I worked in an office with an unclear desk job. Then I moved to another office as an in-house graphic designer and at the same time, I also got into university with a Design Communication Visual major. I never considered becoming a real illustrator until my sister, Fanny Wen (check her out, she is a wonderful illustrator) becomes an illustrator herself. She gave me the advice to write emails to authors and publishers. So I reached out and got some freelances jobs here and there. Long story short, in 2016 I decided to become a full-time freelance illustrator until now.

 

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

Since I was a kid, my parents most of the time give me the freedom to decide anything for myself. I am used to being very independent in making decisions for myself.

I also have very creative siblings (two older sisters and one younger brother) so of course, they are also supportive. I am also lucky to have a husband who supports and proud of my decision on working as a creative.

 

I am used to being very independent in making decisions for myself.

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

I really want to write and draw my own picture book. I will learn more about storytelling and picture book itself.

 

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

My sister, my husband, and Neil Gaiman.

 

How would you describe the women around you?

strong, passionate, humble, funny, caring

 

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

Apart from my sisters, I didn’t have any because when I was growing up I consumed a lot of mangas from Japan. Without the internet, it’s hard to find out.

 

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

In some office settings, some people who are making decisions for the company still think that they shouldn’t hire females because they’re afraid that they will get pregnant and won’t be able to work. I can say this because I faced this problem when I had an interview back then when I applied for a graphic design job in one company. But as a full-time freelancer, so far I don’t have any problems regarding being a female.

 

Be honest about what you love and care about. If you care and love it, you will find a way.

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

Every person is unique, regardless of gender, race, religion, or social class. Speak your own stories and imaginations. Be honest about what you love and care about. If you care and love it, you will find a way.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Lenny Wen.

Instagram:

Category:
Date:
7Like