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Marishka Soekarna

Marishka Soekarna

Meet visual artist from Jakarta, Marishka Soekarna.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a mother and a visual artist from Indonesia. My first visual-gasm encounter was Yellow Submarine movie. My dad collects cassettes and vinyl, and from the artwork on the covers or the inner sleeve and sometimes the videos and, absolutely, the music collection of my dad’s made an impact of who I am today. Shameless to say, ever since I was a teen, I am an old soul, I love old music, I’m always late on trends, I enjoy thrifting and hunting vintage stuff was like a treasure hunt for me. The other excitement from my early age was, drawing.

 

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

There are 3 cities that had a very close relation to me, Bandung, the city where I was born and then come back living there for almost 10 years to pursue my Bachelor Art degree and in this city where I felt the most of myself grew as a human being and one of the most important stages of my life. Second, is Jakarta, where I spend my childhood throughout my teen years and until now where I spend most of my activities. And then there’s Depok, a city where I now reside. Well actually I spent all my life here before it was declared a separate city in 1999, it was part of Jakarta.

 

Ever since I was a teen, I am an old soul, I love old music, I’m always late on trends, I enjoy thrifting and hunting vintage stuff was like a treasure hunt for me.

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

Since I lived in the border between Jakarta and Depok, far from the tall buildings and heavy traffic (though there is still traffic everywhere!), it’s more likely to feel like living in the suburbs. This is where I find it more comfortable, more familiar, and more relevant because the cost of living and rent in the big city (Jakarta) is much higher. As far as I know, the younger generation tends to choose to live in the suburbs for more affordable living.

 

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

Work From Home (hahaha clearly that is what first came to mind xD)

 

How did you start your career in art?

It’s kinda already decided that I wanted to go to Art College ever since in high school. I had more interest in art rather than the other subjects in my school. In Indonesia’s public school, we cannot choose the subjects that we wanted and we had to go through all the subjects which determine the grades. So, I was mediocre in highschool hahaha! And then with all the confidence I had at that time, I applied to my dream Art College in Bandung without having any knowledge about the art world and such. At that time I just know that I could draw and I loved it. During the first year of the submission I was rejected but the next year I tried it again and I got accepted. I was clearly clueless about the art world, so I really enjoyed my college years. I enjoyed the subjects, I gained confidence, knowledge, and experiences. From there, things just happened organically and flowed from the heart, doing what I love and where I felt most passionate. Of course, it’s not always a smooth journey. You cannot always do what you love and pay the bills at the same time. There are times where I had to put aside my idealism to earn money and since now that I’m older (and hopefully wiser), I just wish I’m in that stage where I could just do what I love, be happy, and matter to the people around me. That is what Art is for me.

 

I just wish I’m in that stage where I could just do what I love, be happy, and matter to the people around me. That is what Art is for me.

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

Yes, especially my parents who have been a great support ever since I entered Art College and until now. My husband who is also an artist has always been supportive and challenging (in a positive way). That is what happens when you have an artist as your partner, we would always ‘challenge’ our partner with questions and debate about the context of our works, our philosophy in life, and just about everything. And of course, my kids who always challenged me to do better, to be greater, and to be smarter by answering all of their absurd questions.

 

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

I just hope I won’t be running out of ideas, to always be inspired and inspire others, to give more to society, and to matter to the people around me through my work.

 

I just hope I won’t be running out of ideas, to always be inspired and inspire others, to give more to society, and to matter to the people around me through my work.

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

Collaboration is an interesting subject, it gives new insight, context, and experience. But I don’t have any idea for now on how to answer this question. I need chemistry to do it. But I did a mural collaboration once with one of my mural idols, Seth Globepainter. It was great!

 

How would you describe the women around you?

Strong, soft on the outside, warm and caring. Just like my mother.

 

Strong, soft on the outside, warm and caring. Just like my mother.

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

I don’t really have any creative patrons as references growing up. Later on, I found the works of Emiria Sunassa, Igak Murniasih, Arahmaiani very strong and interesting.

 

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

I could not really tell, maybe because I was growing in the era of equality, so speaking from my experience, I must say that the opportunity is equal. What I find more challenging are the mood swings that we, females, experience every month. In some conditions, physically-wise we are tired when we are on our period, it is affecting the process of our way of thinking, our decisions and the conclusions of our works. But I must say this can also be beneficial as it is enriching our senses and sensitivity. And for me, making art needs that kind of sensitivity.

 

Inspiration doesn’t only come from the inside, so you have to look around and be present, be sensitive, and be curious.

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

It may sound very cliché, but being your true self can really help you find your visual identity. So it is very important to chill, reminisce your childhood through the memories of yesterday, get to know yourself more but don’t overdo it, otherwise, it would be too centered. Inspiration doesn’t only come from the inside, so you have to look around and be present, be sensitive, and be curious. The greatest feeling of being an artist is to be able to do what we love but at the same time contribute to others.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Marishka Soekarna.

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