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Ykha Amelz

Ykha Amelz

Meet illustrator from Jakarta, Ykha Amelz.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi, I’m Ykha and I have been an illustrator for 10 years and counting now. To me life is a visual journey, it’s really exhilarating to get inspiration from all the things that caught my attention. I graduated from Parahyangan University (Bandung) majoring in Architecture. Yet I choose to pursue my career as a self-taught illustrator, focusing to elevate my skills by experience. Since then I’ve been collaborating with local and international brands from various department, fashion, music, interior design, print media, and I also tried to keep participating in exhibitions. On 2014, I challenged myself by starting a fashion brand called DIBBA with my partner. I’m in charge of designing the fabric print. On my spare time, I developed a comic character named Babbot, inspired by my French bulldog.

 

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

Jakarta is a city where everyone is trying to move forward as fast as they can. You just gotta hustle if you don’t wanna be left behind.

 

Jakarta is a city where everyone is trying to move forward as fast as they can. You just gotta hustle if you don’t wanna be left behind.

 

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

Best thing is everyone is so eager to create or run something, making it a competitive environment that can fire up your spirit in a good way. The worst thing is the traffic jam, we have a saying “Tua di jalan” which means you grew old just by trying to get somewhere, that’s exactly how it felt stuck in the middle of Jakarta’s traffic.

 

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

Tired (like all other jobs), fun, and thrilling.

 

How did you start your career in art?

After I graduated, I just decided to uninstall all of the architecture software in my computer and started installing all graphic design software I can get my hands on. I learned how to layout and color my illustration digitally. I just kept drawing and uploaded all my illustration on DeviantArt (there’s no Instagram to show your work back then). My first paying gig was in 2008, illustrating for a children book, a republish of H.C Andersen stories. After that I got a few offers to do an illustration for fashion magazines from people who saw my portfolio on my DeviantArt page, lots of new creative people supporting each other there, which I really appreciate. More people started to notice my work from the published magazines, leading to more various projects until now. I feel so lucky.

 

After I graduated, I just decided to uninstall all of the architecture software in my computer and started installing all graphic design software I can get my hands on.

 

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

Not at the beginning. My mom kept asking me to start being serious and find a real job. There are not many known working illustrators back then in Indonesia, so I get where she’s coming from. She is now one of my biggest supporters. My friends and fellow illustrators are all really supportive too.

 

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

Do more paintings, a long overdue solo exhibition, and a book of Babbot.

 

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

FriendsWithYou

 

How would you describe the women around you?

They’re a large variety of characters, it’s hard to describe.

 

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

Not really. There weren’t many around when I was growing up.

 

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

No, I think the challenging aspects are the same for both female and male in this industry. At least in my country. You just have to show everyone that you are committed to your work and you are doing the best that you can in every project.

 

You just have to show everyone that you are committed to your work and you are doing the best that you can in every project.

 

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

Believe in yourself, love what you do, and build yourself a great portfolio. There are now more platforms that can display your artwork for people to discover, more possibility. Last but not least, be nice and support each other.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Ykha Amelz.

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