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Amalia Dian Utami

Amalia Dian Utami

Meet illustrator from Yogyakarta, Amalia Dian Utami

GirlsclubAsia-Artist-Amalia Dian Utami-5

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hello, my name is Amalia, a self-taught illustrator based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

My passion for drawing has started since I was 3 years old. My first drawing was “4 Kids in The Birthday Party” and I drew it on the kitchen wall. I graduated with a bachelor of architecture in 2017, worked in the architecture firm for 2 years, and now I’m focusing on freelance work on which I can create illustrations with my imagination and play with colors of my preference. Drawing is always a therapeutic experience for me. My favorite things to draw are nostalgic childhood illustrations and people in everyday experiences. When I am not working, I enjoy cooking and cycling out to somewhere with good scenery with mom and dad.

 

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

I was born and raised in Yogyakarta. People often say this city is the most lovable city where Javanese traditions are kept alive, and on the other hand, it still manages to balance between the traditional and modern aspects of society.

Not only known as a tourist destination, this city is a perfect place to experience art. There are lots of creative communities, art spaces, galleries, art exhibitions, and art performances. The people are very warm and friendly.

I was born and raised in Yogyakarta. People often say this city is the most lovable city where Javanese traditions are kept alive, and on the other hand, it still manages to balance between the traditional and modern aspects of society.

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

Best :

  • The beautiful view. I live in the outskirts of the city where I can feel the fresh air and paddies field everywhere.
  • The good vibe. As a city for art, I also love the good vibe for creating art and get my motivation through visiting the exhibition and joining art workshops.
  • The food. You can find so many delicious foods at affordable prices.

 

Worst :

  • Mostly, Yogyakarta has hot climate and sunny weather.
  • Compared to other big cities in Indonesia, I think the amount of public transportation is still lacking.

 

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

Cozy, enjoyable, cultures

 

How did you start your career in art?

Actually, I don’t really have formal educational background in art. I studied architecture during my college days but I keep drawing whenever I have spare time. When I was in college, I got my first collaboration to make a children’s book with my high school friends. My passion to work as an illustrator started to emerge from that moment.

In 2017, I graduated as Bachelor of Architecture and work in an architecture firm. I enjoyed my life as an architect but I still keep drawing and doodling.

In 2020, I married and decided to leave my work as an architect then pursue my career as an illustrator. At that time, I learned digital illustration, joined some illustration competitions, and posted my works on social media. Little by little, people started noticing my artwork and contacting me to do illustration works.

 

I’m glad that I made that decision. Working as an illustrator is a blessing because I can work from home all day, doing a job that I love while fulfilling my duty as a wife.

 

Actually, I don’t really have formal educational background in art. I studied architecture during my college days but I keep drawing whenever I have spare time. When I was in college, I got my first collaboration to make a children’s book with my high school friends. My passion to work as an illustrator started to emerge from that moment.

 

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

I am really lucky to have family members that are really supportive. My parents always appreciate my artwork. Since I was a kid, they bought me art supplies as a birthday gift. Every time I finished a drawing, they always want to frame it and display my painting in our living room. They keep encouraging me even until these days.

My husband is also the biggest supporter for me. Whenever I feel burn out, he always tells me to take a break and not give up. Even though he is not an “art person”, he often gives advice that’s useful for me and my career.

My cousin, who works as a graphic designer, guides me on how to work professionally in the creative industry.

I am really thankful for all of the supports that I have been receiving from my closest people.

 

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

I want to keep on learning and improving myself in digital and traditional illustration, and make more illustrations for children’s books with a warm and touching story. Hopefully, I can make drawings that have a great impact to society.

 

I want to keep on learning and improving myself in digital and traditional illustration, and make more illustrations for children’s books with a warm and touching story. Hopefully, I can make drawings that have a great impact to society.

 

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

If given the chance, I would really love to collaborate with my favorite illustrator since I was a kid: Nick Sharrat.

 

What are the biggest challenges you face in working as a creative?

Art block, tight deadline, and presenting my idea to clients.

Working as an illustrator can be challenging and frustrating sometimes, but I always enjoy every process that comes with it.

 

How would you describe the women around you?

My mom, my close friends, my working partner are strong, independent, and hard working women. They also are very caring and supportive to each other.

 

My mom, my close friends, my working partner are strong, independent, and hard working women. They also are very caring and supportive to each other.

 

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

When I grew up, I was not really aware of female creatives, especially those who work as illustrators. One of the reasons is probably the lack of exposure to the creative field. But now, it has changed a lot. Female creative workers are more appreciated and social media really helps female creatives to promote their work.

 

Work with love and enjoy every process. Keep doing it and then we will find that our works will build the path by itself.

 

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

Work with love and enjoy every process. Keep doing it and then we will find that our works will build the path by itself.

 


What type of music do you like to listen to?

I love listening to The Beatles, The Carpenters, and Air Supply. My music playlist is mostly influenced by my dad.

 

What’s your favorite local food spot?

There are too many good foods in Yogyakarta. But when someone asked me about my favorite food, what first came to my mind is Siomay Telkom. Siomay is a type of fish dumpling, served with peanut sauce. I recommend fried siomay. Crispy on the outside, and tender on the inside.

 

Knight Zhang asks: What is something you struggle with as a creative that you don’t think is talked about enough in communities or online spaces?

I struggle with how to work efficiently with a tight deadline. I can’t think clearly when the client gives me too little time to do the project.

 

Tidawan Thaipinnarong asks: What city would you want to live in and work as a creative?

I am always yearning to permanently live in Bandung, Indonesia. I lived in Bandung for 2 years and left my heart there. I love the weather, the food, and the good atmosphere to stay creative. I think Bandung is a perfect place for creative working enovironment. There are so many creative communities where we can meet inspiring people, get creative ideas by sharing to each other, and it results in being more productive and motivated.

 

What question would you like us to ask the next artist?

What is your turning point in your career as an artist?

 

 

Photos courtesy of Amalia Dian Utami

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