My name is Renata, I’m 28 years old living in Jakarta, Indonesia. I am just an ordinary person trying to understand who I am, who loves to pour my feelings into words and artworks. I happened to professionally earn a living from making art as an illustrator since 2013. Besides drawing, I enjoy reading books and biology, I am also interested in people’s behavior. I am currently on a long break from work to raise my 13 months-old son.
I live in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. I moved here four years ago to live with my husband. I originally came from Surabaya, the second-largest city in Indonesia. Jakarta is the city you will have the love-hate relationship with. This is the place where you build your career and future, it’s like the New York of Indonesia, the concrete jungle. Everyone comes here to get a better living. Yet it’s not the safest place to live.
I am just an ordinary person trying to understand who I am, who loves to pour my feelings into words and artworks.
The best thing about living in Jakarta is the ecosystem of the creative industry. This is the place to go to spread your creative wings in the industry. There are always museums, art exhibitions, art markets, music, and other creative stuffs going on here, compared to other cities in my country. And since this is the capital city, you can find mostly any kind of food from across the globe here. The worst is the high crime rate. It’s not the safest city to live, since the social economy disparity is so real here. Also, the infamous traffic jam.
Uncommon, Young, and Struggling
I enjoyed drawing from such a young age. Although I enjoyed many things else, I decided to take visual communication design major in college (since there is no illustration major in the country). I drew most of the time and loved taking part in many visual art competitions and contests back then to earn money. I uploaded my artworks in an online platform like Deviantart, and got noticed by an advertising agency who worked for a major bottled water brand in the country, then Voila! I was known as the pilot illustrator for its special edition-packaging label in 2013 and I think that’s where it all started.
I uploaded my artworks in an online platform like Deviantart, and got noticed by an advertising agency who worked for a major bottled water brand in the country, then Voila!
I was lucky that my parents and family gave me freedom to choose what I do in life. I think that’s because I’m a pretty responsible and reliable person that they could trust all m decisions. However, I heard a lot of family disapproval stories from my fellow-artist friends and that’s really sad.
I used to be a goal-oriented person, but since I have my son, I am a different person. I don’t think I have goals anymore, but I do have visions. My vision is that what I do can do good for others, either my art or anything else I do. I would love to bounce back to my career one day, I just want to keep creating.
My vision is that what I do can do good for others, either my art or anything else I do.
I, again, was lucky to be surrounded and raised by strong women. Women are strong in their own ways. We are warriors.
Women are strong in their own ways. We are warriors.
Yes, of course, there are many female creatives I look up to until now. I grew up admiring Hermione Granger (though it’s a fictional character). Some other names I look up to are Anna Bond from Rifle Paper Co. and Megan Hess.
The industry here treats female nicely. I think the perks of being female here is that is still uncommon for us to work in this male-dominated area, so it’s easier for us to stand out. The challenging part is of course when you become a mother, like I do now. The multitasking work is surely overwhelming.
Consistency is the key.
Just keep doing what you love to do, keep practicing, and always work hard. Consistency is the key.
Photos courtesy of Renata Owen
June 12, 2020