Aug 31, 2016

Thoughts About Illustrating

I think it's been ages since I draw digitally, like full digital from scratch, just like what I did every day, seven to eight years ago when I was still in college. Today feels so meaningful. Shortly as I finished my meeting with Diana, I went to Kitty's studio to paint with other creatives. There we painted things randomly, shared our paints and stories. It's really fun, I never did things like this, painting together with other illustrators and painters. I feel so happy to see other people do their painting, the way they brush the paint, the way they start their painting, their color preferences. As most of us brought our own paint and brushes, I got to try the paint that I've never tried before. It's really fun. I wish illustrators and painters in Jakarta can gather around to do things like this more often. 

Back when I only had an old laptop and a mouse, I was mesmerised when I saw Danny Roberts' fashion illustration blog. It was very new to me, I was hooked instantly. I remember that I tried to do digital illustration on Photoshop using a mouse. It was fine back then, I didn't find anything wrong with illustrating using a mouse. I then illustrated lots of bloggers and uploaded them to this blog. Sea of Shoes, Style Bubble, Karla Deras, Gary Pepper are some of the bloggers I illustrated. Diana is one of them too, I wasn't a friend of her back then. I remember I was so into Gary Pepper's blog and I drew her. It was when she still had her line, Gary Pepper Vintage. Instagram wasn't even a cool thing before 2010, so I emailed her my illustration and said that I love her style. She replied my email and even uploaded my illustration to her Facebook page. I was so happy!

After I graduated from college, I was working as an account executive, so drawing wasn't a day to day activity. But I still draw every now and then and uploaded my illustrations to this blog. My boyfriend lent me his Wacom so I could learn and draw better digitally. It was clearly an improvement to my drawing, here's the post when I just started using Wacom. One day my boyfriend wanted his Wacom back because he needed to use it, so he insisted me to buy myself a Wacom. I was a bit hesitant because I thought I don't need it urgently and my salary was pretty tight for even thinking about buying a Wacom. But I finally did, and I never regreted my decision to buy a Wacom. One of the best things I did for my illustrating career in years. I wouldn't have illustrate that much if I didn't buy a Wacom. You can see some of my thoughts from 2012 in these posts, here and here. P.S., I'm still using the Wacom until now, even made this illustration below with that small Bamboo Wacom.

I feel a bit emotional now. The memories of how I started illustrating again, when I was still in college, the tools that I'm using, my brush strokes, my color palettes, everything is continuously developing up until today. Through this link you can see my progress in illustrating starting from years ago. Illustrating has always been my favorite thing to do and I never thought that it will be my main job. Glad that I finally be able to convince myself to illustrate full time and left my job as an account executive, public relation executive, copywriter, notification strategist  employee. I also never expected that I would even teach on workshop or private coaching session for illustrating or other creative subject. I think good things happen to those who least expected, but have work pretty hard to improve themselves. More things to come, more dreams to achieve!

Aug 29, 2016

9 Days in Tokyo and Around

Feeling so content is what I am right now after my Tokyo trip. Booked my flight back in February as a 'runaway' solo trip, I never thought that I would enjoy the trip that much. It was actually an accident that I booked the flight for early August, friends said that Tokyo would be so hot and humid. Google and blogs were having the same voice as my friends did. It made me feel a bit hesitant but oh well, I bought the tickets already. A week before I depart to Tokyo, I felt so scared and worried, will I survive the trip with my zero level of Japanese language? How can I take the trains with all those confusing train maps? My last trip was three years ago, so things are changing in Tokyo, definitely. I could hardly sleep until Diana asked to join my trip. She had no itinerary, she just wanted to join my trip for a few days. I immediately said yes, because then I would have a friend to get lost with. More importantly, to adapt with the city. So four days of girl friend trip and five days of solo trip. No exact itineraries, all I have was the Tokyo Guide zine by Hello Sandwich. Here I tell you a glimpse of my journey absorbing the pastel and calming atmosphere of Tokyo.


Took a mid night flight. Left my neck pillow at home. Boyfriend drove me to the airport. Waved my mom more than two times because I had that anxiety of not seeing her again. Feeling a bit sad to leave my mom and my boyfriend. Scared for the journey that I'll be facing for the next nine days. Felt so stupid for not making any itinerary or at least a rough note of where I'll be going in Tokyo. Shit. Googled everything on my way to CGK. Made a list of places or things I wanted to do in Tokyo instead of a clear and tactical itinerary. Called the bank to get the permit of using my credit card in Tokyo. The call lasted too long that I had no time to talk to my boyfriend. Felt even worrier about everything. I shall call it the solo traveling anxiety.

Landed in Tokyo. Felt too emotional to finally be in the city that I love since forever. Excitements are up above my head. Saw the Hello Kitty plane in Haneda's runway, the cutest airplane ever. Felt unsure about where to go, tried to find the train sign. Googled the route to get to my hostel. Got a seat in the train, switched subway to get to the right route. Got off the train in the wrong station. So much confusions but still happy because I was in Tokyo anyway. Reached the hostel and stored our luggages then went off to walk around Asakusa. Tried to remember the right way, the restaurants, the nearest subway stations as what I had three years ago because I stayed at the same hostel. Tokyo was hoooootttttttt. Sight seeing at Sensō-ji temple and walked to Tokyo Sky Tree. Had afternoon coffee by the river, with a very nice view of the Sky Tree. Walked back to the hostel at late night, felt so tired but happy at the same time.

Walked from Shinjuku, Harajuku to Shibuya. So tired but so many things I saw and tried. Had Shake Shack for lunch, burgers were divine. Tried Dominique Ansel's famous cookie shot and frozen smores as a part of my to do list in Tokyo. Not a sweet tooth but Dominique Ansel is definitely worth the price and the calories. I walked thousands of walks anyway so I felt guilt-less. To sum up everything, day 2 is all about calories and chasing for colorful walls.

Took the early subway to Kichijoji. As what Go Tokyo says, a popular destination for men and women of all ages. This district has an air of calm amid the bustling shopping streets and yokocho alleys, and the lush greenery of Inokashira Park. Again, Tokyo was way too hot but still lovely. I think I can adapt to live in Kichijoji quickly. The green, the craft, the cuteness, the calm side of Tokyo are all mixed together nicely in Kichijoji. Sat under the sky high trees in Inokashira Park. Listen to the birds and the wind. Cooled down by matcha ice cream. Walked down the path in Inokashira Park and hoping to see other colors than green. No luck, it was summer anyway. Green is all I see. Had lunch at a very cute little restaurant called Hattifnatt where the doors are so small and the meals are being lifted up to the second floor manually. Got to tired of walking that I felt like crying and ended up people watching at Kichijoji station and snacking on hot pretzels. Today I finally understood the basics of the train map of Tokyo.

Ticked the #1 on my list, Shimokitazawa. Walked to where my heat wanted to. Lost in the prettiest part of Tokyo, I think. Saw a strange store and walked out of it with eight books in hand, the best store ever. Shimokitazawa is totally my color palette, pastels with a hint of sparkles or bold colors. It was Diana's last day in Tokyo so we celebrated a bit by having sushi for dinner in Shibuya.

Waved good bye to Diana. Got so confused on where should I go that day. Felt like going to the outer area of Tokyo but it was 11 AM already. Shook the doubts off my mind and finally decided to just go far to Kamakura, as recommended by my room mate. Worth the heat and the miles. Got in the wrong train. Did some major mistakes on the train tickets but finally got to see the sea side while I was on the small train to Kamakura. Walked far up hill to see the the great Buddha statue in the Hase area. Had onigiri for lunch on the go. Followed a group of people to a direction, saw a sign to another temple. Climbed up hill to the top of Hasedera. The view was worth all the steps and the sweat. Took the JR train back to Tokyo, but had a long stop for coffee at Fujisama because I was too tired to walk. Stopped by the Shimbashi station and headed to Hibiya Park. Did a quick sketch while watching as people passed by. It was a really good day.

Ticked the museum visit off my to do list in Tokyo. Saw the Paul Smith exhibition, it was really inspiring. Walked around Ueno park but I couldn't bare the heat so I stayed indoor as much as I could. Took the subway to Tokyo tower and went to the highest level, the special observatory. Arrived in time during the golden hour, Tokyo was so beautiful from above. Mesmerizing. Had katsu curry rice for dinner. Had too much rice in my meal so I walked a bit further on the way back home.

Wanted to experience the Tsukiji market but I went too late in the mid day. The heat was too strong that I kicked myself off the incredibly long queue of Sushi Dai. Still wanting sushi for lunch so I headed a bit far to Shibuya to have sushi at the place where I had dinner with Diana. Got my self so full of lunch and took the JR train to Disneyland. Arrived in at the perfect time around 3 PM when the sun was friendly enough to walk around without a roof. Felt amazingly happy to spend time alone in Disneyland. Spent my time mostly looking at the details of Disney's creation. Watched two Disney parade, the late afternoon and the electrical night parade. Went back to the hostel late at night. Felt so tired but utterly happy.

My excitement woke me up very early in the morning because I was about to go to Yokohama to see Pikachu parade. Took the JR train and was very happy because I had improved my train-taking skill. Arrived at the English rose garden an hour too early. Mesmerized by how beautiful the roses are. Spent two hours staring at the flowers at the garden. Walked a few blocks to see the Pikachu parade. Waited and wasn't feel energetic so I just sit until the parade starts. Pikachu parade was so cute, couldn't help it. Skipped breakfast and lunch, had multiple cans of latte instead. Got shaky on my way back to Tokyo, felt nauseous but I managed to reach my fave dinner place near to the hostel before my body got worse.

My last day in Tokyo. I've been waiting for this day because I wanted to shop in Sekaido, the art supplies shop in Shinjuku. Wind blew too hard, the sun was hiding somewhere. Spent 2 hours in Sekaido just to choose which gouache and brush pen I should buy. Went out of Sekaido with a happy heart so I headed to Harajuku. I felt some burns on my feet because I walked too much. Walked very slow to reach Harajuku street through Meiji shrine area. Had a long rest under the tree while enjoying a matcha ice cream. Walked down the Harajuku street and tried to find lunch. Finally had Luke's lobster roll for lunch at 4 PM. Walked up the Omotesando hill to meet a friend at Kitsune Cafe. Regreted my decision to order black coffee at Kitsune Cafe because I forgot I've had coffee for three times but only one meal throughout the day. Walked to Shibuya to buy some stuff. Took the wrong turn. Stuck in the rain. Ran all the way to Shibuya crossing. Felt nauseous again due to the amount of black coffee I had that day. My body was shaking but I forced to walk to get the subway. Finally had dinner at 10 PM. To walk from Harajuku to Shibuya wasn't the best thing to do if you plan to have a flight in the next morning.

DAY 10
Woke up just in time to leave the hostel and headed to Haneda. Felt so much better. Had no time to walk around the neighbourhood of Kuramae. Went straight to the airport by taking the express train. Had dorayaki at the airport. Flew back with my fave flight ever. 

I never felt this happy when I come back home after a holiday. Usually post holiday feeling is so bad that I don't feel like working for weeks. This time it was different because the trip somehow recharged my mood, my mind and had me set new goals for my career. Maybe it's what people called as the best time of your life. Every day I passed in Tokyo is a better day than the day before. It's funny how I said I had the best day of my life but the next day it's even much happier. Totally feel so content and ready to work (so I can go back to Tokyo sooner).

P.S.: I'll write a more detailed posts about my trip, soon!

Jul 22, 2016

Dreamy Hats

I really adore the beauty of this headpieces brand from London, Sophie Beale
The color tone, the expressions, the headpieces are all blending beautifully into a very dreamy series of photograph.

Jul 21, 2016

Walk The Talk

July has been a slow, calm, with a tad of anxiety for me. It started with the holy month of Ramadhan, Eid came after, with a long pause in the middle, the national holiday. I'm getting engaged later on this week and next week I'll be flying to Tokyo. I'm juggling between a lot of things right now. It stresses me out quite a lot because I struggle a lot to bring my productive working mood back. You know, after that long Eid holiday, I have this upcoming Tokyo trip in mind. So it's really easy for me to slow down, which I think I shouldn't do - but I did. I'm really excited with the things and events in front of me. Bismillah. 

Jul 19, 2016

In Her Shoes

My recent illustrations for Dior. I did more effort than usual to create the realistic details. The initial idea was to make a series of Dior shoes, but ended up only the red one went to the final approval. I had lots of fun when I illustrated these shoes!