For this article in the international artist series, we turn to Indonesia, featuring five illustrators and designers who create fantastic work, from illustration to graphic design and more! I asked each artist how their country and culture inspired their work, and they delivered fantastic answers. Enjoy!
Rahadil is a fantastic illustrator based in Malang, Indonesia, whose work is bold and often aimed at bands and various brands, having been inspired by punk rock and various cultural influences. You can check out his portfolio for more work, or the small selection of his pieces below!
"I was born and raised in Indonesia, where the diversity of traditions and cultures form a unique characteristic in this country. All sorts of inspiration emerges in my work, apart from the country itself, and become the best aspect at every part of my work.
Greatness Asmat - Mbipokumbu
"Bali is one of the most famous islands in Indonesia. Not only does it have great natural scenery, but Bali is also famous for their unique, pure arts.
"Starting from their famous mythological characters, Barong, I began working with cultural themes for the first time. Also, with a little influence from all kinds of punk music that I listen to often, I try to create artwork influenced from my culture that's different than usual.
Artworks Vol. 01
"Other cultural influences are from Borneo, an island nicknamed the "Black Pearl", and Papua. That's where my interest with this theme is getting bigger. And not just stopping at my country's culture, but a mix of countries such as China, Japan, India, Mexico, and Egypt too."
Lenny is an illustrator based in Jakarta, Indonesia, whose work takes on a fun, expressive, painterly style. You can see everything from character design to story illustrations in Lenny's portfolio as well as below in a small selection of work!
"I grew up and living in Jakarta (Indonesia's capital). This city has remarkable diversity. This diversity is shown a bit in my work. I like to draw characters from variety cultural backgrounds.
"I also think that an Indonesian sense of humor has also influenced my work. Sometimes I like to put in humor into my sketches or work."
Cold for the Summer
Junissa is a fantastic artist based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Still a student, Junissa creates beautiful character designs, telling stories of rainy days, ballet, and children. You can check out more of her work in her ever-growing portfolio or in the small selection of pieces below!
Abby and Mr. Sticky
"Indonesia has influenced my work through the stories and characters I pick for my projects. My country has a vast range of folktales and legends that I'd love to introduce to people.
"I would say that having that much variety of culture in my country makes it easier to gain more inspiration, as well as it opens up the boundaries.
Love at the Circus
"Most of the folktales in Indonesia are meant for children, so as you can see my works are mostly targeted to children as the audience."
Devina is an illustrator based in Surabaya, Indonesia, whose vibrant work is fun and often filled with humor. From silly vegetables to fantastic children's illustration, you'll find more work in Devina's portfolio as well as a small selection of pieces below!
Baby Milestone Animal Series
"In Indonesia, every place has its own unique culture. I haven't explored it all, but for now, Balinese and Javanese are my favorite (maybe because I live there).
Family for Dinner
Mr. Mustache - Indonesian Culture
"I really love Indonesian culture or characters. That's why I want to put it in my illustration with my own style. Indonesian cultures are very rich and I hope my country will be known all over the world over my illustration. I'm still in the process of exploring my country because there are so many cultures in it."
Mr. Mustache - Christmas Edition
Kathrin is a freelance illustrator and graphic designer from Jakarta, Indonesia, whose work is colorful and wonderfully textured. Each piece tells a story, which you can check out below or in full at her portfolio.
Illustrations of 2015
"A culture is a very important essence of a country. It takes centuries to shape it to what it is today. If you ask me about how I'd like my culture and country to influence me, I guess the work is more on my side. I have to be more observant, curious & open-minded to be able to understand more, therefore to be inspired & influenced.
People of Malaysia
The Undaunted Dandelion - Personal Branding
"Indonesia has a very rich culture. We have a lot of indigenous tribes and every tribe has their own custom & traditions. Just to name a few, we have Batik culture, Betawi culture, Wayang, and Barong.
The Moon Girl
"One day, I would love to create a piece of work that relates to Indonesia; a work that Indonesians can have an ownership of. A work that can contribute something to Indonesian culture—even a little bit."
Many thanks to the artists and designers above who took time to discuss their country and culture's influence on their work. You can follow their portfolios at the following links: