Friday, 10 June 2016

Illustrators Arise: Isa Indra Permana

Well, hello there, art friends! How are you doing? Hope you're well 'cause I've got some great news: it's time for another edition of Illustrators Arise! Woohoo! In case you're unfamiliar with it, it is where I introduce my favourite illustrators from all over the world every month through an interview so you guys can read along and get to know them too. The Indonesian feature continues with a quirky illustrator, who has an apt for mixing bold colours. Please welcome, Isa Indra Permana! It was through instagram that I first found his work. His playful and surreal illustrations stuck to my mind ever since. His witty, out-of-the-box ideas are really easy to love. When he's bored, this friendly and generous-with-the-smiles illustrator likes to try out recipes from Youtube.

Hello there, Isa! Let's start with how you started drawing and what led you to become an illustrator!
Hello, Bivi! I started drawing in the 3rd grade and continued on until I graduated from uni. What makes me become an illustrator is the love for storytelling and has become part of a hobby passed on from my uncle (haha).


Oh, you studied Illustration at Universitas Sebelas Maret, right? What did you learn there aside from art? Would you recommend art schools to other people?
Yes, that's right. I went to Universitas Sebelas Maret. Aside from art, I learn how to create a concept and communicate ideas and designs as a solution to public issues.

What kind of materials do you usually use?
Drawing pen for sketchbooks & wacom for digital work.

You have a very distinct, comical style with the use of vibrant, contrasting colours and detailed elements. What's the story behind its development?


All the influence that affects my style and colour palette comes from various fairy tale books, films, even music. The choice of bold and bright colours, aside to attract attention, is also to deliver a cheerful atmosphere and positive energy. Meanwhile, exploring the element's details, I think it's the very enjoyable part. Sometimes it is from there arise unique ideas.


I found a couple redesign/re-illustrations on your portfolio. What inspires you to do this and what are you planning to redesign in the future?
The reason for redesigning/re-illustration is as a form of appreciation towards works which I admire. In the future, I hope to be able to collaborate to create a project with the artists.


There seems to be occasional themes going on in your sketchbook (such as Desire and Flavour). Is this deliberate? What is the story behind it?
Oh, yeah, that is deliberate, actually. So, every sketchbook has thematic drawings every 6 months. The purpose is to train myself to be consistent and so that they can be organised according to theme. The theme that I usually pick for the sketchbook mostly have something to do with daily life or music.


You seem to do a lot of collaborations with other artist, from album covers, helmet designs to editorials. How do these collaborations usually start? What is the highlight of the process?
When it comes to collaboration with artists, I usually do them with friends from social media. Either I would initiate it or they would. Now, if it's a commercial collaboration, that's different. Usually I receive offers to collaborate for a brand or band through email but the process is basically the same. First, we create a topic/concept together, then we move on to sketching. After the execution, well, the rest is simply to respond to the work in turns. The highlight, huh? It's fun to gain new knowledge, from learning about character/style or how they process in a collaboration.


Aside from illustration, typography seems to be another of your strong suit. Where do you usually find inspiration for your typeface art?
Haha! Well, generally reference comes from Instagram or Pinterest.

What does the future look like for Isa Indra Permana?
Having an illustration studio with a small team and opening a mini library on the side.

What kind of wisdom would you impart on all the newbie illustrators out there?
Follow your passion, always hungry to get better and share your knowledge frequently.

A little note from me

The first thing anyone would probably notice from Isa's artwork is the surrealism of it. He has an apt for bending reality and turning it into an alternate universe entirely. His use of bold colours and sharp, strong lines really accentuate the dreamlike quality of his work. It is a wonder how he uses so many prominent colours and yet still manage to match them well with one another. I love how his art transports me to a completely different world, with the adorable little details, which bends the general rule of the norm. Everything he makes just seems to be so quirky, that it makes you feel okay to be weird and different and downright strange. I also love the contradicting quality of his illustrations: childlike and complex. His is definitely the works I'd love to see more of in the future.

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