Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Illustrators Arise: Kemasacil

Hiya there, art lovers! How's it going this fine morning? It's going to get better '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. This month the Indonesian feature introduces a children's illustrator who describes himself as a lefty who loves bitter beans. Please welcome Kemas Dwisatria Ramadhana! He first came to my attention when I stumbled upon his work on Instagram and the unique style of his illustrations haunted me ever since. Around a week ago I had the chance of meeting him in person at Catalyst Art Market and he is as friendly as his illustrations!

Hiya there, Kemas! Why don't we begin with when you started drawing and what makes you keep at it?
Hello, Bivi! It just so happens that the first time I started drawing was when I hadn't even started school and participated in a competition. Since then on, I've always loved to draw—well, according to my mother anyway :D

You studied Communication Design at Binus University, correct? What have you learnt there aside from art and would you recommend this major/art schools in general to others?
Yes, I did. Aside from art, eh? Hmm...well there are a lot of things, actually, because usually in uni we were only taught the basics, more on it later on at work etc. I wouldn't really recommend it. I guess it depends on your interests, because almost all departments and schools have started to rise up to the challenge and improve their quality.

What kind of materials do you usually use?
For digital art, I'm still using my wacom bamboo fun which has loyally accompanied me since college times until now. (hehehe) As for traditional art, I usually try out any medium. For now at least, I use copic and pencils for the most part.

There seems to be a lot of Japanese pop-culture influence in your illustrations. What attracts you most about it? How big an influence does it have on your style?
Now, yeah, because when I was little I used to watch a lot of Japanese animation—or anime, I've been in love with the characters in the Japanese animation ever since. The colours and so are very interesting, in my view. About how big the influence is, well...quite big hehehe

Speaking of which, I've seen Arata on your instagram feed. He looks so adorable! Could you tell us a little bit about him?
Well, Arat is actually a personal project of mine about my daily life. Arata in Japanese means "fresh," so the concept is to start a day cheerfully and fresh (hehe)

Your illustration style is so adorable, interesting and unique. It seems sutiable to entertain children. Is there a story behind how you developed this style?
Wow thank you! How the style got to where it is, I suppose I'm fond of cute and entertaining forms, coincidentally I also love to play with children so much.

It seems I've seen the name Tomodachi Studio mentioned a lot on your social media. Would you tell us what it's really all about and what the history behind the studio is?
Tomodachi Studio is a project between two people at first—me and Basith Ibrahim—and we were more focused on the field of illustration and design. Now, there are four people with various professional focus. I guess you can't really call it a studio, but it's not exactly an art collective either. Either way, we gather up when there is a collaborative work for us at the studio :)

What is your biggest dream as an illustrator?
I'd like to have an exhibition space to help young Indonesian illustrators and to exhibit my own works abroad, so that other countries will also realise that Indonesia can compete with other countries in the field of art. I guess that's all :)

What does the future look like for Kemasacil?
I'd like to become a much better individual

What would you say to a newbie illustrator, such as myself, if they come up to you for advice?
Don't be easily satisfied, always keep learning and look for something new, because knowledge never gets old :D

A little note from me

What intrigued me at first about Kemas's artwork is his significant style. It is adorable but distinctly different, in which you can quickly tell them apart from other illustrations. The playful element of his pieces really offer a relaxed and laid back atmosphere to everyone who sees them. Such a soothing illustration to look at when you're looking for a relief from a long day of work. I absolutely love his wit which always seems to pop up from each and every one of his works. It definitely shows characters and depth in what he creates. It is also incredible how he can see simple ideas in ordinary scenes, yet not everyone can see it. It takes a creative person's eye to really see the potential of every situation. His choice of colour also pops with a certain comical quality to it, making them quite verstile to insert in any background or location—as in the ultraman in the photography just above. I'm excited to see more of his work—and hopefully more original characters—and be sure to watch his growth as an artist!

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P.S: Today is his birthday so go wish him a happy birthday!

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