Aras Darmawan is a 25 year old Indonesian designer and motion graphics director based in New York City, New York. Before moving to the Big Apple in 2010, Aras worked as intern for one of his favorite studio, Onesize, in Delft, Netherland. He then get more responsible as in-house motion designer in one of the finest Amsterdam studio, PostPanic.

Aras found that working with major studios sharpens his curiosity and improves his ability,  a quality that makes great designer. After three years full of adventures, this Saxion Hogescholen Enschede graduate decided to to leave his full-time job in late 2011 for a supposedly life-changing gamble.

Aras Darmawan

Grafis Masa Kini (GMK): How would you define yourself?
Aras Darmawan (AD): 50 percent realist and 50 percent dreamer.

GMK: What motivates and inspires you?
AD: Goals, sense of progress, people around me.

GMK: What do you most enjoy about the work process? And what is the least?
AD: It’s the pitching process. I found love-hate joy in it. It’s a crucial part for any motion graphics project where the initial design direction took place. I remembered there’s one time I was working on a pitch, I spent about $70 just to buy series of paint tubes and canvas from local art shop. The idea is to get a sense of how to stylize them for the sake of visual treatments. It’s a fun and rewarding process.

GMK: Are there any differences between working for experimental or self-initiated project and commercial project? How do you adapt to those differences?
AD: The difference is clearly the level of control and time. What I would do is try to keep things in sync between commercial and artistic projects. Sometimes do projects for $$ and sometimes for the art. If you’re lucky, maybe you can do both at the same time.

GMK: How do you feel about collaboration?
AD: It’s a good way as an exercise as well as to express artistic side… Oh, and also to stay balanced from the crooked advertising world

GMK: You have been working as designer/motion graphic artist for renowned studios like PostPanic and Stardust, can you tell us of how did you start joining them and can you share the experiences of working with such studios?
AD: A good start is to show them how passionate you are and how you love their work. the people at PostPanic and Stardust are very cool, they both do great work, and they have a free bar!

Aras Porto 01

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Aras Porto 13

GMK: What are the major differences of working with them and the most important lesson you get?
AD: Each studio has a unique work ethos. It started with curiosity, and then it leads you to discover ways to meet their standard. Soon you get the general idea that you can use to do your own quality assessment.

GMK: What brings you to New York?
AD: I always want to try to live as a total no one in a city where no one I know. Later, I got the job opportunity, so a yes as an answer is a total no brainer.

GMK: What are the biggest difficulties you find when moving to New York and how do you tackle those challenges?
AD: Finding an apartment! In the end I had to pay a broker, but I got the best deal afterwards. Fair enough.

GMK: Why and when did you decide to go solo?
AD: I decided to leave my full-time job in late 2011 for a big gamble. That’s just life, we all gambling sometimes.

GMK: Do you have any plan to return and work in Indonesia?
AD: I do, but definitely not this year.

GMK: How do Indonesia and its culture affect your work?
AD: Surely it has nothing to do with how I work in general, however I do believe it’s one thing that should be part of today’s digital transition, re-fabricating what was in history then marrying them.

GMK: Business, technology is changing and rapidly evolving. What do you do to overcome such pace of changes, especially in the process of work?
AD: Changes are inevitable. I rather spend more time working progressively towards a goal rather than figuring out trivial matters. Just do that, and you’ll be good.

GMK: What are you listening to these days?
AD: Woodkid, Goldmund, Trifonic.

GMK: Artists or designers you admire? Why?
AD: Makoto Shinkai, Chris Cunningham, Tsugumi Ohba, Shiina Ringo… Man, they’re just too good.

GMK: How do you see yourself in five to ten years from now?
AD: Still working on the things I love.

GMK: Could you draw or describe the view from your working space?
AD: All brick walls with a small window where you can listen to NYPD or Fire Dept’s siren every 15 minutes.

GMK: What’s your everyday carry or pocket dump?
AD: An iPhone, cardholder, keys and some random paper shits.

GMK: What is the best advice you received that you would like to share with aspiring designers and artists?
AD: Be arrogant, be humble, and be bad ass.

Aras Darmawan Reel 11. Montage of selected works done these last 3 years.

Visual: Aras Darmawan (
Music: Pretty Lights (
Sound: Combustion (

1. FF11 Intro (SELF. Design, Direction, 3D, Motion)
2. Nike Seitiro (HELLOSAVANTS. 3D Direction, Motion)
3. Lacoste W05 (TRONIC. Design, 3D, Motion)
3. Heineken (POSTPANIC. Design, 3D, Motion)
4. KPN (POSTPANIC. Design, 3D, Motion)
5. Nike Cortez (POSTPANIC. Design, 3D, Motion)
6. MTV Shapeshifting (SELF. Design, Direction, 3D, Motion)
7. Asics Running (POSTPANIC. Design, Compositing)
8. O’Neill NavJacket (ONESIZE. Design, 3D, Motion)
9. Apple Visualizer (TRONIC. Design, Direction, Motion)
10. Photoshop SWP (SELF. Design, Direction, 3D, Motion)
11. Bwin Journey (POSTPANIC. Design, Compositing, Motion)
12. Cut&Paste (SELF. Design, Direction, 3D, Motion)
13. One57 (TRONIC. Compositing)
14. Massive Lighter (SELF. Design, Direction, 3D, Motion)
15. Comcast BC (TRONIC. Design, Direction, 3D, Motion)
16. Brainism (SELF. Design, Direction, 3D, Motion)
17. TEDxEast (TRONIC. Design, Motion)
18. Lacoste Teaser (TRONIC. Design, 3D, Motion)
19. W_Music (SELF. Design, Direction, 3D, Motion)
20. Coca Cola (POSTPANIC. Design, Compositing)
21. Gaganeswara (SELF. Design, Direction, 3D, Motion)
22. Nike Seitiro (HELLOSAVANTS. 3D Direction, Motion)
23. One57 (TRONIC. Compositing)
24. RBSF (POSTPANIC. Design, Direction, 3D, Motion)
25. Lacoste B04 (TRONIC. Design, Motion)
26. Cepad-Cepad (SELF. Design, Direction, 3D, Motion)
27. Cognitivewerk (SELF. Design, Direction, 3D, Motion)
28. Resonance (SELF. Design, Direction, 3D, Motion)
29. MassiveMusic (POSTPANIC. Design, Direction, 3D, Motion)
30. VisaNet (SUGRUE. Design, Direction, Motion)
31. FF11 Outro (SELF. Design, Direction, 3D, Motion)

Find more of Aras’ works here: