Indonesian Illustrators in Action

Illustration as a profession in Indonesia is rapidly growing in the midst of the dynamic visual arts realm. Many illustrators of the nation have emerged with a variety of characters and media used in their work. We sat down with Mirfak Prabowo, Elicia Edijanto, and izzy on their experiences and perspectives on the creative ecosystem, specifically for illustrators, based on their creative practice.

Mirfak Prabowo began pursuing entry into the world of visual arts back in 2015, honing his drawing skills, consistently creating work, and joining several communities in an effort to remain and grow in this field. For him, nowadays, creators in the world of illustration are developing rapidly, especially after the popularization of NFTs.

Similarly to Mirfak, Elicia Edjanto also feels that consistency is key to dabble in the creative field. “This is crucial as a starting asset in building portfolio materials which then goes on to be showcased on social media to potential clients,” she explained. To her, the conditions of the digital age also help in building the illustration profession. 

“I see a lot of rapid developments in the world of Indonesian professional illustration in comparison to a few years back. With the development of social media, marketing, and commercial brands, it opens up a lot of interest in and demand for illustrators for their content,” she opined. Creative industries like fashion, music, and film also feed each other with the illustration world. I’m optimistic that going forward the illustration profession can be more sustainable and more competitive in the international scene.”

Meanwhile for izzy, who is known for his 3D artwork and animation, the digital realm is the space he finds most comfortable to create. Consistency and honesty in the art making process is something that must be maintained by izzy. “Trust that everything I do has a good influence on my audience because the reality is, with the exposure that I gain through social networking, a percentage of them are professionals looking for creators to support that work. That’s where I come in,” he said.

Beyond the approach and initiatives done by each illustrator, from an external aspect, the demand for and public awareness of collectible works of art can support the productivity and sustainability of illustrators. For Mirfak, the public's intention to to directly collect artworks has already supported creators. Meanwhile, Elicia considers it essential to create work that is inclusive and can be enjoyed by the public. She attempts to present work that is accessible and affordable to be collected by the public.

On the other hand, izzy feels that artworks collected for the public also has a broader impact on the environment. “In my opinion, a society that can enjoy good artworks will create an environment that is open to new ideas, inspire development, and move the people further cognitively,” he explained.

The works of these three illustrators can be enjoyed at the Jakarta Illustration & Creative Arts Fair (JICAF). As is his expertise, Mirfak will showcase art prints and art toys. Meanwhile, Elicia will present her watercolor pieces and a few art prints to be collected. “The plan is to also make a space, provide tools, where the public can try painting with watercolors and feel the enjoyment of traditional painting,” she added.

Meanwhile, izzy attempts to present a new experience for JICAF’s first event. “I’m showing a few new physical works where in its process I tried to interpret my most familiar discipline; motion graphics design. In its practice, the motion graphic design is almost always done and consumed digitally. I tried using techniques, methods, and manipulation of physical materials to add a motion factor to a medium that, by its nature, is static,” he explained. "On top of that, I'm developing an encrypted digital signature to be attached to all my physical artworks later presented at JICAF."

The first edition of JICAF is worth the wait. Aside from Mirfak, Elicia, and Izzy, various illustrators and visual arts artists will also color the event. Along with the exhibitions, JICAF also offers several programs such as talks and conferences. JICAF will take place from 9 to 19 November at SPAC8, UG ASHTA District 8, SCBD Lot 28, Jakarta. Visit their Instagram account at @jkt.icaf for further information regarding ticket purchases and details regarding the programs at the event.

Further info

About the Author

Daud Sihombing

Daud Sihombing has been writing professionally for the past 9 years. This fervent alternative publishing enthusiast prefers his quaint little town over the hustle and bustle of the city and doesn't let sleep stop him from watching every single AS Roma match.