Fenty Anggreta – Cool Indonesian Illustrator

It was a “ D’oh “ Homer-style moment, when I realise that instagram is where everyone seems to be. When I say everyone, I mean loads of Indonesian Cool Illustrators are. Obviously I become addicted to it as I have missed out on a lot. Sigh.. another online platform I am addicted to. Anyway, we are not here to talk about my addiction. What I was going to say is that Instagram has opened up to me a world of beauty. hahahaha. Where I found more Indonesian Illustrators.

The first one I found was this lady, Fenty Anggreta a.k.a monsterbuaya. (buaya=crocodile)

Monsterbuaya instagram

Her work that stole my attention is of course Timun Mas. If you have been following me, you would know I have been working on illustrating this Indonesian folklore. When I say I have been working, I mean I started and neglected it. pffft..

Here is monsterbuaya’s version of Timun Mas.

monsterbuaya timunmas

Then I had another “D’oh” moment why didn’t I think of this earlier, I thought maybe I can approach her for an email interview, and guess what? She kindly obliged. Whoop, my first blog interview.

Here is the English version, followed by the Indonesian version (which is the original version is in)


Why Monsterbuaya?

So, I tend to associate people with animal or plants or inanimate object and think about them like that. For example “oh A looks a bit like a cow or B looks a bit like a horse.” Hahahaha. So when I was in university, I met my husband to be, who I think looks a bit like a crocodile and he is big like a monster. Then when I was working in Bandung (West Java)) in an Consulting Architect, I started my blog which is called monsterbuaya, from then on my followers knows me as monsterbuaya. By the way you have to write it in one word monsterbuaya instead of monster buaya (Editor’s Note: I wrote the name as monster buaya)😀

monsterbuaya

Who is your favourite illustrator?

I like Oliver Jeffers. I bought almost all his books and books that he illustrates for. I think he is not only a genius in drawing but also in storytelling. (Editor Note: Totally agree)

What tools do you use?

I think in drawing there should not be any must haves. Because just by using 1 colour paint or just with pencil we can already draw.

When I started drawing with markers, because they were quite expensive IDR 50,000 each, I bought them one by one, different colours each week.

When my husband is being nice, he bought me 15 colours in one go, hahhaha, now I have hundreds. Yet I am not using them anymore I prefer to draw using Gouache now.
Or when I was learning to draw like Geninne D. Zlatkis, who loves to use acrylic ink to draw the outlines, I went around all the shops in Jakarta and Jogja, to try to find the ink and could not find them. I even had to ask a friend who lives in Sidney to buy them, who bought acrylic paint, which is a different thing to Acrylic ink, so they bought the wrong one.🙂

Picture 17

Frustrated, I now just used Gouache with more water, which had the same effect to the drawing to using Acrylic ink.

So being creative is essential.

Have you got other work beside Kancil mencuri timun ( the muntjac deer who stole the cucumber, an Indonesian fable story), displayed on your website?

I do have other works, for the exhibition A Tale in Jogja there were 3 stories, Kancil mencuri timun, Bawang Merah & Bawang Putih (Shallot and Garlic) and Timun Mas (Golden Cucumber). Actually I have got them also as products but I have not had the time to update my website.

By the way the stories are not a pure traditional folklore, I put a twist on each of them, to make it my own.

What advice would you give to aspiring illustrators?

Just draw.

monsterbuaya mural

Whilst drawing learn as much as possible from other illustrators especially established ones. Don’t learn from only one but learn from lots of artists, works and different media.

By learning more it will help (me especially) in finding what is our style, it is like a journey to find yourself. I also have a tendency of learning as much as possible about an artist I love, by reading the blogs, articles or even watch youtube videos about them. Hahahaha.

Because drawing is not only about the technique but how one tells a story and deliver emotion into it. Right?


INDONESIAN VERSION

Kenapa namanya monsterbuaya?

Jadi, aku tu suka sekali mengasosiasikan seseorang dengan binatang atau tumbuhan  atau benda lain. “misal si ini kayak sapi yaa, si itu kayak kuda yaa..” hahaha. Nah waktu aku kuliah, menurutku si -yang sekarang jadi suamiku- itu mirip sekali sama buaya. & karena dia badannya besar jadi mirip juga sama monster.😀. Terus pas masih ngantor di konsultan arsitek di bandung, aku buat blog namanya juga monsterbuaya. Nah lewat blog itulah aku dikenal sebagai monsterbuaya sama orang-orang yang baca blog, jadilah nama itu kuteruskan sampai aku berubah profesi.🙂

Oiya monsterbuaya itu penulisannya disambung yaa.. jadi bukan monster buaya. hehehe (Red: aku tulis pertanyaan monsterbuayanya di pisah, oops)

Siapakah Seniman atau illustrator yang kamu kagumi?

Aku suka Oliver Jeffers. aku membeli hampir seluruh bukunya & buku-buku yang dia jadi ilustratornya :)) menurutku, dia bukan hanya jenius dalam menggambar, tapi juga dalam bercerita.

Indonesiantraditionalweddingbymonsterbuaya

Saat berkarya alat (tool) apakah yang menurut kamu wajib kamu punya/pakai? 

Sebetulnya menurut saya, menggambar itu nggak ada alat yang wajib dipunya. karena dengan satu warna cat saja, atau dengan pensil saja, kita sudah bisa mulai menggambar. seperti dulu waktu aku belajar menggambar dengan marker. karena marker itu kan harganya lumayan mahal, satunya 50 ribuan. Jadi aku belinya satuan gitu. seminggu beli satu warna, minggu besoknya beli 2 warna. Kalau suaminya lagi baik, dia beliin sekaligus 15 warna.😀

Sampai sekarang udah punya ratusan, malah nggak dipakai lagi (karena sekarang lagi seneng pakai gouache. hahaha). Atau ketika saya ingin belajar menggambar seperti Geninne d. Zlatkis yang suka memakai acrylic ink untuk outlinenya, saya muterin toko-toko di Jakarta & Jogja nggak nemu, terus titip teman di Sidney. Salah beli pula dia, beli yang acrylic paint (beda dengan acrylic ink).😀 Ya udah saya pakai aja gouache gitu yang diencerin dengan kekentalan yang mirip dengan ink, jadinya nggak beda juga, cuma sedikit lebih repot aja.

Jadi kreatif itu perlu.

monsterbuayaandpens

Di website kamu ada kancil mencuri ketimun, apakah ada cerita rakyat lain lagi kah yang kamu sedang kerjakan?

Iyaa sebetulnya kan pas pameran Tell me a Tale di Jogja itu ada 3 cerita yang dipamerkan. kancil mencuri timun?, bawang merah & bawang putih, & timun mas. sebetulnya yang lain juga udah mulai dijadiin produk, cuma belum sempaaat update website.

Kalau bisa beri nasihat sama orang yang baru mulai untuk menjejaki bidang ilustrasi, nasihat apakah yang kamu akan berikan?

Sebetulnya yang paling penting itu ya mulai menggambar saja, sambil terus belajar dari melihat sebanyak mungkin karya atau artist dengan berbagai media gambar. (jangan hanya dari satu atau dua artist, yang disukai saja). Dengan belajar sebanyak banyaknya, (kalau saya) akan membantu untuk menemukan yang paling pas untuk kita. seperti perjalanan menemukan diri sendiri🙂

Kalau aku, kalau suka artist tertentu, aku bahkan kepo kepo in dia sampai ke sejarahnya dia mulai menggambar, kehidupannya dia dll. aku baca blognya, semua artikel tentang dia, bahkan lihat youtubenya. hahaha.

Karena kan menggambar itu sebetulnya bukan hanya tentang teknik, tapi lebih ke penyampaian emosi & cerita, ya?


Fenty and her mural

Fenty is quite right, you can learn technique but how one delivers the feeling through the story, is more important. Her correspondence with me have been so pleasant, happy and full of joy, I’d love to meet her one day. Even the picture of her is brimming of friendliness. From her blog updates you get the feeling that she is very imaginative and creative. It sounded like she is having so much fun being an illustrator. This definitely comes through her whimsical stories and twist she puts in her work. I can’t wait to be able to go back home and buy some of her work. :D I took her advice on JUST DRAW, now I am trying to draw something at least once a week, so if you are inspired pick up a pencil or pen then start drawing.

Fenty lives in Jakarta with her husband and rabbits. You can see more of Fenty’s work on her Website and instagram.

Website: www.monsterbuaya.com | Instagram: instagram.com/monsterbuaya or @monsterbuaya

By the way, what do you think of my first interview?