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This interview features an Indonesian illustrator, graphic designer and lettering artist Bhima Bagaskara. He may not have the basic academic in graphic design or have not studied from any art related institute but he can show you his amazing skills in the world of art. Read on and see more of Bhima’s work!
When did you start doing graphic design?
I fell in love with drawing ever since I was a kid. All of my school textbooks is full of my doodles and it made my mom angry, but I continued doing so haha. That was the first time I formed a passion. I got more interested in graphic design and studied it during highschool. It was kind of difficult for me because I didn't own a computer; I borrowed one from my friend to learn through graphic design softwares. I started my own professional career as a graphic designer in early 2009. I didn't get proper education of it in school nor went to college; everything was self-study.
How would you describe yourself when you are inside and outside the world of art?
I'm a fast learner and curious artist inside, and the outside is; I'm a leader in organization, business geek, and I'm a musician too.
When did you start doing typography and why did you choose it?
I started this specification field in about a year ago. After years I work as a Illustrator and graphic designer, I think the most fun job is a make typography work. So, I decide to more focus on it, start to learning from basic until make some my own fonts and sell it, then wow! the result is amazing, the number is unbelievable, even I never expect it.
For how long have you been doing this and what keeps you going for more?
I have been focusing on this specific field of design which is handlettering typography for about a year. I think what keeps me going is my own curiosity on the subject. At least, I am still learning until now. Finding new techniques, meet with the other artists that have the same vision in this thing, meet with new clients and doing some new projects are fun experience to me.
What is your favorite font style? Why?
Blackletter family; fraktur, and flourish script style. I like them because I think they are the most beautiful font style, classic!
I really like your "The making of artwork for Piratez's latest single 2014" artwork, what is the story behind this piece?
Piratez need me for their new single as a art director and letterer for the artwork. The story behind is; I want to express the meaning of song itself universally, which is "It's not enough". A begging hand with petroleum (blank thick ink actually) poured off on it, means there is not and never enough for us, the peoples and the government to always begging, to ask, even with their power or however the way, just to rule the world.
What is the average time you spend on your artworks?
I think it's relative depends on the details and concept. Maybe the longest I ever did is about 5 hours accumulated.
What is your biggest break as a designer?
I think I don't have the biggest one yet, maybe working with some of famous band like Bring Me The Horizon, INK, etc is just fun experience to me, it's not a biggest break. I hope sometime I will work for some popular brands in the future.
Do you have any signature style? If so, how did you develop it?
Sure, my own favourite signature style is combination of blackletter and flourish ornament, people called it a modern calligraphy style. Also, my speciality style is spontaneous hand writing/calligraphy that makes natural strokes and sometimes its cause unique splashes. And they are unrepeatable, not able to be done or made again in the exactly same as each other. I think that's why it is very exclusive.
Where does your inspiration come from?
My experiments, daily practice, also from another artist's work sometimes.
Is there a time in your life that you want to give up your passion as an artist? If so, how did you overcome it?
Yes of course I've been through it and in fact it did not happen just once. There was one time I became so sick, depressed and almost gave up on what I do. It was one of my darkest moments in career, I didn't have any income at all, so terrible and I did not know what to do. That was scary moment to remember. I think every artist has experienced it at least once in his/her career. Then I started to distance myself from this field, avoiding any arts and design stuff and start to find another non-art job. But I realized I wasn't happy. In the end, something in me told me to keep doing what I do best, because everyone is born with their own abilities and skills. Finally, I went back to what I did before; my real job, which is to create amazing things as an artist.
More about Bhima Bagaskara
Bhima has an open commission for freelance job in graphic design or illustration for apparel, advertisement, and bands merchandise. Visit his Behance profile for more of his works.