Instagram: @renataowen

1. What’s your story? Where are you from?

My name is Renata, a 29-year old woman living in Jakarta, Indonesia. I love to pour my feelings into words and artworks and happen to professionally earn a living as an illustrator since 2013. I am currently on a long break in illustration and spend most of my time with my family, raising my son, and learning more to life than ever before. I also run a game illustration studio with my husband at the moment, called Polar Engine. 

2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

I am pretty much inspired by classic fairytales, music and lyrics. I use a lot of detailed ornaments in my works, along with exquisite colour palette inspired mostly by classic vintage fairytale picture books I had when I was little, results in imagery that feels rich, dreamy, and delightful. 

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

My favorite medium is pencil and paper, and digital colouring with vector using Adobe Illustrator. I enjoy sketching the most, just me, the pencil and paper. Vectoring eases my mind, to see everything in a sharp edges gives me sanity. 

4. What is your artistic process like?

Usually I write down my ideas, look for visual images for the mood board, then start making some rough sketch ideas. After that I will make the detailed sketch on paper, scan it, and color it digitally. It’s that simple, nothing fancy. 

5. Who and/or what inspires your work? 

Classic fairytales, especially Alice in Wonderland and all princesses to be honest (even though Alice is not a princess for sure). Music and lyrics really get me going as well. I am easily inspired by lyrics, quotes, or poetry. Fashion and local culture also play huge role in my artistic genre. 

6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?

Art for me is what I always wanted to do in life, it is to create, express, and share. It can be anything, not just in the form of a visual artwork, it’s an experience. Art fulfils my self actualisation, it gives sparks to my ordinary temporary life. It shows me that there is more to life than just doing everyday routine to pay off the bills, racing in a race the world wanted us to be in. We create our own race, our own path in art. 

7. Where did you study?

I studied visual communication design in Ciputra University in Surabaya, my hometown then I got my master degree in Business Management in Binus University, Jakarta. 

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I’d see myself living in an apartment somewhere with my husband and son, doing everyday chores, running the studio from afar, and occasionally drawing for myself. 

9. What about in ten?

Honestly, I never thought of this before, haha. In ten years, my son will be 12 years old and I think I will have more me-time, so I can draw and read more for sure. I think I will be able to sign up for another grad school, or maybe art school. That’s all I can think about right now. 

10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?

I hope my art can save the world, but I know it won’t, so I just hope my art speaks to people, inspire, motivate them, and please their eyes. 

11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?

Though question! It would be Chinese dumplings I guess. Or Indomie (Indonesian instant noodle), but this one I cannot have much, I only eat that 3-4 times a year, so it is a luxury! 

12. Favourite book?

My favorite fiction book is the Harry Potter series, and 7 Habits of Highly Effective People for the non-fiction. 

13. Favourite genre of music? 

This changes with age, but Taylor Swift, Jason Mraz, Sara Bareilles, and John Mayer are the ones I would love to watch in live concert. 

14. What are your hobbies? 

Besides art, I love to read and write random stuffs. I collect cute stationeries too. 

15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

I think I would be a doctor or a nutritionist. I am pretty much interested in biology, health, and nutrition. I still read about those topics until now.