based in Jakarta . Indonesia
24 years . illustrator

I am Jakarta based illustrator and graphic designer. Was graduated in 2014 majoring in Visual Communication Design. I also write on my spare time. I am focusing on making books and illustrated goods. I wrote and illustrated Stories for Rainy Days and Stories for Rainy Days Volume II. I also made some art books and zines. Own a brand named Asobi where I am turning my works into products. Also involved in various projects.

Naela Ali por Projeto Curadoria
// Which media do you use to express yourself?

Watercolor and drawing pen.

// What is your biggest motivation to create? What inspires you?

My inspiration is my everyday life. Things around me, favorite movies, books, music. All things that I like. I always tell my self that, “Inspiration is actually all around you and all you have to do is feel.” Every little thing has meaning, not only in function, but also personal meaning. Take example, candy, for some people it may not have meaning, but to another person, it may have personal meaning. Like, the one who gave it or where she got it. I want to capture everyday things into an illustration.

Naela Ali por Projeto Curadoria
// What is your creative process like?

I usually woke up, listening to my favorite music and drew the first thing that came into mind. And then I sketched with pencil, thicken the line with drawing pen, and then color it with watercolor.

// What do you do in your daily routine to help maintain creativity?

I practice almost every day, drawing has became my habit. To maintain the creativity, before doing any commissioned works, I always started with drawing things that I like. By doing so, it stimulates my creativity and gives me ‘the mood’ to draw.

Naela Ali por Projeto Curadoria
Naela Ali por Projeto Curadoria
// What are you favorite works or projects that you have done? What was the motive?

Last year I made an illustrated short stories collection, titled “Stories for Rainy Days”. It is my favorite because I could combine both the things I like the most, drawing and writing. Because the response was really good, I made another one, “Stories for Rainy Days Volume II”. Why, “Stories for Rainy Days”? Because I want to create things that people can read when it’s raining and to make them feel warm when they read it.

// Have you had a decisive moment in your career? How did this influence your trajectory?

The moment I graduated from college, my parents wanted me to work in a company. And also my friends are mostly work in company. I tried to work in a company, but I couldn’t. Being an artist is hardly called a job here, so people tends to underestimate me at first. But I can’t work doing things I do not love wholeheartedly. So I decided to get out of working and start doing things independently. Now I can focus on my career as an illustrator. I made brand named Asobi and start selling my illustrated goods. I made books and involved in various projects.

Naela Ali por Projeto Curadoria
Naela Ali por Projeto Curadoria
// Who are your influences, inspirations, or preferred artists? How do they reflect in your own work?

As a child, I really love Marisa Moss. The author of Amelia’s Notebook. She was the first one who inspires me to use watercolor. The simplicity and happiness of her illustrations grab my attention.

Naela Ali por Projeto Curadoria
// Do you think there still exists a bias in relation to women's free expression? Do you feel this in your work?

Yes, I feel it when people asked me to do an illustrations about something. When I apply for an illustration job that is not really feminine, they will be like: "No, don’t give it to her. It is too masculine". And when I made illustrations a bit masculine they will be like: "It is not you. You should do something more feminine". Something like that.

Naela Ali por Projeto Curadoria
Naela Ali por Projeto Curadoria
// What makes you happy?

To draw and when people happy seeing my illustrations.

// What tips could you give to other women to help them bring their creations into reality?

Be confident and be yourself. Cliché at it sounds, but there is nothing truer than that. Remember, there are thousand people better than you are but there is only you and you’re unique as you are. Never afraid to show the world your creations and let people remember your works as you are.

Naela Ali por Projeto Curadoria
Naela Ali por Projeto Curadoria
// Do you have a new project in the works?

Currently I’m working on another book project, the theme is about girls.

Naela Ali por Projeto Curadoria