fineartness interview by adria nabekle
with Irwan Harnoko
How did you become a graphic designer?
I remember during my teenage years, that I couldn’t figure out what my interests were until I had a magazine in my hands which showed me the kind of art we call graphic design. Then I had the fantastic opportunity to attend a university where I met professor Yongky Safanayong. He trained me as a graphic designer, and I am still doing graphic design after all these years.
Who has inspired you the most?
My professor Yongky Safanayong who I mentioned before taught me how to get in touch with international graphic designers and professor Riswanto Ramelan who taught me the magic of marketing. This led me down the path of becoming a graphic designer who wants to connect with the entire world, with other tastes and with other mentalities. They taught me the basic elements of my craft that accompany me every day.
Today you are a professor, a lecturer...
Absolutely, I was a graphic designer who used to teach, and today I’m a teacher who does graphic design. I specialize in teaching typography. I created a “Type Unite Community” where I meet with other lecturers and together we can open doors for many students of different universities. Our most recent event “Type Unite 2019” has been a wonderful encounter that has brought together people from eight countries and three different continents: Asia, America and Europe.
You are always suggesting collaboration between graphic designers…
Yes absolutely! For me it is not about producing the best graphics, but about creating fraternity, about forgetting our ego for a moment and respecting each other. We all have the same fears to overcome, so let’s work together!
What about the community you founded, The Worldwide Graphic Designers?
Three years ago, when I founded Worldwide Graphic Designers, I had to first overcome my being ashamed of my level of English and despite it, try to get in touch with people abroad. Since then my English has not improved but as soon as I overcame my fear and opened my mind to new opportunities, the world opened up to me in a continuous wave. I can’t forget to mention Lila Skanavi, Greece, Keith Kitz, USA, Zhenyu Li, China, Byoung II Sun, South Korea, Arafat Al Naim, Dubai and Adria Nabekle, Switzerland. Many thanks for the love you have all shown me, I hope to be able to repay your kindness one day.