Indonesian artists on Instagram
As much as we hate to admit it, we spend a lot of time on social media. It’s where we stay in touch with our friends, get entertainment, and catch up on articles. Instagram is one such platform that keeps us company when we’re commuting, waiting in line at the supermarket, or all snuggled up in bed. A handful of Indonesian artists on Instagram understand this common habit and create short comics and illustrations that we can view any time.
While some of these artists prefer to share adorable bears that will make you smile, others tackle mental health issues through relatable scenarios or even humor. This list is a compilation of some Instagram accounts with comics that will warm your heart, send you into a laughing fit, or encourage discussions with your friends.
1. Milk and Mocha Bear – a heartwarming tale of two loveable bears
Image credit: @milkmochabear
Cute cartoon characters that lead seemingly normal, relatable lives are sure to warm the heart. One of the most popular accounts in this genre is Milk and Mocha Bear, which is dedicated to sharing the story of the titular bears and their small dinosaur-looking pet, Matcha. The contrast between Milk’s bubbly character and Mocha’s stoicism is what makes this pair so funny.
Each story is mostly told in four panels, available in English and Indonesian. We get a glimpse of these characters as they go about pretty mundane yet utterly adorable day-to-day activities, ranging from posing for couple selfies to sharing food to expressing friendly annoyance towards one another’s weird habits. It’d be hard not to draw parallels between their fictional lives and our own.
2. Tahilalats – scenarios for the sarcastic
Image credit: @tahilalats
This account is for those who appreciate a more sarcastic, and at times dark sense of humor. Tahilalats shares four-panel comics that exaggerate awkward interactions or draw up surreal scenarios of genies and various animals taking up office jobs.
3. Komikgajelas – random scenarios that pack a punch
Image credit: @komikgajelas
Created by artist Jasmine Surkatty, Komikgajelas, which literally means “random comics,” covers a lot of different daily-life scenarios that will either make you laugh out loud at its unapologetic humor or give you pause when it segues into darker themes.
The creator doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to addressing topics that many people quietly struggle with, such as anxiety. Some panels also talk about work and life in an age of rampant social media usage.
Bold colors add character to each comic and come in handy in emphasizing the comedic tone of the panels. The stories are almost like memes in the best sense, and are definitely worth sharing on your group chat.
4. Ashtraygrrl – dealing with internal struggles through illustrations
Image adapted from: @ashtraygrrl
Diedra Cavina, who is also a stick-and-poke tattoo artist, creates black and white comics and illustrations that grapple with the internal struggles and sense of alienation shared by young urban dwellers.
She doesn’t shy away from talking about discomforting topics such as anxiety and depression. Her casual approach to storytelling and her straightforward drawing style make the message of her stories both relatable and clear. By bringing private worries to the fore, her work will hopefully spark conversations surrounding mental health issues.
Diedra accepts commissions and occasionally releases limited-edition merchandise such as T-shirts (Rp. 150,000, ~USD10.98).
5. Byputy – illustrations that will make you giggle
Image credit: @byputy
People who are either interested in or are already pursuing a creative career like to find others who are also going through the ups and downs of the field. Geologist-turned-illustrator Puti Puar is someone you can turn to.
She shares stories of moments many creatives have experienced through illustrations that will make you giggle because they’re so cute and hit close to home. Her use of pastel colors and simple lines heighten the fun vibe of her comics, as if to say that even annoying situations can be turned into something to laugh at.
To learn more about her outlook on life as an illustrator, check out her podcast, Puty’s Journal.
6. Niarsjournal – turning the mundane into something fun
Image credit: @niarjournal
Sometimes the only way to get through a tough day of wrestling with your own ideas and the strong urge to procrastinate is to create spontaneous art that can make you laugh at yourself. Niar does exactly that through her account. Her single illustrations are punctuated by scenarios that show her approach to dealing with the demands of living as a freelance illustrator.
She also relives her childhood experiences, which give readers a glimpse into the artist’s life journey. The lighthearted tone of her work, together with her line drawings, can make readers connect to her world and maybe even inspire them to make their own art.
While she keeps most of her drawings simple, Niar isn’t tied to just one style. She also does more detailed pieces using markers and watercolors. Fellow freelance illustrators will find solace scrolling through the feed, which depicts both the fun and frustrating sides of the profession.
7. Cergaroma – a manga-inspired webtoon
Image credit: @cergaroma
Lovers of manga, or Japanese comics, should check out Cergaroma. The brainchild of Bandung-based artist Tupaikidal, this ongoing series of webtoons has caught the attention of many manga fans who appreciate its local themes.
The stories are centered on the lives of young people with striking personalities, and how they deal with love and everyday life.
In addition to releasing weekly comics on Webtoon, Cergaroma also holds occasional workshops where aspiring comic artists can learn how to develop their own stories. The latest details on these workshops are shared on Instagram.
8. Real_Choochoo – visualized stray thoughts while commuting
Image credit: @real_choochoo
Commuting takes a large chunk of many workers’ time – including that of Citra Marina. To make the train ride to work feel less exhausting, she’s created Real_Choochoo, an account full of illustrations that depict modern city life from the point of view of human-like dogs.
Armed with a small sketchbook and two primary colors – blue and red – a single spread of a scenario and a bit of text in her sketchbook are enough to drive a clear message home – whether it’s about influencer culture, the reality of leading creative life, or simple pleasures such as drinking boba milk tea.
Her project has captivated so many Instagram users that it’s been turned into a book which you can purchase here.
Indonesian artists on Instagram
There are many other Indonesian artists on Instagram who regularly share their work, but the ones here are a good starting point if you’re a newbie. The accounts listed above will hopefully entertain you as much as they will comfort you, and those of you who enjoy drawing in your free time might even be inspired to start your own artist feed.
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