Media: Digital painting (60 x 84cm)
A quiet blue room in the corner of the street. Inside, a strong but calming earthy smell rules the space.
Does it come from the cabinets, the machines, the freshly-brewed cups of coffee or even the steak?
Maybe, it’s all of them.
Futurism. That’s what I like and the thing I do best (mostly). I’ve always taken interest in art with cyberpunk, mecha or post-apocalyptic themes. When the theme of the exhibition was announced to be “spice”, I figured it was my job to incorporate spices into a futuristic scene. I got a whole bunch of ideas coming to my head.
I started off with an idea about a deliveryman carrying boxes of spices on their back on a helipad or something. The concept went well, but when I started painting the actual piece, I had trouble on making the details. I went to visit quite the number of concept artists to look for references, but because my skill then was lacking, I was unsuccessful in doing so.
I changed the image slightly, removing the city background but still incorporating the helipad/hangar theme. Then it hit me, I can’t draw futuristic vehicles. I gave up and made an alternative concept about a man carrying boxes of spices on his back across a railroad. It was inspired by the Death Stranding game trailers and various promotional images I’ve seen (this was almost two months ago; the game hasn’t been released yet).
Yet again I hit a brick wall midway realising I needed to paint a broken car in the background, and I can’t paint vehicles. Knowing I tried to paint two futuristic vehicles and failed, I idiotically chose a flying pickup truck as the main subject of the next concept.
This one went pretty far, up to the point where if it was a normal-sized 2480×3508 image I would have considered it a finished drawing (albeit not being a very good one). This one took more time than all of the others (including my final image), spanning almost 3 weeks, including procrastination (not counting the one-month hiatus due to a live-in program).
It was about a pickup truck carrying a bunch of onions and garlic in a box rushing to what is presumably the drop-off point, spilling over its contents as a result. Because I didn’t know how to paint a car, it looked flat and made it stick to the background. I even added a flying sportscar in the distance, but nothing really worked out for it.
Here, I decided to throw everything away out of the window and start over instead of fixing the problems. The next concept was about a few armoured cars supposedly carrying shipment to an artificial company building in an abandoned and polluted environment.
The story was pretty clear, but the art was a bit “eh”. I said to myself, why does everything have to involve cars? So, I scrapped that and moved to another concept, this time involving a fruit stand in the middle of an abandoned neighbourhood.
Once I was about 40% done, there was a spot that looked pretty empty, so I started sketching on it. I couldn’t really find anything to fill it in with, and the only option left is… a car. I stopped progress on that drawing and opened a new file.
I’m confused on what to draw now, and I couldn’t find any more ideas that are both futuristic and include spices in it. All this time I kept looking at references and would incorporate the same shapes and colour palette onto my own artwork, so my mum told me “Why not make your own idea? Something completely original.”
Thinking hard, I still couldn’t find an original idea of these “futuristic spices”. Then, I asked myself Does it really have to be futuristic? If you’re not that good at making buildings and cars, why not make an indoors scenario?
I sketched a concept on paper that involved two people drinking coffee on a table in a café. To get the shapes right, this time, I did line art using the line and ellipse tools on photoshop. I would later paint under it, then erase the line art to tidy up the edges of the painting underneath.
I chose coffee because I didn’t really want to draw a restaurant scene with a multiple kitchen sets because that would be tiring and my time is limited. And I can’t draw that many people in a scene.
Is coffee a spice? Yes. The definition of a spice is: a dried fruit, seed or root that acts as a food additive to enhance flavour and/or colour. While called coffee beans, they’re actually a seed from the coffee fruit. Coffee can be used to strengthen the taste of sauces, give an earthy flavour to meat and make chocolate-based foods “taste more like chocolate.”
After I was done smoothing out the edges of the room, I started to work on the smaller objects like the cups and the coffee machines. It was around this part that I felt like I wasn’t sure if I could draw a person digitally, but I thought it would come last and I would just wing it later on.
I added in the details and tidied up the painting even further. I told my mum I would add the person now (it turned from two people to just one) but she said the person sitting on the chair would cover up detail, so I didn’t add it in.
In the end, this art was the culmination of all the things I learned throughout my 5 previous cancelled ones. It’s a bit rare for me to say it, but this time, I’m pretty proud of my work.
Prior to the exhibition, I felt really confused because I had no idea how to put spice into a futuristic scene, but I ended up making a mainstream-time scene. I didn’t really feel nervous until the exhibition day because I have a mindset that “whatever happens, happens” so I don’t get scared about upcoming events until the actual day.
I felt happy about the exhibition because it gives me an opportunity to show what I am capable of. I made an artwork I’m proud of and I can present it to everybody.
Naufal menggambar sejak pertama kali bisa memegang alat tulis. Media pertama yang digunakannya selain kertas adalah lantai dan dinding. Dia terus menggambar hingga usia sekolah dasar.
Sekitar usia 9 – 10 tahun, Naufal mulai ingin mengenal dunia programming dan web designing. Namun di sini minatnya tidak bertahan lama. Dia kembali menekuni dunia menggambar hingga sekarang.
Pernah beberapa kali mengikuti lomba literasi untuk tingkat PAUD dan Sekolah Dasar untuk menjajal kemampuannya sebagai illustrator cerita anak. Beberapa karya ilustrasi yang pernah dibuatnya juga diterbitkan dalam bentuk e-book cerita anak di web www.serusetiapsaat.com.
Menggambar digital adalah hal baru buatnya. Karya yang ditampilkan di pameran Spice Space ini merupakan karya keduanya yang dibuat secara digital di komputer. Sedangkan karya pertamanya adalah ilustrasi sampul buku “Aku Belajar, Tapi Gak Sekolah” (2019).
Silakan meninggalkan pesan untuk perupa agar lebih semangat berkarya.