Artist On The ‘Rose’: Bernadet PutriMan With A Plan / Creative
Grace the day with the humidity weather, Surabaya has always been a perfect city to whine about its heat, but that day we could care less as it would be our exciting first meeting with Bernadet Putri (@bernadetputri). In the hotel where she stayed, the Jakarta-based illustrator welcomed us friendly as a longtime pal. Start the conversation with small talk about Surabaya to the project she was working on, we fall for her modest personality as it showcases through her work value. Accompanied by her adorable giggling while telling a story, the conversation starts to go more in-depth about her life as an illustrator and the story behind it.
Well, Bernadet, tell us about your story! How is it you find your path to become an illustrator?
It never occurred to me being an illustrator back then because I was in a textile designer major. So, my mind for the future as I would probably end up in that area. However, when I was in my final year, I have to finish my thesis to graduate. That is when TATKALA was born, but only different what it’s now as it aims just for my thesis. During working TATKALA, it needs a lot of money yet at that time my financial was in the bad state, so I think hard how to gain money quick, and I thought to participate in some competitions wasn’t a bad idea. I tried to participate in a bunch of competitions as much as I could where most of that I joined in was drawing. Even though I didn’t win the competition, I collected the work I’ve made and uploaded to my Instagram routinely like a digital portfolio.
“I think our attitude is crucial if we talk about dealing with a client or perhaps for every job that we had. For me, hospitality and discipline are my way to do it.”
One day, my senior looking for an illustrator for wedding invitation and when she saw one of my work she began to take an interest in it. So, she picked me to be her illustrator and asked me to draw botanical illustration, which is the first time I drew it. When I finished it, she was thrilled and said it was beyond her expectation to see the result. From there, I formed my path to becoming an illustrator.
Okay, so what's about your brand TATKALA! Can you share more about TATKALA?
Since my senior always pick me as her illustrator, my work began to be known. With good responses from the people, I have an urge to start my brand. I stuck with the name and asked my friends what should I named it. One of my friends said why don’t you just using your project ‘TATKALA’ as your name? After a long thought, I decided to rearise TATKALA. It’s fit because I think TATKALA has a deep meaning about cherishing a moment and made that moment last in our mind. However, I’m not running TATKALA alone. I’m partnered up with my friend.
How is cherishing the moment being portrayed in your work in TATKALA?
In TATKALA, I intended to combine storytelling and visual. I want to highlight the values and meanings through the design I made, so it’s not merely a fancy pattern or beautiful drawing. For example, in creating wedding invitations, I always ask the client their story about how they’re meeting, the special moment they share, or maybe what they’re like and then their wedding concept and venue. From story they told, I summarizing into keywords that would help me to build the mood board and present the idea to them. I always find a sweet and exciting story from my clients. Once, I had a client who’s the groom was from Japan and they were planning to hold their wedding in some beautiful cliff in Bali. From the wedding concept to decoration inspired by Japanese culture. So, for their invitation, I made a gold wave pattern with a crane bird inspired by Japanese pattern and style. Oh, there is also another interesting story from my client who wants to tell her spiritual journey in her big day, so I got inspired from Noah Arc, the bird that has been looking for land and in the end, succeed in discovering it as is indicated by the olive plants. It fits with her beautiful yet touching story, and you can see all the design on TATKALA Instagram (@tatkalastudio). So the reason why the concept focused on the couple because everyone has their own story. With the popularity of Instagram stories where people are engaging, telling, and sharing stories, people want the story to be seen and heard. Along with that, I wish TATKALA can embrace storytelling and become a story keeper of a precious moment in someone’s life.
While TATKALA is flourishing because of its uniqueness and magical botanical illustration and it’s all over your Instagram account too, can you characterize your art style? And, who do you see as your inspiration?
I like botanical illustration, especially the process of creating it. It’s therapeutic for me. When I drew various kinds of botanical illustration, I feel my burden lifted by itself. As for the inspiration, I like the Australian illustrator; his name is Edith Rewa. I love his work because it is always detailed and give a peaceful feeling. That’s what makes me love botanical illustration. It’s like there’s no pressure and freedom are easy to be attained. Maybe it’s cheesy to say, but in sort ways, it is indeed calming. And since it is botanical, I used a lot of pastel colors. It gives classic vintage vibes that I want because, to be honest, I didn’t like bold colors much. However, the botanical illustration mostly I used in my art as Bernadet Putri is different from TATKALA that more mature.
Oh, what's the striking difference between TATKALA and your brand, Bernadet Putri?
TATKALA is focusing on design and print like a wedding invitation. As I was saying, the art style is more mature, and the design itself mixed up with a different kind of object, not just botanical. TATKALA is intended to be a mass product, so it has to fit with client demands too. As for Bernadet Putri is designed for me to channeling my inner desire. So, the design itself depends on my mood and what kind of illustration that I wanted to present. The products are various like a scarf, apparels, and many more.
So, in establishing TATKALA and Bernadet Putri, you must be dealing with different kinds of clients in TATKALA. Can you tell us tips how do you handle them?
I think our attitude is crucial if we talk about dealing with a client or perhaps for every job that we had. For me, hospitality and discipline are my way to do it. Being on time when in the meeting and deadlines, smile and talk politely when meeting them are some of the attitudes that are reflecting the way I handled the clients. In the work I designated to, I’m trying my best to give more than one hundred percent of my efforts no matter how small or big the project I worked on. Because of that, the client can feel on the hard work I put in for them. Even though if the client was indeed demanding, I try to keep a fast response and stay patient too. However, if I can’t handle or fulfill the demand from clients at the first place, I choose not to take the project, so I’m not disappointing the client as well as not to force myself.
Wow interesting! However, to lose some client, are there any regrets?
I don’t think so. In my opinion, forcing our self to do something that’s beyond our capability is not a good idea. I know that there is no easy job, but I don’t want to disappoint the client if I can’t fulfill their demands, the same as I don’t want to torture myself physically and mentally too. For instance, there’s a client who wants me to draw some artwork, but the style is different from mine, well then I do the math about the difficulty level and my ability to complete the project. Sometimes if my work is overload, I’m suggesting them to look for another illustrator. After all, if it’s meant to be, it will come eventually.
“I have more desire to convey the messages and stories in every design that I create.”
With accomplishments that you have now from TATKALA and your collaborations with some big brands, what kind of artist you want to become in the future?
The journey that I’ve been going through shaping my idea what I wanted to become. After going through a lot of things for about a year, I suddenly thought of giving other specialties that are the strength of meaning I said earlier. I have more desire to convey the messages and stories in every design that I create. I want to make a work that has meaning for myself and others both for my own brand Bernadet Putri and TATKALA that holds values and be something that lasts.