Visual Design & Copywriting

Oh, It’s a Long Story

When I was in senior high, I dreamt of becoming a journalist. Not just any journalist. I wanted to be a war journalist, to go on dangerous adventures, report live within walking distance from an active minefield. A few years later, I was accepted into the bachelor’s program in communications at Universitas Indonesia, beating several thousand other applicants from across the country. At the end of the second semester, my classmates and I needed to fill out our class registration card and we had to decide whether we’d spend the next three years specializing in mass communications, public relations, or advertising.

As I was trying to decide which to choose, one of my dearest friends told me, “You should choose advertising. You’re very creative.”

My world changed from that moment, and I embarked on a journey filled with both writing (short and long forms) and graphic design.

(I was never interested in public relations, although I did become a PR executive for Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta, a Hong-Kong based, five-star International hotel, for three and a half years, but that’s another story).

However, I was (and still am) very much in love with writing, and when the opportunity presented itself, I left my PR job and enrolled in a creative writing program at Saint Mary’s College of California, where I graduated with two MFA degrees: fiction and nonfiction writing.

I then became a nonfiction fellow at Lambda Literary and published my first book, Gentlemen Prefer Asians: Tales of Gay Indonesians and Green Card Marriages that Out Magazine called “… graceful and sensitive, yet pleasingly acerbic when necessary.”

Graphic design (and visual and UI/UX designs) and writing have been embedded so deeply in my veins. Both are vital in my career, and I try to always combine them when necessary. However, some projects need only visuals (after all, a picture’s worth a thousand words) whilst others need only words to conjure a free-roaming imagination.