WHO IS ARI PRATAMA?
On my way to look for talented comic artists, my paths swallowed me to Ari Pratama. As seen on April 17, he was already featured in the first release of GENESIS. As one of the most important and first in this project, he has a respectable value for me personally. He is essentially involved in the development and realization of an idea; an idea that is yet to develop and that started with characters. Ari will be presented in the following; his path, his vision; :
ENCODE: 1. Can you tell us a bit about you?
ARI: My full name is Ari Pratama Putra, from Indonesia. I am a self-thought freelance artist who has actually worked for almost a year and a half on Fiverr and some other digital platforms. I specialized in American-style comic book character design and graphic novel illustrations.
I used to be a video editor in one of the most renowned TV station in my country for about 2 years. And after that, I became an Art Director in another advertising company in Jakarta. I've been
in love with drawing since I was 3 years old, but I never made it my professional career before. Not until Covid-19 hit and the company I used to work for was about to collapse, and I have to seek another way to earn money for my family. That's why I ended up on Fiverr and work digitally ever since.
ENCODE: How did you get into comics? What fascinates you about comics?
ARI: My first encounter with comics was when I read Conan the Barbarian comics by John Buscema when I was a kid. I was amazed at how detailed the artist drew every muscle, curve, and face of each
character so realistically, as if each panel was a separate work of art. Since then, I have been crazy about drawing the anatomy of the human body. as time went by, I was introduced to more famous comic
book artists like Jack Kirby, Alex Ross, Stan Lee, Stanley 'Artgerm' Lau, and got so many influences from their works.
ENCODE: What are some great reads you enjoyed? What genres do you prefer?
ARI: Well, John Buscema's Conan The Barbarian, Marvel's Spiderman, and DC's Batman were some of the most memorable reads for me because it was the first comic that opened my eyes to my passion for drawing. But in fact, my favorite comic readings are quite extensive and varied. Not limited to one genre, but mostly fantasy and action. I also read Japanese Mangas and Korean Manhwa. But the truth is, I don't even really care about stories when it comes to comics. What really admire about a comic is how each stroke, color, and action is depicted. It's not uncommon for me to buy comics or mangas just because I see who the illustrator is.
ENCODE: What makes a comic very special for you? What would be needed to have this WOW effect?
ARI: As I said earlier, the one that captured me the most when it comes to comics is the way every piece of the page being rendered. What's even more amazing is how some artists can bring out certain moods and feelings with just a few strokes of ink. Sometimes they don't even need fancy coloring for that. And just by looking at the stroke of the pen, you know how much care the artist poured into each panel of the comic page. And imagine how difficult it would be to maintain the same quality for 25 even 30 pages for each chapter. I think that kind of patience and attention to detail is what makes an artist stands out.
ENCODE: Which artists did influence you?
ARI: For now, Master Kim Jung-Gi is probably the most brilliant artist I first thought of. How he draws things in great detail and even without a sketch, and only uses a brush, maybe that's what makes me idolize him as a person so much. There are also several other artists who have influenced my drawing style directly,
such as Stanley 'Artgerm' Lau, Todd McFarlane, Alex Ross, and of course, John Buscema.
ENCODE: What would be your goals?
ARI: As a person living in a country who sees comic book artists - or visual artists in general - not as a real job, my goal is simple. I want to make my name big enough to have an impact, so that people have an example of how far you can go if you continue to pursue your passion, and so that I can help build a good ecosystem for people who have dreams just like me.
ENCODE: Thanks Ari for giving us the insight of your life. Always be blessed.