Part of being an artist is being a free spirit. And nothing spells DGAF like skateboarding lifestyle does. The whole culture celebrates punk rock, creativity, and the DIY movement. Work done for the kids, by the kids. Indonesian artist, Arya Mularama makes use of black and white lines and forms to create his surreal characters and landscapes. I caught up with him to ask him about his creative influences, the parallel between the skate scene and art, and the genesis of his alter ego, “Gogoporen”.
Please introduce yourself. What’s the story behind the name “Gogoporen”?
The name was unintentional. It was my email back in college because the name Arya or Rama was too common, so I started using Gogoporen for everything I signed up online. It was taken from Power Rangers (back when it was cool) “Go Go Power Rangers!” I shortened it to Gogoporen to make it less obvious.
There’s an obvious playfulness in your work. What drew you to it and how long have you been involved with art?
I’ve been involved in art since kindergarten, I guess… I was always playing with my crayons, drawing cartoons and Japanese robots. Back then it was just fun to draw.
What is your workspace like?
I have a messy table, where all of my tools are a reach away. I have tons of sketchbooks and I usually bring 3 sketchbooks anywhere I go.
I see a lot of skateboarding present in your drawings, so which came first, the skater or the artist?
The art came first… I was introduced to skateboarding in elementary school but only really got into it in high school. I guess skateboarding is very common in the punk rock and hardcore scene, DIY, and stuff; some of my art back then revolved around that.
We all start by trying to recreate things, whether it’s a style of painting or the way someone does a trick. Much like skateboarding, you learn tricks through trial and error. When did you feel like you came up with your artistic style?
I started out by recreating a lot of artists’ style. I wanted to know how they draw lines. Some draw with short lines and some with a continuous line, and each gives a different character. Well, I tried lots of different techniques, something detailed or plain and simple. When I started my daily sketch blog, that was the time I kinda thought, “I guess this is my style,” But then it developed more as I draw more frequently. My style is more like a quick draw, raw sketches, because I don’t like to dwell in 1 drawing for hours or days. But sometimes it happens when I get really, really into it. *Laughs*
If you could hang out with one person, living or dead, who would that be? And what would you do?
Banksy? Ed Templeton, Wasted Rita… Hmm. I would ask about stuff… or just watch them work on their stuff.
Are you currently working on any new projects?
Currently, I’m not workin’ on anything big. Probably just a small sticker project.
As a child, you’re always drawing and colouring and that’s just what’s deemed normal to do as a child. One of the weirdest tragedies of being an adult is that you “grow up” and lose that. You stop creating. You stop involving yourself in the joys of colouring and making things with your hands. Gogoporen’s lucky enough to never lose that.
His work is a fine example that there are no rules or limits to self-expressions. You’ve got every right to bring the raw and uncut version of yourself through art, and be proud of it. Sometimes, you just gotta sit down and create. Even if it’s just breaking a doodle every now and then and before you go to bed, there’s no substitute. To get better is to draw more and #draweverydamnday!
~Interview by Fay Ulrica