Komodo oh Komodo

This is a local issue, so I tend to write in Bahasa Indonesia.

Akhir-akhir ini di media masa dan elektronik terdapat kampanye yang lumayan gencar agar kita bangsa Indonesia banyak-banyakin vote komodo untuk menjadi new 7 wonders yang baru, sebelum 11 November 2011. Awalnya sih aku oke-oke aja, meski belum nge-vote juga karena merasa sungguh lucu kenapa penentuan 7 wonders alias 7 keajaiban dunia harus pake sistem vote lewat sms dan internet? Udah gitu tarifnya juga lucu, awalnya seribuan eh turun drastis jadi satu rupiah doang. Sampai dua hari yang lalu, sebuah tweet kebetulan mampir di timeline-ku, dari mas Pandji Pragiwaksono (presenter dan aktivis nasionalis), yang kira-kira isinya begini:

RT : Pahami faktanya. Kalau peduli Komodo, mungkin ada baiknya jangan dukung program kirim SMS --> 

Setelah ngecek link yang di-attach di tweet itu, tiba-tiba aku langsung ngangguk-ngangguk setuju. Hm ini bukan berarti aku kontra dengan penobatan komodo sebagai new 7 wonders sih, tapi bener juga lho, komodo itu butuh diselamatkan, dikonservasi (dilestarikan), bukan diperjual-belikan (tidak secara harfiah) untuk tujuan wisata apalagi secara internasional. 

Yah.. sebenernya menurut berita yang aku baca, 95% turis di taman nasional komodo itu memang sudah merupakan turis asing alias bule (sumber). So..bule-bule juga udah tau kalau komodo itu makhluk ajaib alias "wonders" dan cuma ada di Indonesia, jadi rasanya memang sedikit lucu ya kalau kita harus mengukuhkan hal tersebut. Bagus sih buat iklan, pariwisata Indonesia mungkin sangat membutuhkan iklan seperti itu. Tapi apa komodo-nya sendiri butuh?

Dulu, tahun 60-an saat pulau komodo baru mulai dikonservasi, katanya jumlah komodo mencapai 5000 ekor dan ukurannya besar-besar, sampai ada yang 3 meter lebih. Nah taun 2000-an ini, jumlahnya tinggal 3000 (sumber). Kedengarannya memang masih banyak, 3000 gitu kan. Tapi bayangkan, 3000 itu bukan cuma di Indonesia, tapi dunia! Artinya, dari sekian luasnya dunia ini, cuma ada 3000 ekor komodo dan jumlahnya terus menurun di samping ukurannya juga mengecil. Katanya sih ini gara-gara habitat mereka terpepet bukaan untuk pemukiman penduduk, dan selain itu mangsa alami mereka, semacam rusa, juga sudah mulai berkurang jumlahnya (baca lebih jauh di http://www.komodonationalpark.org/ ) .

Balik lagi ke masalah 7 wonders tadi. Sekali lagi, tanpa bermaksud untuk kontra nih, coba pikir ulang sebelum memutuskan vote atau tidak. Kalau gak vote dibilang gak nasionalis, saya pikir itu berlebihan. Karena apakah vote itu bisa membantu melestarikan komodo? Gak juga 'kan. Simple-nya begini - ini cuma opini saya aja lho - kalau komodo jadi salah satu 7 wonders, mungkin komodo akan semakin dikenal luas di dunia sebagai 7 wonders dari Indonesia. Dengan gitu nama Indonesia keangkat, terus turis asing tambah pengen ke Indonesia, karena ada komodo. Lalu pendapatan negara akibat aktivitas turisme internasional ini meningkat, jadi taman nasional-nya bisa dibagusin lagi, diperbaiki fasilitasnya untuk mendukung pariwisata. Dengan begitu pulau Komodo jadi tambah kinclong, untuk obyek wisata. Sekali lagi, obyek wisata. Terus komodo-nya diuntungkan gak? Mungkin ya, mungkin tidak. Ya, karena stok makanan mereka mungkin nambah. Tidak, karena sifat komodo itu mudah stress, bayangkan mereka tiap hari dikelilingi jubelan manusia yang ingin melihat (obyek wisata nih, jadi cuma untuk melihat), bayangin gimana stresnya mereka belum lagi habitat mereka yang makin sempit. Kalau jadi obyek wisata, pasti nanti muncul kios-kios di sekitarnya, dan habitat yang sempit itu jadi tambah sempit. *CMIW please..

Ini bukanlah masalah vote atau tidak vote, aku gak ikut-ikutan soal ini. Tapi tolong diingat, pulau komodo ada untuk memfasilitasi pelestarian komodo, bukannya memfasilitasi komersialisasi tempat tersebut. Tonjolkan sisi konservasinya, bukan pariwisatanya. Komodo akan tetap jadi wonders, keajaiban dunia, terlepas dari apakah mereka termasuk yang 7 besar atau tidak.

Save them, do not sale them.

Catatan: Pembahasan tentang pro-kontra dari segi transparansi penyelenggaraan ada di sini.


Influential Visual Science Book

When I was a kid, I was so in love with kids drawn-science books. It was because there were so many amazing pictures in it, making science became so fun to read even if you just looking at the picture. I couldn't name all of them because I read a lot, but my favorite books are came from a German kids books author and illustrator, Hans Jὓrgen Press. His work are amazing and so fun to stare at since he was also a mystery book author and you need to stare at the illustration to solve the mystery. You know "The Black Hand Gang"? It's a mystery book, about a detective group. Unfortunately, it didn't published in my country so I wouldn't tell much about it but from what I heard, that book is so fun to read (and stare).

Okay so I've read several titles of his works but my favorite was "Melacak Alam" (means Nature Tracing), an ecology book which was published in 1970's, but I found it when I was in middle school. I read it like, hundred times and did almost every experiments written there and also even re-wrote my favorite parts along with the picture. So if you wonder where did I get the science-drawing enthusiasm, now you know the answer.

I totally adore his fun illustration technique. It's just simple but full of details. And you know what, his work is one of my influence in making my own illustrations.
A peak of his book titled Simple Science Experiments.

From the book "The Black Hand Gang series".
Here are some sketches by me, taken from "Melacak Alam" (pardon me, they are a little blurry).

Right now I'm looking forward to gaining every pieces of his books, even if I have to search the used books since they are so old. Several science books are still available to order in my country. Well, from a little search, I heard that Mr. Julian Press, Hans' son is also a kids book author and his illustrator is similar with his father's. I guess I'll do some search for his work later.



Today I intend to write a post about my chicken pox, just in these images. I have no intention to write much, so these are what's describe me best today.

Go to see the doctor with mask and big-glasses.
Lay down all day in my bed because my body is so itchy.

I want to take a bath!


I'm a Zombie!

Lately I've been busy, yeah, busy to recover for my very first pox (measles, varicella). And you know what, I had dreamed about this, a day before the disease came. Uhm, it might be a coincidence but at the day, I was surfing through one of my favorite website, doodlersanonymous and find this zombie article. Actually we Indonesian didn't have any tale about zombie stuff so we shouldn't likely scared to them but the pictures I saw there were so damn creepy, spooky, and believe it or not, I had a quite insomnia in the night. And then I dreamed about myself turned into a gross-faced zombie, with orange poxes and bumps and scratched skin. Oh I really hate this and I couldn't erase that picture for 2 days afterwards! And so it happened. I got my very first pox, and it's been invading everywhere, even my face! My, my, how could I go out like this? I even wear my mask and big glasses every time I out from my own room. It was too disgusting. It was like a dream (that zombie-faced dream) came true. Of course my face doesn't look that zombie-ish. But still, every time I see the mirror, I was like, oh my God, is that really me? Well well, I think I won't tell you the whole story right now. Maybe you'll be bothered to read this because once again, this is very disgusting. But everyone must experience this disease in order to be immune from the pox. You know, for a pox case, it's always better late than never. So I really envy to you who has experienced this when you're still a lil' kid. You won't be this ashamed or annoyed, right? Write to you later (after I recover) and beware of pox!
This is the zombie-faced me from my dream, NOT me with my pox-face.


Happy Global Handwashing Day!

Although it's already a bit late to say this but.. Happy Global Handwashing Day! Remember about Coli bacterial (yes, that Coli. The one which is circulated in our intestines) which has spread in UK lately? It was said that one per six cell phone in there was contaminated with that bacteria (source). I hope everyone with the disease is no longer infected and that's why we have to keep ourselves, especially our hands, clean and healthy.

I once made this comic, 2 pages with guides for kids to keep healthy and immune. It was a project from my friend who is studied in nurse faculty to socialize the subject to kids. At the time, I knew nothing about how to make a children illustration so I just came with this. (everything was written in Bahasa Indonesia, but the picture is quite obvious)

I didn't edit those images, because once the comic had done, everything was saved by my friend. And oh if you need this image to, maybe, introduce how to be healthy (basically) to your kids or younger bros/sisters, you can ask me for the better quality image. It's quite crowded to be read by kids but I hope it'll be useful. Check Global Handwashing website for more information.


The Luck Talk

When you don't earn anything that you're excited and overwhelmed about for a long time, you'll get very down.

That's what happened to me today.

Well it's a simple thing. The day Steve Jobs died, it was announced that his biography will be available by the end of October in Indonesia (of course, it's been translated to our language). As a big fan of him, and also since he's passed away which means the biography became valuable, I was so excited and has tried so many ways to get the book. Like, when it has first announced, I put the book in my wishlist on my online-book-shipper account. It took a day for me to decide whether I have to buy the book or not. Thing is, it's quite expensive but since the book isn't available yet, we have to get the pre-order-ed one, which means cheaper by 20% to the original price. So then the next day I returned to the website, tried to put the book into my cart. Guess what, the book stock ran out. My my, I was so sad at the time.
Retrieved from bukabuku.
After that, I tried to put the wish-list-ed book to my own cart, despite the notification said it was no longer available. But it worked! Means, I was just ordered it. I was so happy but the notification really drove me confused. Did I really ordered it? What if my order wasn't noted on their list? So I asked the customer service if they had received my order or not. But the email took 2-3 days to be proceed and it got on my nerve so I, without any purpose, CANCELED that order. I changed the amount from 1 to zero. And then I shocked! It was really canceled! I couldn't pre-order the book any more! I also couldn't back to the previous page so the order was officially canceled and I couldn't re-order it since it was still unavailable!

So then I did the next step. I browsed the publisher's official site, just to get to know whether it'd be possible for me to get the pre-order. Unfortunately, there wasn't any pre-order available yet. At the time I thought that I really have to wait a month to get the book. Man..it's too long. But accidentally I found another announcement. They said they would give us 5 free books as giveaways. So I still had the chance, and this time, the chance to get the free one, not only discount-ed. The rule was, you had to make a short statement about how was your feeling about Steve Jobs and his death. Well I had a bunch words to say and it took me a day to decide what statement should I give. Finally I stated about how Steve Jobs changed my mind about the choice of being a scientist and artist at the same time. I used to think that you have to choose one in order to success. Nobody could walk both of the path, there's always choice to choose. But Steve Jobs once stated that we could live the path, both of them. Yeah, I felt like it was the best words to say because nobody would talk about that. So far, I saw them stated about sadness, contribution, and anything like that. I won't put the statement here because I still felt down. You're right, I didn't win. I was too optimistic. I joined the competition like 4 days ago and today is the announcement. I opened the website like, every hour and the last time I checked, I learn that I didn't win!

Well, the last time I checked the book-shipper, it's said that now you're able to pre-order the book due the end of the month. Yeah, it's available again now. You know what, I'm no longer too overwhelmed about the chance to get the book (okay, I'm not honest about this). I'm just tired. Maybe this isn't my luck. Maybe I have to save the luck for my other commission, or competition, or even my carrier. You know my friend once told me this, if you put yourself too much into the luck-dependent things, like game or competition or gambling, someday you'll lost all of your luck stock. I don't even know if luck has stocks, or whether it has limit or not, but I think that Luck can be found, or created everywhere. You don't have to cry about one unfortunate event because there's always another chance. You've done enough and you've got to move on, think about another possibility. Just like Steve Jobs said, "don't settle".

Anywaaaaay......enough with the sad story. I've been busy lately to do another illustration (or you can say commission), the picture of my biochemistry-laboratory colleagues. We didn't have time to do the photo-shoot so I've just collected their photos (mostly from their facebook pages) and sketched it one by one. The concept is, I will put the sketch along with their actual photos held on their hands. Right now I'm still working with it, and the progress is below.

I made it on tracing papers so it looks transparent.
Well, wish you a good day today and stop being so depressed just because a small thing. :)


View from the Top

I always having trouble in putting the right color with the right technique to my sketch. For years, I was just happy to make a black and white sketch, didn't bothered with the color or how did I put it to finish. So here I tried to make that type of sketch, again. (Sorry for the blurry image, didn't scan it properly).
That is the place where I used to live and if you ask, the place is exactly looked like this. The long stairs, high foundation everywhere, a little far from the road and so many trees around. It looks like wood or something (my friends used to mock about this). No, I'm not ashamed. I'm quite proud with this place. I love trees, really love them and thanks God my place is surrounding by them.


We Love Bali

Some people say that Bali is a Paradise island. Well that may be true. Bali is one of my favorite places on earth and I've visit the place last year for my study tour. Sadly, yesterday I've learned that there was an earthquake, a huge one (6.8 in Richter scale), happened in Bali. What a surprise. And I even more surprised because a day before the disaster came was happened to be the memorial time for the Bali bomb disaster which was happened 9 years ago. So creepy. Well, I hope that Bali will recover soon, and the earthquake stop invading our homeland, Indonesia.

 The earthquake was really a disaster. The image retrieved from Kaskus.



Introducing Cakka

It's been a month since Sebi has died. She's our lovely pet despite her grouchiness or cruelness and so on. So we thought it's time to adopt another pet (or cat), and fortunately we got this male cat, a very huge one, he's a gift from a cousin. His name is Cakka, because he likes to scratch so much (scratch = cakar from bahasa Indonesia). Actually I don't know much about breed or race, but after some googling and searching, I think Cakka is a Maine Coon, or somewhat descendant of it. Anyway, here's Cakka, he said hello to y'all. :)
Cakka says Hello!


Don't Settle

The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle - Steve Jobs, 2005.


Goodbye my Lovely Burden!

I once posted about the wedding awards, kind of certificate, I have made for the two newly weds mates, here. Well, they finally sent, with myself as courier. Pretty pathetic but we've got short in budget to send it via post mail etc., that's why I was the one who took the responsibility to assure the awards reached my two friends safely. Hufft..that's really a relieve when it's finally done. Finally I'm free! (holding a big responsibility is really a big burden and a tough job, especially for a procrastinator like me.duh!)
Indah (we're from the same college but different department)
Yani, found her at the Hospital (actually she works there)

Oh and I also want to say my deepest condolences for the great man behind Apple Inc., the passed away Steve Jobs. Thanks for making something so great and literally change the world with your little Apple. May you rest in peace.:')


The Rest is..

One day, in 2008, I read "Trinity Blood" manga, a Japanese comic book about vampire and so on. I especially love the picture in it. Also, at that time, I was pretty much influenced by manga style so my drawings were looking like mangas. And so I made this, totally cheated (how should I say this?lol) from the picture in that manga.
The sketch, made in 2008.
Pretty much melodramatic sketch I think. I actually forget why I drew this. Ha ha. So then I try to apply some colors to that sketch, using my Photoshop alone. And this is what I've got:
Photoshop-ed result is here.
I currently working on my coloring technique, it's hard to do and I hope I could improve it. :)


Still waiting here..

I remember the tweet I posted on early September, it's something like, "wake me up when September ends". But NOW September is already ended. It's October! *scream* I won't talk much about this but actually I supposed to receive an email, an important one, which is said will determine my future. And yes, it hasn't come yet. Okay, maybe I should wait a lil' bit longer, with my cat (who else?).
Me, waiting with my imaginary cat, TweedleDew.