Publish or Perish: A Blogger History

This time I want to tell you something about the reason why I’ve got this blog, which is, they said, wasting time and energy. So if you are curious enough about what is behind this blog, you can keep reading. But it’s gonna be very, very long. You've been warned.

It started when I was a little kid, like, 18 years ago when I saw my mother’s drawing on an old book. She drew these four beautiful women: two worn nice veils, one with a high hair bun, and one with a long banged hair.

For one moment I was paralyzed. I said to myself, how can human draw this beautiful and perfect? So then I’ve become a big fan of my mother’s drawing and asked her to draw and draw and draw again, like million times, even as I remembered, she was pregnant for my younger brother and too tired to draw. Until one day, she got annoyed and she said she wouldn't draw me anymore.

FYI, my mom never gave me any of those beautiful drawing like in the old book. Her drawing was terrible. She said she was too tired and forgot how to draw. And then the rest was obvious. I decided to draw it myself. There were tons of my drawings (or doodles, if I must say) I’ve made since then. Every time I felt sad, or annoyed, or even happy, I drew everything on every empty draw-able paper existed in my home. It got me excited every time I make a drawing. At first, I only tried to tail my mom’s drawing style. But then I felt it was too hard, and not so my style. But that didn’t make me give up. I decided to draw my own version of people. Sometimes I even make new characters and make my own story behind these people in my imagination. Yeah, it got me a new world that exists in nowhere in reality. You’d be surprised how happy I was with my own world I’ve imagined. (No, I’ve got no imaginary friends, if you think I had one). At this point you might understand why I also like to write.

This habit of mine for an age was not really honored by my mom. She always says that my drawing was ghostly, and pathetic. I didn’t know why she kept saying those words for my friends at school were always said that my drawing was terrific. She said she didn’t want me to draw too often. Could you imagine how hard was it to stop minding your hobby? Well I couldn’t obey my mom’s rules. So then I kept drawing and my mom didn’t have to know about this.

But you know, keeping secret from your own mom wasn't that easy. So then I searched for ways to make my mom allow my hobby. I also promised my mom that she didn’t have to worry about my academics rank just because of my hobby. I was doing my best at school and I didn’t stop drawing.

I submitted my paintings for competitions since elementary school. I’ve always got the first or second place for them, and they gave me prizes for it. During my middle school, I also submitted my drawing to the newspapers so they could feature my artwork. I’ve got three times featured in it and paid for it. And oh, I also hired by my friends to draw anything they asked me to, for money. But you know what? The fact that I can earn money from this hobby, actually, didn’t change the fact that my mom hates my drawings. This shocking fact was really hurt me until I started to hate anything scientific (because my mom wants me to do scientific stuff like forever).
for the Percil's birthday card. It was my first submit when I was in 2nd grade in middle school.

Made when I was in the third grade of my middle school.

Made when I was in the third grade of my middle school. Also featured.

So then I entered the high school. I asked my mom if she could allow me to enter the literature department because I wasn't sure that I could survive any of scientific stuff again. I surprised because she allowed me to. But it didn't last long. She said that I have to enter the science department because it’ll be good for my future. And I gave up. I entered the science department, with one condition; my mom would allow me to cut a year of my high school (you know what I mean). I must say that even I hate science at the moment I didn't do anything to hurt my mark so I was qualified to enter that kind of class. One reason for sure, I thought that I want to get out of my school as soon as possible so I can enter the art department for my college. But then again, I was wrong.

I ended up entered the chemistry department because I passed the test (it’s called SPMB). I only join the entrance test just because my mom wanted me to and I had a plan, that if I didn’t pass the exam, she had to allow me to enter a private art college in Bandung. At first she was refused because I was 16 and she didn’t trust me to live too far from our home (it explained why I didn’t choose my dream college in Bandung which has the best art and architecture department in Indonesia).

I could do nothing but accept the fact that I have to survive in this chemistry world. My GPA was horrible on my first year. And for my decision to cope and accept the fact, I tried to wake up once more. My second year and after was not too bad. As in my senior year I found an interest in biochemistry field. And during this college period, I entered the journalistic activity so I could draw again – not drawing that chemical structure of course. I always had chosen as the illustrator, the publicist and the decoration staff in anything. I even paid as an add maker and graphic design tutor (it was not long, though). Yeah, I drew more digital back then.
Some of my works in the college.
Then, I finished my college, and had a terrible time of my 21st year. I was jobless (not to mention the ghost writer stuff). But I think it was not too bad because I could draw more often than usual. I even won so many prizes and featured in some magazines. Unfortunately, my mom still hasn’t given me permission to draw as I liked, and live my life with it. Twenty years of struggling, and I’ve got nothing. At first I was disappointed, but then I found a way. This blog is a way.

Yeah. It sounds simple but this blog has been a helpful distraction tool for me, to show my drawing to the world, and have no worries if they liked it or not. Also, I found this quote, when I read a magazine:

“Publish, or perish”

You publish your artwork, or let it perished and forgotten. You know, I didn’t really concerned if my blog is read or not, because it is like my own album, with my alter ego in it. And every time I want to see my history again, in some pieces of drawings, I can simply click it away, and laugh at myself about how silly my life and my drawing have been.

For now I still caught by this scientific job, well, I have no regrets. Because I’m sure that the path my mom has chosen and Allah has approved for me, is nothing but for my own good. No. Really I don’t pretend to be happy. I really have no regrets. Besides, if I draw for live, where will I find the excitement of my hobby? I’m a girl with no ability to obey any rule of art. If I draw for life, maybe I will lose my passion. And anything exciting will no longer be exciting.

I only hope for one thing. Someday, maybe my mom will notice that this drawing life is a part of me that no one can erase. She has choice to be proud of me if she wants to. I won’t give up until then. J


  1. what an inspiring story :)
    keep drawing ok ♥


  2. ps: i have never studied art, i think my drawings suck, and i lack self-confidence big time. You are one talented girl.
    Keep calm and carry on! (or must i say keep calm and draw on)


    1. thanks! you know bad experiences are what makes us bigger ;)
      btw! I've visit your page and they are awesome. I love your technique, it's so whimsical and a little dark (which is I like best). hehe. same for you. keep drawing! :)

  3. Assalamu Alaykum sis, :)
    MashaAllah nice blog. I'm your new follower
    feel free to join me: http://scatteredpearls-blog.blogspot.com/
    Thank you


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