1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
Hi, internet! I am Michelle, who is also known as Sherchle, a freelance illustrator from a bustling city called Jakarta. I’ve always been “the one who can draw” for as long as I can remember, so, going to design school, and being an illustrator comes naturally for me. I worked in a creative agency from 2015 until late 2019, founded my merchandise business in 2016, and I’ve been freelancing for more than a year now. Some of my interests include hoarding collecting old-timey collectibles, playing with words, and IKEA’s very own Blahaj.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
Growing up watching both western and asian cartoons helped me develop a mix of both western and asian visual style. I’m never really sure what to answer whenever someone asks me what my style is, but I sort of dance between comical and old- fashioned visuals lately, the latter influenced by my love of labels, products, and advertisement of the past. Subject-wise, I do a lot of food, animals, and pop culture.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
My works are all produced digitally, as I like how forgiving the process is. The undo and eraser feature really take some of the stress away from the creation process. I think the last time I did a traditional painting, with brush and acrylic paint, I literally cried. And no, those weren’t tears of happiness.
4. What is your artistic process like?
The process almost always begin with words or sentences. Some of them are immediately paired with vivid visuals, while some of them would take more time to be visualized, in which then I’d store them in my notes first. Whenever I feel uninspired, I would go to the internet and look at illustrations, that usually helps kinda spark something in my head.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
There are accidental sources, and intentional sources. With accidental sources of inspiration, it can literally come from anything I encountered; sceneries, strangers doing things, texts, supermarket products, animal memes, etc. Intentional sources of inspiration are those I sought for, which are mainly artworks of illustrators, and photographs from the internet.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
The role of art in my life progressed as time goes. When I was in my school years, it played the role as a stress reliever. I would create art purely for fun, and since everyone back then told me that I’m good at it, art then became a part of my identity. I would automatically be the one in charge of the art-related part of group projects, and be included in the art & decoration department of school events. By then, art also became my responsibility, which continued until I got through 4 years of design school. Afterwards, when I decided to work in a creative agency, and also freelancing, art took on another role of being a source of income; a job with all the stress that normally comes with it. So, as of right now, to me, art plays a role as a stress reliever, a part of my identity, a responsibility, and a source of income (with a side of stress).
It changed how I view my world in a way that it made me pay more attention to my surroundings. I would take more time in observing details; be it objects, interiors, architecture, in real life or movie scenes. When there’s an interesting object arrangement, I would take pictures and add those to my bank of visual references.
7. Where did you study?
I studied Art & Design at BiNus International University. It’s pretty much Graphic Design.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I hope to see myself have a taste of living abroad, even if it’s not too long, just to experience it.
9. What about in ten?
I hope I can find a business partner by then, and expand my merchandise business, both locally and internationally.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
Mainly, I’d like my art to brighten someone’s timeline, or to spark a thought. Bonus points if my works can sort of inspire a different way of seeing things and developing an idea.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
Sushi! Although, Lamb Kebab comes close.
12. Favourite book?
Jon Klassen’s “Where is My Hat”.
13. Favourite genre of music?
I’d say it kinda changes depending on my mood, from lo-fi bedroom pop to hiphop, but *googles Joji’s genre* ah, contemporary R&B. Yes, that’s my comfort genre.
14. What are your hobbies?
Playing video games, drawing, and walking around the neighbourhood.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
A lecturer maybe, or a copywriter.