Random old photos to laugh at

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When I was in Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia for a holiday a week ago, I barely had internet access because the place was so remote and untouched. Even though we stayed in a super nice resort, we only had internet from 4 pm to 12 am, the internet was soo poor. For other people who can swim and dive, of course it doesn’t matter. They mostly were in the water up to three times a day. But for me who still swim and snorkel with a floaty around my chest, I certainly had a lot of time being not in the water and reminiscing my life without internet. FYI, I’m an internet addict, though my addiction is still healthy and positive, a life without internet is like an Armageddon to me. To kill time waiting for 4 pm, I decided to clean my laptop files, delete all the junk files and photos I’d hoarded for years. My Gosh, I ended up deleting 10,000 photos from 2010 up to 2018!! No the zeros are not a typo. I literally had more 10,000 photos, and that’s was after I lost my previous laptop and lost most of my photos, imagine how many photos in total.

large (4)There’s a phase in my life when I was so obsessed with experimenting styles in front of camera with self-timer. If you know me just recently, you’re lucky. Because if we had met 10 years ago, I probably could kill people with the number of cringe I produced. Of those 10,000 photos, they’re mostly from 2010 to early 2014. I was the girl who bought a lot of stupid props like dysfunctional cute analog camera, rabbit-head-shaped eye mask, hello kitty lunch box, etc which I never practically used beside taking pictures or what people call nowadays as “content creation”. I was a die-hard fan of Japanese’s lolita subculture. It’s a fashion in which we dress like living dolls, with a lot of pink, bows, unicorns, uncomfortable layers of clothes. And I wore hijab at that time, so I proclaimed myself as the hijab lolita, LOL!! But when I decided to take my hijab off and made it public, I withdrew myself from any social media, deleted thousands of my FB ‘friends’ and had a hiatus for months, also I deleted my IG account, and photos of me in hijab from all social media I had.

Even though I’ve tried to delete all the photos of me in hijab, I think many are still on the internet because of sites like Pinterest and alike but they’re not under my name nor from my real accounts. Some photos I admit are actually cool in its own weirdness, but I won’t put any hijab photos of me in any of my personal accounts (too bad coz there are tons of photos to laugh at from that phase of my life). Anyway, these photos can describe enough how the big picture was. Haha!


The above photo explains a lot. It was still the era of Blackberry phones and as I was a fan of flip phones, I chose the one on the left because it was the only flip model of the brand. I was also obsessed with Motorola V3 that I bought another one after the first one I bought was broken. Until now I still keep my Motorola, it’s such an antique and it was the time when Gossip Girls TV series was the reference for fashion. And look at my Blackberry phone, seemingly I never kept anything I bought in its original look that I couldn’t help myself from Cihud-nizing everything.


19 y.o Me showing off my cheap ring that I was so proud of

It was a decal stickers that I glued on the phone’s body. The rings in the photo are just two of my 50 crazy-looking ring collection. Everyday I wore different rings (sometimes on both hands). I loved gigantic rings, these ones were the normal ones compared to others which had crazy and colorful shapes like, cheesecake, a bowl of spaghetti, analog camera, cars, etc. At that time for me, university was like a joy because in Indonesia we have to wear uniforms since kindergarten to high school. So everyday of uni I enjoyed as a costume party and I had to take an OOTD photo before going to class to document my style. If you google “Cihud hijab” you can still find a few of my looks that’s not from my own accounts. I found some fake accounts using my name/ nickname that they even added me on Facebook.

These photos are from a Halloween party at my faculty, everyone was dressing up in costume, I was just dressing up as my self, that’s how I literally dressed up in uni. Look at those signature pink shoes that I custom ordered far away from Jakarta!


largeMy bedrooms (in my house and every time I moved to different dorm rooms) were always like a kindergarten classroom. Every side of the wall had different theme because I used it as background for taking photos. All of my friends always set my bedroom as their photo studio too that I had friends used my room(s) to do photoshoot for their new FB profile pics. Not only walls, even inside of my wardrobe was also a photoshoot property that I ‘cihud-nized’. I literally had photos of me in such fashion inside my closet! My goal at that time was for my dorm room(s) to appear in Pinterest dorm room inspiration boards!

Even though I wore hijab at that time, I always kept my hair super long. I actually looked like a ghost rather than Princess Rapunzel. One bow was not enough, I had to wear at least two! In the photo on the right (below), I had a big bow hair clip on the back of my head. I wanted to look like a Christmas gift from every angle; front, back, and side. Haha!

If you’re not from Indonesia, you probably don’t know that contact lenses are a big thing in Indonesia. Young girls feel the pressure to have big eye pupils like you see in anime and preferably in contrast color from our original eye color, like blue, purple, grey, green. Too bad my eyes are so sensitive that I can’t handle wearing contact lenses for more than 2 hours and it takes me more that half an hour to put them into my eyes because I always have teary eyes easily. So I wore contact lenses only when I wanted to take pictures. Look at this photo below how hard I tried to widen my eyes as big as possible, yes I looked like a cartoon character, the Tweety bird.


When I started working in an international conservation organization which is a men-dominated field, I suddenly brought something these guys had never seen in real life to the office. My office had only 6 women out of 70 employees and other women were older than me and tomboyish. And then I walked in with all my pinkish stationery to cihud-nize my work cubicle.



I gave the office telephone and LCD monitor some pink bows using a double-tape.


Then already started reduce the degree of my alien style when I went to office, I no longer wore cheap crazy-shaped rings. I started to buy real jewelries with my own money. This photo on the right was just me showing off my jewelries and the expensive Guess purse I just purchased. Since then I can’t lower my standard anymore, no more cheap accessories I want to be in my hands and on my whole body, I threw away all of my Harajuku-themed ring collection because they feel cheap! LOL, what a snob!! Even when I’m poor and broke, I still keep my standards! Haha!

There are still many photos that I actually already selected but they will make this post super long, so I’ll post them later someday in some other posts. It’s also good to not bombard my audience with too much cringe in one single post. Haha!



Cihud’s B3 (Bagi-Bagi Buku)


Bagi-Bagi Buku GRATIS s/d 20 Oktober 2018!! Please read below:

Hi, online friends (yg kenal aktif, pasif, atau yg gk kenal sama sekali), dalam rangka gw pingin mengurangi jumlah barang yg gw miliki, maka gw mengadakan giveaway buku2 gw lagi. Ini beberapa buku2nya yang silahkan aja kalo mau. But instead of ngasih bukunya ke satu tempat/orang, kali ini gw kasih ke beberapa orang yang berminat, karena mgkn temen2 gak ada waktu/ tinggal jauh dari taman bacanya, belum lagi kl taman bacanya tutup, jadi bukunya ngendep lagi gak ada yang baca. Buku2 ini gw kasih gratis dan kalian hanya perlu bayar ongkirnya. Cara mengikuti giveaway ini adalah:

1. Satu orang boleh mengambil maksimal 4 buku (kalo kebanyakan nanti yang lain gak kebagian hehe).

2. Check gallery foto di bawah ini, ada sekitar 80 judul buku. Comment di setiap foto buku yg dimau dengan format komen: “Nama – Buku ke berapa dari jatah 4 buku”, contoh: “Cihud – Buku 1”, “Cihud – Buku 2”

3. Kalo foto buku sudah ada komen namanya, berarti udah milik orang lain yang komen pertama (sampai dengan dia trf ongkirnya), boleh tulis di bawah komennya sebagai waiting list, dgn format “Nama – WL”. Kalo yg komen pertama gak trf2 uang ongkirnya juga, bakal jatoh ke yg WL. Jadi siapa yg komen duluan dia yang dapat ya! hehe.

4. Kalo udah menandai semua bukunya, please send me an inbox to my Instagram / Facebook dengan format:
Judul buku:
No HP:

5. Gw akan hitung berapa Kg total berat buku untuk ongkir, pengiriman dari Payakumbuh, Sumatra Barat

6. Memberikan bukti transfer ongkir ke gw (Gak ada yg via pulsa. Rekening bank saja). Batas transfer ongkir hanya 1 hari (same day) dari hari booking. Kl belum trf melewati batas wktu, buku dikasih ke yang WL.

7. Buku akan gw kirim hari berikutnya atau secepatnya dari transfer ongkir diterima.

8. Giveaway hanya sampai tanggal 20 Oktober 2018 karena berhubung gw lagi di Payakumbuh. Setelah tanggal 20, album ini akan dihapus/private.

9. Sisa buku-buku yang gak habis dari giveaway ini baru akan gw berikan ke taman baca.

10. Jangan pake nawar2 ongkir segala ya, karena gw akan bertanduk, anaknya galak soalnya. hehe


Tech world has been stereotyped as the men-dominated world even though the chance is for every body. There are so many factors that force the imbalance ratio to take place, one of them is the mindset (whether from men AND from women themselves) that women are less capable than men to do tech-related stuffs. There have been some initiatives to fight against such notion and I found one of them in Bali, it’s called The Institute of Code. They’re giving opportunities (in the form of scholarships) for women to learn how to code AND how to make money out of your coding skill. I applied for it because I think I’ve witnessed a lot in the field that I’m working in right now and I have some experiences to share, how the myth is not true. Also, I see the opportunity will help me in the future to support my other skill to achieve the career and lifestyle of my dream in the future. So that later I can tell to my parents, “Mom, you should’ve given me the same opportunity as you gave to your son. But never mind, look at me now.”

As an Indonesian woman, I know for sure that the imbalance ratio stems from more than just a mindset of women. It stems back to the family–at least that’s what happened in my country and what I experienced. When I graduated high school and was going to college, I wanted to study design, whether it’s fashion or graphic design. But those fields–just like other tech-related degree–are so expensive and my parents already sent my brother to a prestigious private university of technology in Indonesia to study computer science. So my parent told me that I could not go to an expensive higher education because ‘WE’ have to focus on my brother because he is a MALE. A son will be the one who’s working for the family and daughter will marry and stop working so that’s why parents are more willing to prioritize their son’s education than the daughter’s. My parents said that being fair is not about giving the same amount, but giving what one deserves and needs, so they assumed that I deserved and needed less.

So I ended up going to a public uni which was 8 times cheaper than my brother’s and studied something else. And my parents, it’s not that they didnt have money for me, they actually had more than enough saving for my education if I chose tech-related major, but they said they kept it for my wedding someday (at that time I hadn’t even started dating!). They said they’d been saving their whole life to afford my brother’s education and my future wedding. I hoped that there would be a chance after my brother graduated that my parents would change their mind and gave a lil portion of chance for me to study what I liked. Unfortunately, then my father fell very ill and we had to spent a lot of money on his surgeries and medication. So no money left and bye-bye, dreams.

But don’t get me wrong, my parents are good parents, they love their kids very much. They tried hard to give us the best. The only problem was that they did it in the way they thought how it should be done, which was also the product of their environment.

And I see that happens often among Indonesian families, so another reason why we only have few women in Indonesian tech-o-sphere is not only because we associate it as a man’s thing (like cars, soccer, etc) but also because we’re not given the opportunity to even know it. How can we know how it feels like when we’re not even given the chance to dream of it?

And now I’m pursuing my creative dreams, first I studied fashion then graphic design, self-taught from books and internet. Both fields, even though they have the word ‘design’, have very different environment. My circumstance in the fashion design world is dominated by women, while in graphic design women is rare. Especially graphic designer that can do web development. In the community group chat/ FB page, they called me with “Mas” instead of “Mbak” (It’s like Mr & Ms in English) eventhough clearly my profile pic is of me and my name is a woman’s name, because they thought girls are not gonna be joining this field.

Motivational fitness illustration with female silhouette and letteringI actually don’t know why it’s always been associated with men’s world, as if Snapchat is for women and making webs/ apps are for men. In fact in my 28 years of life, I’ve always been the one doing the techie jobs in the communities/ organizations I’ve been. For example, I was the one who set up, designed and managed the website for my theatre club and had to train guys simple tasks like how to upload a post and resize photos in bulk (they didn’t even know how to do them, let alone wordpress design. I designed my craft blog by myself too. (Well I know it’s not impressive or such a big achievement, for someone with no background knowledge in IT, that counts, hehe).

I was inspired by an Indonesian woman figure in our startup scheme, Alamanda Shantika, who was the former vice president of Go-Jek, the biggest startup in Indonesia. She was the first programmer of the startup, not only that, she’s also a designer. She’s my role model in many things. I listen to her talks a lot, stalked her, and found out that she was raised by her family who gave all the children the same opportunities no matter what the gender is. So Alamanda Shantika is the example of how Indonesian women can be when we’re given the same opportunities and trust.

She encourages Indonesian women to be more involved in the startup scheme or at least start to learn tech-related stuff, hence I started my steps with the graphic design thing. I know I probably cant be like her who’s able to build apps from scratch, my goal is just as simple as being able to build simple websites, I kinda like making portofolio websites for different individuals/ companies, I like the design process of it. And I know there’s a demand for it, more and more businesses and people need personal websites. It is surely in my list, even though it’s kinda hard for me to find the environment that can help me to accelerate the learning process. I’ve taught myself several skills but I of course wish I had the opportunity to be in the environment of like-minded people instead of learning by myself in my room with mentors I hardly communicate with. I hope someday I can follow Alamanda’s steps to #changetheratio in my own ways.

Cara Menjadi Fashion Designer Otodidak

Dari kecil aku emang suka gambar dan suka membuat sesuatu, apa pun itu (termasuk membuat kegaduhan, haha). Tapi sayangnya minat dan bakat ini gak disalurkan oleh keluarga dan orang tua karena difikirnya hanya main-main dan di mata orang tua gw mungkin seni bukanlah pilihan hidup yang tepat.

Alhasil gw kuliah di jurusan Sastra Inggris dan kerja di lembaga konservasi lingkungan hidup internasional. Setelah beberapa tahun gw mulai jenuh dan berfikiran, gw ini sebenernya tujuan hidupnya apa sih, yang beneran bikin gw senang itu apa dan gw mau dikenal sebagai apa. Pekerjaan gw saat itu sangat baik dari ilmu, pengalaman, dan gaji, namun gw merasa sudah saatnya gw mulai fokus mengembangkan diri gw di bidang yang memang gw suka dan tidak terikat untuk pergi ke kantor atau dinas ke hutan belantara. So, gw memutuskan untuk mempelajari fashion design, namun gw bukan orang kaya, gw gak akan mampu untuk bayar biaya sekolah fashion yang biayanya selangit, belum lagi ditambah biaya hidup dan biaya per project nanti, lebih mahal lah dari biaya kuliah kedokteran paket ekstensi.

Bukan cuma dari masalah biaya, I also couldnt afford another 4 years of study, I didnt have the time, kecuali gw anak bangsawan yang mau kerja apa gak pun gak masalah. So gw menggunakan uang tabungan gw dan kerja apa aja yang bisa dikerjain untuk ngumpulin duit (dari ngajar sampe crypto trading pun gw jabanin) untuk mengambil langkah-langkah selanjutnya.

Walau pun gw bukan lulusan sekolah fashion, gw gak mau punya kemampuan yang malu-maluin, seenggaknya gw harus mengerti basic dari apa yang mereka pelajari di perkuliahan, baik dari elements and principles of fashion design, illustration, construction, textiles, manufacturing dll. Karena gw percaya bahwa everything in life can be learned, dan di zaman internet ini, akses belajar melimpah, asal ada niat dan mau ngeluangin waktu. Alhasil, walau pun masih merintis, tapi sekarang gw udah merasakan menghasilkan uang dari dunia fashion design. Ini berdasarkan pengalaman gw sendiri, apa aja yang gw jalanin untuk menjadi seorang fashion designer.

Menurut gw, banyak prasangka yang salah tentang dunia fashion dan title menjadi seorang fashion designer. Orang hanya tau luarnya aja dan hanya mau menjadi bagian luarnya aja, yang kesannya glamor dll. Terutama di Indonesia sendiri, banyak kita lihat figur designer, namun yang bener-bener melakukan tugas fashion designer mungkin gak seberapa. Bisa dibilang, kita beruntung tinggal di negara buruh, jadi upah para penjahit gak setinggi di luar negeri. Penjahit di negara maju pada kaya-kaya lho, karena pekerjaan skill dan custom products itu dihargai nilai tinggi. Sehingga lulusan sekolah fashion luar negeri, seperti Parson dll, memang diwajibkan untuk bisa menjahit sendiri, malah ada training dimana mereka disuruh menjahit 100 T-shirt untuk melatih dan membiasakan keterampilan mereka.

So, di Indonesia, bisa dibilang, kalo ada modal untuk beli kain dan mengupah penjahit, seseorang bisa jadi designer dan mulai menjual jasanya asal pintar membuat koneksi. Kalo punya modal lebih banyak lagi malah mampu menyewa orang lain yang lulusan fashion untuk merancang sebuah koleksi untuk dia. Apakah ini salah? Well, gak juga, rezeki orang berbeda-beda. Toh dia masih masih terlibat dalam proses design, walau pun gak terlibat penuh. Kalo di luar negeri, yang bisa mencapai posisi ini hanya nama-nama besar seperti Chanel, Prada, John Galliano, dll. Namun mereka menjalani proses yang sangat panjang untuk bisa sampai di posisi itu, John Galliano misalnya, doi bekerja di bawah nama orang lain selama 20 tahun sebelum menjadi sebesar sekarang. Namun di negara kita, proses itu bisa di short cut, itulah rezeki negara kita. Namun, yang perlu diingat, gak semua orang terlahir punya modal lebih dari cukup, seperti gw misalnya. Dan menurut gw, mengutip dari salah satu guru fashion gw yang sangat gw hormati, Zoe Hong, “Skills yang kamu kuasai atau tidak kuasai akan menentukan atau membatasi kamu akan jadi designer seperti apa.”

Yup, bener banget. Gw gak bisa bergantung sama yang namanya ‘hoki’. Gak mungkin seorang designer namanya di atas terus, terlebih lagi, gw gak mau kerja bergantung dengan lokasi. Banyak orang yang gak bisa pindah tempat tinggal karena udah terlanjur usahanya di suatu daerah. Orang yang punya ilmu dan skill yang lebih akan tau caranya untuk naik lagi ketika dia terjatuh. Ilmu dan kemampuan yang kita punya juga memberikan pilihan untuk gak selalu menjadi pengusaha dan berdiri sendiri. Kalo kita cuma bergantung sama penjahit dan modal nyontek model di Pinterest, kita jadi mau gak mau harus usaha sendiri, dan usaha gak selamanya berada diatas angin. Ketika usaha jatuh, akan susah kalo mau ngelamar kerja. So, in the end it’s up to you, mau jadi designer yang seperti apa, sama contohnya dengan pekerjaan lain, misal guru, what kind of teacher do you want to be?


Pelajari basic dari design dan fashion itu sendiri. Banyak-banyak meng-google kurikulum perkuliahan sekolah fashion design dan mulai mencari informasi tentang masing-masing subject. Kalo gw sih, gw banyakin searching textbooks apa yang mereka gunakan untuk panduan pembelajaran dan gw search PDFnya, atau kalau gak ada ya terpaksa harus beli bukunya dari luar negeri dan harganya memang agak mahal. Tapi sebanding dengan ilmu apa yang didapat, karena kalo kita hanya bergantung sama resource berbahasa Indonesia, gak akan pernah cukup, kita masih sangat jauh ketinggalan. Gw memang bukan sarjana fashion, tapi ternyata pengetahuan gw gak kalah dengan mereka yang sudah lulusan fashion design, terutama sarjana fashion design universitas dalam negeri. Sudah banyak kok gw ketemu mereka yang tadinya lulusan SMK tata busana, lalu kuliah tata busana juga, namun ternyata pengetahuan dan kemampuannya di bawah gw dikarenakan mereka hanya bergantung dengan ilmu yang dikasih sama guru/ dosen mereka dan gak rajin untuk belajar dari sumber lain. Padahal ilmu itu selalu berkembang.

Dengan mempelajari benar-benar fashion design, kita jadi bisa tau siapa aja yang terlibat dalam pembuatan sebuah koleksi dan pilihan karir apa aja yang tersedia. So, pilihan karir di dunia fashion itu gak sesempit pemahaman awam tadi yang harus punya modal banyak. Contohnya gw sekarang, kalo gw hanya bergantung dari penjualan baju gw, ya gw gak bisa makan dong, secara creative works take time to take off, gw belum punya nama dan memulai dari bawah. Namun gw bisa menghasilkan juga masih dalam dunia fashion dengan kemampuan gw di dunia fashion yang lain, seperti freelance flat sketching and technical design. Apa itu? Ya di google, yak!


Kalo dibilang bener-bener otodidak, seseorang gak akan bisa bener-bener menjadi fashion designer, karena di bidang tertentu memang perlu guru dan proper training. Ada bidang dari fashion design yang lo bisa pelajari sendiri, tapi ada juga bidang yang kita memang mau gak mau harus mempunyai training yang cukup, seperti contohnya patternmaking dan menjahit. Walau pun kamu gak berencana untuk menjahit bajumu sendiri nanti, gak ada salahnya kita mengerti pengetahuan basic construction itu seperti apa. Gw punya temen (bule) yang jadi designer di Bali tapi langsung terjun bebas ke bisnis tersebut tanpa punya skill dan punya product, alhasil dia menghabiskan waktu dan uang yang banyak karena cuma satu masalah yang basic banget. Orang yang sudah mengerti basic, setidaknya gak akan membuat kesalahan sebanyak itu.

Namun untuk meminimalisir biaya pembelajaran, gw mensiasati dengan mengambil les jahit privat saja, untuk teori kebanyakan gw belajar sendiri dari internet dan buku. Namun gw juga mengambil les dengan seorang designer yang gw udah tau kualitasnya dan memiliki kredibilitas akademik, untuk mengetahui lebih dalam dunia fashion itu seperti apa sih, dan juga untuk mendapatkan feedback dan arahan design gw. Kalo belajar, dibilang gratis banget ya gak ada. Bahkan mau daftar beasiswa pun kita harus keluar modal kan, biaya tes TOEFLnya lah, medical check up, translate ijazah, dll.


Bedanya dengan orang yang kuliah fashion, mereka mau gak mau harus ngikutin struktur, sehingga mereka punya timeline yang terukur. Sedangkan kita yang otodidak bergantung dengan disiplin diri kita sendiri. Ini yang paling susah dan gak semua orang bisa untuk fokus selama berjam-jam, berhari-hari dan berbulan-bulan untuk mempelajari suatu bidang.


Seringnya karena belajar sendiri, kita jadi gak tau progress kita ini udah sampe mana, beda dengan mereka yang sekolah, mereka punya grading yang lebih jelas. So, kita jadi ngerasa kok kayaknya pengetahuan gak nambah ya. Untuk mencegah itu, coba bikin track record setiap harinya belajar apa, walau pun hanya belajar 1 jam. Nanti misalnya sudah 100 hari, kita bisa melihat ke belakang kalo memang kita sudah berkembang dari kita sebelumnya.


Mulai lah mencicil dengan membuat karya, mau karya tersebut ada yang beli apa enggak, yang penting dibuat dulu. Disitu lah kita mengukuhkan kalo kita sudah memulai karir ini dan memberitahukan kepada orang lain tentang apa yang kita kerjakan. Portofolio itu mungkin gak berefek instan, tapi kita gak tau di kemudian hari seperti apa. Mungkin client gak butuh saat itu, tapi ketika nanti tiba saat dia butuh, dia tau bakal kemana.


Sudah menghasilkan karya bukan berarti tahap pembelajaran berhenti disitu. Semakin gw mempelajari suatu bidang semakin gw merasa gw gak tau apa-apa karena ternyata bidang fashion design itu luas dan dalam banget. Bahkan gw punya temen yang lulusan Parson pun bilang, gak akan cukup rasanya mempelajari fashion design selama 4 tahun itu, karena banyak banget ilmunya dan selalu berkembang. Nah lho, doi yang lulusan Parson aja bilang gitu, apalagi kita yang belajar otodidak, harus lebih semangat lagi! Hehe.

Dan kita juga harus pinter berimprovisasi dengan langkah dan karya kita, karena seperti yang gw bilang tadi, creative works take time to take off. And sometimes we fail, sometimes we succeed. So, if plan B doesn’t work, think about and execute plan C to Z!

Just never give up, every thing worth having never comes easily.

Bridesmaid dress_2706

Uke helps the imposter child in me


Impostor Syndrome is a psychological phenomenon in which a person always feels and believes that she/ he is inadequate and an incompetent failure despite his/ her achievements. This syndrome is common in a high-achiever personality, even Maya Angelou and Albert Einstein had it. It can affect not only the talented and intelligent people, but anyone, anyone can have factors in their backgrounds why they have it, for example, what happened to them in their childhood, did the parents always doubt them, compare them to other kids, etc.

I think I am one of the imposters, I’ve known it for so long that I have the tendency to feel that I’m always not good enough and always far from what I want to become, and always feel that if I achieve something, it’s because of luck, not because I have the ability to deserve it. But I didn’t know that it has a psychological term.

This also stems from my childhood and by the way I was treated by people close to me (adults) at that time. For example, when I won some competitions (from English speech contest, drawing, scholarships, academic achievements, etc), I was always told to be grateful because all of them happened because of the help of other people or coincidence–whether it’s God’s help, or my brother’s help, or that I competed in a low-level competition, etc–instead of acknowledging my ability and hard work for it. My parents perhaps did this without negative intention, it’s because they didn’t want me to be an arrogant and cocky person. So they always told me to thank other parties for my achievements, because without them I would never be able to do that.

It may seem tricky from the surface because people wouldn’t guess people like me–who put herself out to the world in so many platforms–are actually doubting ourselves. If you’re doubtful of yourself, then why you’re so confident to put yourself out there?

Well, in my case,  this ‘confidence’ wall is myself fighting against myself. One part of me is the somewhat destructive imposter that always makes me want to hold back my ideas, works and creations, and just throw them away or hide them. This side of me is the one who’s always pushing the standards for me to achieve which sometimes can be good, but also harmful when I let it in total control. I remember when I was in school, I tended to avoid teachers’ attention by never speaking up about my opinions. I always told other kids first, and then others would claim that the ideas/ works were theirs. I was just the invisible student, people knew me just because I was funny, not because I could think or make something.

The other part of me is the one who realizes that this should not let to happen all the time, this part of me is the one who realizes that it was the reason why I felt unhappy about myself and she has to do something about it. The first part of me always waits for perfection, the second is the one who will just launch something without waiting for it to be perfect. Both sides have their own plus points for me.

The second always protects me from self-hating by asking me to do something different from what I always do. Especially when I really like something/ someone so much, I tend to feel I’m not good enough. So the second personality will take over and say, “Let’s take a break from it for a moment and do other stuff.” Blogging and other kinds of documentation of my life are examples of it.

That was the reason why I started blogging in 2009, it was not for other people’s amusement, it’s for myself to look back and to counter from the feeling of  haven’t achieved anything. This time it’s playing ukelele.

A few weeks ago I bought an ukelele, well I actually got it for free by redeeming my points on an online marketplace, I only paid for the shipping. I could have chosen something else among the options, but I thought that I dont have musical skills at all and my brain is very bad at multitasking (that’s why I found it very hard to play musical instrument), so I want to train my brain. And it’s not something that I’m obsessed with, if I fail, it doesnt matter because it’s not my passion. I have no goals to achieve in it. And if I can play it, then it’s good, it’s just a bonus from a side activity. No pressure to achieve anything.

So I was very happy the first time I was able to play the first song I learned, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. At first, I didnt even know which hand to play the chords and which one to strum the strings. Then I progress to develop a muscle memory to coordinate my hands but still couldn’t sing along while playing. Then I finally can sing along while I play. From one song, then I learned other songs to add to my library. (Watch me play ukulele in my IG‘s highlighted stories)

This maybe is just a simple little thing, but for me it has helped me to feel good because I’d never thought I would be able to play any instrument in my life. Maybe also because I set no expectation.

I know many people have impostor syndrome as well, and my advice is to take a break and have a getaway with something you set no expectation of. Just do it.

No White Flag Yet

For the last two weeks, I’ve been wrestling with digital drawing software, Adobe Illustrator. Two weeks prior, I focused on studying only the basic theory of graphic design (well, I procrastinated a lot during my PMS) because I didn’t want to just jump to tools without knowing what’s the fundamentals of something, when I learn something or am interested in something, I’ll be a nerd for it, I like to study what people are bored of studying.

This year I’ve learned fashion design skill and how to construct the garment and everything. And the second thing I am learning now is graphic design focusing on illustration. I started with learning for fashion technical drawing only which is not complex but when it comes to illustration, it’s like hundreds stairs up. Especially there are so many styles of illustration with different techniques, even for two things that look almost similar.

These two weeks, I almost lost my patience, I really hated myself because I couldnt learn things as fast as I wanted to. I almost snapped at my Macbook then I realized I’m poor and wouldn’t be able to afford a new one right now, so I hit my bed and pillow and slept.

And that one thing is like the very basic thing to acquire if I want to be able to go to the next step, which is the coloring technique in Adobe Illustrator. This sounds trivial right? No it’s not as easy, to just put a color in a shape is easy, but to find the right process formula for the whole drawing is hard.

I can say that I’ve watched and rewatched for so many times almost all Adobe Illustration classes on Skillshare and let alone YouTube, just to learn each artist’s workflow. That’s my learning style, I would dig a lot for the basics, learning from as many people (because every one has different knowledge), because if I dont find the right way about the basics, I’ll risk my time and energy in the future. And everyone’s creative process is different, one thing may work for him/ her but doesnt feel comfortable for others. I followed each of them, I followed along their step-by-steps and workflow, and found out there’s always flaws in the formula/ steps. It does the job but not the way I wanted it, there must be a time-efficient way to do it, the way that’s more efficient when you have to edit some parts of the drawing, I just need to find what and how it is.

I took 4-5 hours a day just to finish one simple drawing for almost two weeks, and they’re all sooo ugly. The ideas are cool, but I lacked the technique to make them, it always fell far from my first plan/ imagination. After collecting, trying and mixing each teacher’s and youtuber’s knowledge and skill, I finally found it, just today, after drawing and re-drawing the same thing 6 times–because I always got stuck in some steps and had to start from the beginning. And that’s my days had been these two weeks.

I was feeling so down, because some people just got so good at things so easily and instantly and it takes me 10 times harder work and longer time. I’m not smart like my brother who can easily master everything so fast. I felt so worthless and useless for being not good at something I like doing, something that I should do better than other people. I whined, why can’t I be smart like other people, talented like other artists, why I only have strong wills and hard work. I wish I had a superpower to learn everything in one week.

But anyway, I’m glad that today I found it, but already too tired to draw tonight. I’ll start again tomorrow, and I’ll be posting more digital illustration soon on my IG as I’m collecting my portofolio. Wish me luck!

My Startup Weekend Experience in Bali

I didn’t know about Startup Weekend until end of last year when someone who I just met for the first time–who then later become my friend–told me about it and volunteered to be my sponsor for the event.

I was in Bali for my fashion design course and as I am a hyperactive person, I always looked for interesting events in the area, I wanted to make the best of my time in Bali. There’s a cafe-coworking space in Sanur which regularly holds free events/ talks every week that I always tried to come when I could, even though it’s not close to where I stayed. In one event, at that time Aaron Mashano was the speaker, I met Jennifer. She’s a foreigner living in Bali and pursuing her fashion design career (but with different approach from mine) and she’s almost similar like me, she likes to come to events as well.

Then she told me that there was an event in the upcoming week which is very cool and a good learning and networking experience that she really liked. I didn’t really understand what it was at that time, and also hearing that it’s a paid event and in dollar rate, I thought I wouldnt be able to join. I was surprised that Jennifer just offered herself to be my sponsor, meaning she’d pay for the events and let me stay at her place during the event (because the event was held in Ubud, which is 30km from my place). It’s not cheap I think to give to someone you just met for the first time, I didnt know why she just trusted me, she only asked me to promise that I would give my dedication to the event. So I said yes and promised her that I would not take it for granted.

I didn’t know much info about what the event is about and how things would be run. All I knew is that you might pitch ideas of a startup and then we would be grouped into the chosen startup ideas. I didn’t know really clearly what to expect from the event, I only knew there would be winners in the end, and I like winning. So I already prepared an idea and a one-minute speech for a pitch.

Startup Weekend is actually a global event now run by Techstars with the help of a lot of Volunteers. It’s held in hundreds cities in the world annually, in Indonesia it’s held in several major cities like Jakarta, Bandung and Bali. But the one in Bali is the most different from other cities in Indonesia because the one in Bali has internationally mixed participants while in other cities are mostly Indonesians.

It’s a 2,5 day event started from Friday night until Saturday night. In 54 hours, we learned and experienced what it’s like to make a startup, from finding the ideas to brainstorming the execution to sell it. We’re given the opportunity to pitch our idea in such a short presentation time (so we had to make every second and sentence count) then sell it to market (the audience), recruit team, and make a product mockup. My idea and team was chosen as the 3rd winner. I was very happy that I also made a remarkable impression to the people there, every presentation I made always caught attention.


It’s a very good event to network with people who might need your work in the future or if you’re looking for a side project to break from your routine. As for freelancers, networks is a vital part.

At that time I totally had no idea that it could be used for that, I was just there to compete and have fun. So I didnt understand why people were really putting their time, efforts and energy to the max for just a weekend activity. Now I understand that they were marketing their selves. Who knows you might find a potential client who’s looking for say a designer or programmer. At least the people who know about what you do could refer you someday to someone.

This year, I will join the event again or the ones next year in order to market myself. I will come back with different strategy and different mission. Last year I came to win and to prove my idea, but this year I’ll come to market myself as a graphic designer/ illustrator. If you’re a freelancer/ digital nomad, Bali is the right place for you to find and be found. Hence I’m preparing myself for it, that’s why I’ve been locking myself in my room since I arrived from SA to improve my skill, learning from the very basics. I’m not a good drawer, many people can draw much better than I do, but I’ve learned several skills by myself because I didnt have the fortune to pay for expensive schools. That being said, I’m a hardworker. I’ve had some plans what I’d do and make people remember me again, to tell that I’m not only a fashion designer but also I can do digital art work. Hopefully things will go as planned or better, I cant wait!! Watch Startup Weekend 2018’s video here and see more photos here.