Bagaimana Cara Gw Menghasilkan dalam Dollar

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Salah satu tantangan bagi orang kreatif adalah bukannya ketidaktersediaan material, tapi menghadapi orang-orang yang selalu mematahkan ide/ gagasan kreatif. Karena orang-orang tersebut gak mengerti bahwa salah satu bagian dari proses kreatif adalah kegagalan. Orang kreatif gak akan berhenti di satu bahkan seribu kegagalan. Entah udah berapa kali gw diceramahin atau dikatain orang-orang bahwa gak semua orang bisa ngelakuin apa yang mereka mau, sebagian besar orang memang harus kerja melakukan apa yang mereka gak suka asal bisa hidup. Iya, gw setuju dengan kalimat tersebut. Anggaplah persentasenya 85% dan 15%, maka itu gw mau jadi yang 15%, bukan yang 85%. Gw percaya bahwa selalu ada cara dimana skill dan level kemampuan yang sama bisa dihargai berbeda. I just need to know how, what, where, when and why. Nah 4W1H ini yang mahal.

Basically gw ini orangnya pemalas banget, gw hanya mau melakukan apa yang gw suka. Sampe gw juga males yang namanya pergi ke kantor setiap hari, harus dandan mentereng,pake seragam, ngeluarin duit buat ongkos, biaya penampilan dan gajinya menurut gw gak lebih dari dari uang jajan yang dikasih orang tua gw waktu gw kuliah dulu. Apalagi kalo pekerjaan itu hanya mengajarkan gw satu hal, karena gw hanya melakukan hal yang sama setiap hari, sehabis itu kalo gw berhenti gw hanya dianggap tisu basah sekali pakai, yang mana penggantinya bejibun, lalu gw harus stuck di satu perusahaan karena kalo pindah perusahaan akan jatoh ke awal lagi dan belum lagi kalo mau pindah lokasi tempat tinggal (misal istri yang ikut suami atau bosen aja gitu di suatu daerah), susah pindahnya karena masalah pekerjaan. Untuk diri gw pribadi, gw mau menjauhi situasi-situasi tersebut. Gak worth it rasanya gw mengekang masa muda gw karena kecemasan apa yang akan terjadi nanti di masa tua yang belum pasti. Dan to be clear ya, gw gak meng-offend orang-orang yang melakukan pekerjaan tersebut, karena kebahagiaan dan situasi orang berbeda-beda. For me, I just can’t see myself there, just like you probably cant see yourself in my position.

Setiap generasi punya keuntungan sendiri-sendiri, dan gw yakin keuntungan generasi gw adalah internet. Ketakutan yang dimiliki oleh generasi orang tua gw gak seharusnya menghantui gw. Internet ada hampir dimana-mana, kalo gw bisa bikin uang dan stable income dari internet, maka gw akan mengurangi kekangan-kekangan dari hal-hal tadi. Lapangan pekerjaan yang bisa dikerjakan secara mobile semakin lama akan semakin luas, sampai puluhan tahun ke depan, masih akan tetap dibutuhkan pekerjaan di bidang teknologi atau kemampuan untuk membawa ilmu tradisional ke ranah teknologi. Semakin cepat dicoba semakin baik untuk mendapatkan first-mover’s advantage. 

Dulu, gw menyangka kalo gw mau jadi pengusaha. Ternyata setelah gw jalanin, gw semakin mengerti konsep kebebasan yang gw inginkan itu yang bagaimana. Yang gw mau adalah kebebasan lokasi, it doesn’t matter for me if gw harus masuk ke dalam suatu tim (in fact I realized I like being in a team, asal timnya adalah orang-orang yang mirip gw. Gw gak bisa banget berada dalam lingkungan kerja yang mengutamakan senioritas, yang kalo mau mengemukakan pendapat harus segan-segan segala lah karena faktor usia dan adat). Dan gw juga mau waktu gw dibayar sepadan. Kalo gw terikat dalam suatu perusahaan tradisional, ‘harga waktu’ gw terikat dengan kebijakan mereka. Sedangkan dengan apa yang gw lakukan sekarang, gw punya lebih kuasa dalam menentukan seberapa gw ingin dibayar. Ya memang bersusah-susah dulu di awal, tapi grafik naiknya kelihatan. 

Selain karena masalah dollar, alasan utama gw lainnya adalah gw mau menjadi location independent, dimana gw bisa kerja dari mana aja selama ada internet. Just in case suatu waktu gw pindah kota atau malah negara (ya namanya hidup kita gak tau kan), lebih baik gw punya skill dan portofolio yang gw bisa bawa jauh ketimbang ngehabisin hidup gw di satu tempat yang ternyata gak akan dihargai lebih di tempat lain. Tapi itu menurut gw pribadi ya…

And to be honest, another reason why I push myself to be able to earn in dollars is because I dont feel optimistic of how this country will be. It’s just getting closer and closer to be the next Syria, while other countries are busy working on developing technology, my country is still busy fighting over what religion a leader should believe in. At least, if the worst happens, I’ll have a career and a name that can help me to make money somewhere else.

Mungkin, kalo dari luar keliatannya gw ini maen-maen aja ya, jalan-jalan terus, kayaknya cuma ngelakuin hal yang senang-senang aja. Gw keliatannya kayak orang yang gak peduli dengan masa depan. In fact, gw peduli banget dengan semua yang berpotensi merusak kebebasan dan kebahagiaan gw. Like it or not, finance holds the key to many kinds of freedom.

So, dari saat gw di Bali awal tahun ini, gw kepingin banget rasanya earning in dollars and spending in rupiahs namun masih tetap berkaitan dengan bidang yang gw kuasai/ nikmati. Menurut gw, the fact that I live in a developing country like Indonesia adalah keuntungan gw yang gak dimiliki warga negara maju, terlebih lagi gw masih muda dan gak punya tanggungan, jatah gagal gw masih banyak. Hence, gw melakukan ancang2 dan akhirnya kesampaian juga, walaupun belum besar, but it’s getting better and more sustainable. Enak ternyata punya dua pendapatan dengan mata uang yang berbeda.

Bisa dibilang, ‘karir’ dibidang cari duit online udah gw mulai dari sekedar jadi sista-sista online shop sambilan, penerjemah online, crypto trader dadakan, sampe ke international marketplace, bukan cuma market place barang, tapi juga marketplace jasa. Yang mana artinya gw bekerja sebagai freelancer yang selama ini gw geluti. Berikut cara yang gw lakukan dan gw tau menurut pengalaman gw:

  1. FIND THE WHAT

Gak semua hal/ skill bisa dibawa ke dunia digital, misalnya aja kalo kemampuan lo mantri sunat, kan gak mungkin mau nyunat via skype. Ada cara lain memang dan bukan berarti buntu, misal, bikin kelas online tentang dunia persunatan, tapi kan bidang itu mungkin gak high demand dan gak dibutuhkan di negara-negara dollar. Cari tahu tentang bidang dan peluang apa aja yang dibutuhkan banyak orang, well-paid dan sustainable. Dari semua list itu, pilih salah satu yang menurut lw, lw mampu atau lo suka, atau yang bisa membantu lo untuk mendapatkan sesuatu yang lebih besar di kemudian hari. Ada banyak banget peluang cari duit dari internet, malah kebanyakan yang seringnya gak kepikiran, tapi ternyata ada ya kerjaan kayak gini.

2. DECIDE WHERE & HOW TO USE YOUR EXISTING RESOURCES

Setelah memilih hal mana yang akan dijalani, fikirkan gimana caranya menggunakan resource yang kamu punya sekarang untuk membantu kamu mendapatkan itu. Juga, it doesn’t mean that we have to learn something that’s really new and different from what we’ve mastered before. Gw memilih bidang yang at least gw punya pengetahuan yang cukup, so ketika gw alternate hal itu ke dunia digital, gw gak harus belajar dari awal lagi (walau pun ternyata fashion design untuk bridal dan untuk apparel manufacturing itu beda total! haha)

Misal dalam kasus gw, bidang yang udah gw pelajari dan gw rintis adalah fashion design, kalo tiba-tiba nyelonong pingin jadi programmer software, kan gw harus ulang belajar hal yang baru lagi. Sedangkan kalo gw tetep di dunia fashion design, gw hanya perlu mencari tau bagian mana dari fashion design itu yang ada market untuk jasa digitalnya, salah satunya adalah Digital Technical Packs (well, gak usah gw jelasin lah ya ini apa).

3. BUT LOOK FOR OTHER POTENTIAL CORRELATED OPPORTUNITIES

Gak menutup kemungkinan kalo kemampuan yang udah lw kuasain bisa dimanfaatkan di bidang lain. Contohnya, apa yang udah gw pelajari dan kerjakan di dunia fashion ternyata bisa gw bawa ke bidang ilustrasi digital. Karena sebenarnya gw menggunakan software dan beberapa skill yang ada kesamaan. Contohnya, gw menggunakan software yang sama, yaitu Adobe Illustrator untuk bikin fashion flats, dan Adobe Illustrator juga bisa digunakan untuk menggambar ilustrasi. Untuk saat ini, gw belum menjual jasa gw di bidang ilustrasi, tapi gw udah mengumpulkan portofolio dari sekarang.

4. FIND A WAY TO SEE AND TO BE SEEN

Put yourself in the map, what is the map?? The internet. Banyak platforms yang mendukung agar orang  lain yang belum kenal kita (misal future employer) bisa mengetahui kemampuan kita, tapi jangan asal menyampah ke semua platforms juga ya bok, pilih yang strategis dengan tujuan lo.

Bisa diliat ya, gw ada di Youtube, blog, etsy, dribble, etc etc. Namun semua yang gw lakukan bersinergi dalam stream yang sama yang membantu satu sama lain. Sehingga kalo ada future employer, dia bisa liat kalo emang gw punya kemampuan. Apa yang gw tebar itu portofolio online gw.

Banyak yang sangka, gw itu cuma ngebikin dress/ gaun pesta buat wanita, trus bengong nungguin baju gw kejual. Kenyataannya, kalo gw cuma bergantung dengan menunggu baju gw kejual doang, gw mau makan pake apa ciiinn, mana pula gw pemain baru dan yang gak punya koneksi siapa-siapa. Gw juga gak pinter peres sama ibu-ibu sosialita. Saat gw menaruh foto-foto hasil karya gw di interenet, gw gak menaruh harapan besar mereka akan kejual. Karena gw sadar itu sangat sulit, dari awal, sales itu bukan tujuan utama gw. Tapi itu portofolio gw. Gw harus bisa nunjukin kalo gw punya passion dan kemampuan di hal itu.

Gak usah malu buat memulai bikin portofolio. It takes time and hardwork dan buang jauh-jauh rasa malu, but it’s worth it. Jujur aja, gw itu bikin youtube channel juga bukan karena gw kepedean atau pingin terkenal. Gw bukan anak ABG lagi bro yang mikirnya masih begitu. Bisa diliat kalo sebenernya gw itu gak nyaman ngomong di depan kamera. Tapi ya gw paksain aja, karena gw yakin salah satu strateginya adalah ini. Ternyata sekarang subscribers gw udah mau 4000 aja. Kemungkinan sih, akhir Desember nanti gw udah mencapai angka 5000. Bayangin ya, ketika temen-temen gw malah pamer foto anak-anaknya di sosmed atau foto undangan pernikahan, gw malah ujug-ujug bikin youtube channel buat dunia perjahitan. Pasti lah banyak yang sebenernya ngetawain gw di belakang saat itu, ngapain coba ni orang udah umur segini malah kayak dedek-dedek, maenannya Youtube. Haha! Tapi, percaya atau gak, Youtube gw itu udah membantu gw mendapatkan trust dari orang-orang yang gak tinggal di negara gw! Haha!

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How I learned English (I’m still learning until now though!)

Many people asked me about how I learned my English; both locals and foreigners. So I’ll write this post so that later I can just copy-paste the link to them. And I’m writing this not because I feel so confident about my English, in fact, on the contrary, I realize how imperfect my English is even though I’ve worked a lot for years since I was in middle school to master it, still I will never be close to native, not even advanced level. At first I hated it, I hated myself for not being good at something that I like. I hated the fact that my English is far from perfect, that I have a strong accent sometimes in speaking and you can feel it too in my writing that English is not my first language (even though my writing is better than my speaking).

Maybe for many Indonesians, they consider my English more than enough. Many people hope that they can speak English like I do. Many foreigners were also surprised with my English, but I think they’re not amazed with my English, they just didn’t think any Indonesians would be capable of communicating in English because we are from a poor country and our education is not our best quality.

Also, I’ve been made fun of and mocked because of my English, sometimes not in a friendly way, and even by a guy I was dating at that time (a foreigner). He said, “How pathetic that you are an English graduate but your English is sh*t.” , when we were having an argument (that’s not even related to my English, he just suddenly said that to hurt me).

I realize that when a westerner (especially those who like to call themselves “expats” instead of immigrants) speak broken non-English language like Bahasa Indonesia, it’s considered cute. But when non-native English speakers like me speak broken English, we’re considered less educated, less important, or have lower thinking ability. I realize how easy it is for someone to feel more exclusive than others just by a language, even if English–their mother tounge–is the only language they speak/ understand.

My story is just one of Indonesians’ stories about how hard we work for something that we dont easily have access to. Especially for people like me who don’t come from the upper class where they speak in English more than they speak in Bahasa Indonesia. Indonesians in big cities and the upper class minority speak English very very well, they study and travel overseas. One example of this class is the breakthrough young rapper, Rich Chigga/ Rich Bryan. People won’t think that he’s an Indonesian if you listen to his English and music.

My parents sent me and my brother to the best private school in the our city at that time, it’s quite expensive and far from where we lived, so my friends were from families who are richer than us, that every time I was invited to my friends’ birthday parties or just to play at their houses, I was amazed by how big their houses mostly were, felt like mine was the smallest and modest. Many of my friends already went to English courses since very early, kindergarten maybe. My parents, even though they understood the importance of English, they couldn’t afford that for me and my brother. So it’s like we started the marathon late, because we did not get any English courses until we’re in middle school. At that time, there’s no Youtube, there’s no internet and kids didn’t play 80% of their days with tablets/ phones. Even I had to go to my neighbor’s house every afternoon and Sunday morning to watch cartoons because he was the only one who had TV cable in our neighborhood.

I never realized I was good at learning languages until I was given the opportunity to learn other language, that’s when I was 13 y.o. My parents could not afford the expensive English course for us, so we went to the mid price, none of the teachers were native. That’s when I realized I fell in love with this subject, I didn’t know at that time if English is important, I didn’t know how it’s gonna help my life in the future, I just fell in love, I enjoyed it and I want to be able to speak it. I have no target nor expectation from my self-study. I think that’s the purest kind of love, when you love something/ someone with the least reasons.

I only got 4 hours of English lesson in a week from that course, two hours per meeting. I realized how little it is, that it’s not gonna be enough. I asked my parents whether I could get another English classes, like 4 times in a week or everyday, but my mom was angry. She said I have to learn math, YUCK!!

Mostly, I learned English from my self-study. In this case, movies and music helped a lot (remember, at that time internet was so rare). My interest in English turned me into a nerd. I skipped playing with friends just to have some hours to watch english movies or read books over and over again. I used to watch every movie three or four times. The first play was to enjoy the story, the second to take notes of the english, third is to repeat how they are used in conversation, forth to practice speaking it during the movie ( I dont think I can do that anymore, because we have abundance of options now that I even can’t play Youtube videos or podcasts in normal speed anymore because I’m afraid I dont have time to watch/ listen to others).

At that time, english books were not easy to find. So I went to my english course’s library almost every day just to read English books. No matter what book it was, I just needed something that’s written in English. I compiled my own grammar notebooks (those notebooks were even photocopied by my friends in college!).

I had no one to practice my English speaking. So after I watched english movies, I spoke by myself to repeat the conversation in the movies. Then a DVD rental just opened near my school and it had a promo of 6-month free DVD rental if we bought a DVD player from there. So my brother and I begged to our parents for that, and we finally bought a DVD from there. Literally EVERY DAY, we rented movies, we could only rented 2 movies max every day.

I knew about internet earlier than many Indonesians did at that time. I didnt really have much time to play with other kids, because I would rather  either watch movies or be in internet cafes. Internet cafes were very very rare, only 2 in my city at that time. If I could fly, I would fly to the cyber cafe as soon as my school finished, everyday. And the internet was very very slow, to load a page could take like 5 minutes (wow I just realize how patient I was before, now I can’t even stand a pop-up dialog box!). I signed in to mIRC (chat rooms) in order to chat with westerners. I thought that was the cheapest conversation class! Well I had to lie about my age, otherwise no one would talk to me. I had to keep a dictionary next to me every time I was in front of the computer, then I would write them down, whatever I learned from every day.

Then I started to write something in English everyday, at least for one page. Anything, it’s just for practice. I would not review my writings right away, because I would think it’s perfect. But if i give it time and just review it after 3-5 days, I will able to see my mistakes easily. Then I train myself to start to think in English rather than in Bahasa Indonesia. In 2009, started to write a blog. Unlike this one, my old blog was 85% in English, but I didn’t write as often as I do now.

Even though my English is still not perfect, I’ve been able to make money from it. Started from teaching, translation projects, and now it helps me A LOT in my job that I can make money in dollars. I can get my other skills valued more because I can bring it to international marketplaces. I’ve worked with foreigners since I graduated uni, and I’ve made friendships with non-Indonesians. Not only in my job, but also in love life, I havent dated Indonesians anymore for years (trust me, the cheapest, and most enjoyable way to learn conversational English is by dating. Haha!! But dont get me wrong, I didnt date them because they’re foreigners, I never planned to fall in love with them, it just happened.)

One day, I stumbled upon this video, and it made me feel like that’s probably what my future kids will feel about me. But I wont be the sad broken-english speaker parent, I dont care that much anymore if people wanna laugh at my English. At least from their laugh, I learn something. And my broken English means I’ve worked for something. I’m proud of myself even with those limitations I’ve had, I’ve made it this far. And my brother, he got scholarships from his university in Australia until Ph.D. Not perfect indeed, but like my lecturer ever told me, “It’s okay if your best is not good enough, but it’s not good when your good is not your best.”

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From Bridal to Technical

IMG_20181111_212953My achievement this year is that I managed to launched my first bridal collection and sold some of them as well as got custom-made order in my first year as a fashion designer. End of last year, I took patternmaking course, I had totally zero experience and knowledge in garment construction before.

I can’t afford fashion school, both the fee and the years. So, I made my own curriculum and research, where I can learn about fashion. I am so lucky that I live in this internet era that saves a lot of education money and bridges people from all over the world. I’m so grateful for people who share amazing free contents on platforms like youtube and online libraries or even cheap online courses like Udemy and Skillshare. Because of them, I can learn the theories and process that they learn in fashion schools as long as I’m willing to put in the dedication and commitment. But still, for some fields, I need professional training, especially when it comes to construction. Even the patternmaking course alone is already expensive for a regular person like me ( I was so lucky that at time I got my bitcoin money went five times higher).

In the beginning, I just wanted to be a designer, any kind of designer, it does not matter. I just wanted to get my designs out and I made it. I think, me not taking a 4-year fashion study is also a benefit for me in terms of getting the realization of how the fashion business works faster than those who do. Many people who had the opportunity to really go to fashion schools are more relaxed and not as ambitious because they enjoyed the status of being students and once they graduated, they didn’t really think it’s gonna be like that and what’s really needed and which one are more sustainable careers in fashion. That’s why fashion design major is much more favorited than product development major.

Unfortunately (and fortunately at the same time), I got to travel a lot this year, like every month, which I am thankful for it but at the same time, it slowed my progress down a lot. Eventhough I was only 2-3 weeks on holiday, it takes at leat 1-2 weeks to really get back in the mood to study and practice again, and then 1 week after that, I traveled again. Anyway, even with that travelling schedule, I still make progress.

I’ve begun to realize what kind of fashion designer that I wanna be and which parts of design jobs that I wanna do, at least for the next 15 years of my life. Being a designer and entrepreneur is indeed fancy, but it’s crazy, I have to admit that at this age, especially as a sarcastic introvert, it’s too hard for me to handle. This one-woman show thing is tougher than it seems, because I have to do the design, cutting, sewing, finishing, marketing, photography, fabrics shopping, etc etc. I ended up doing more non-design works than designing. I tried to employ someone before and it doesn’t fit me because I’m a perfectionist and at the same time I hate being a nagger and depending on others. One thing that bothers me as well is the fact that I had to be location-dependent. I love travelling, I wanna be able to work from anywhere as long as there’s internet.

One thing good about me is that I react to situation fast, if something doesnt work, I need to do something. If I only waited for my gowns to sell, I’m not gonna make it. I can’t wait until I’m famous.

There’s a case that is very common among Indonesian designers. Indonesian designers mostly dont have formal education (which is okay, just like me) but what is not good is that many of them dont have strong will to learn from the basic. Because it’s easier in Indonesia to be a boss and call yourself a designer because the labor cost is not as expensive as in other countries. So, many designers just take exactly the same models from Pinterest, modify a bit (sometimes not even bother to modify), and pay tailors to make it. Hence many designers don’t even have unity in their designs. And they survive by arse-kissing the socialites. They got fame eventually, but it’s temporary. Because if you let your clients dictate you, you wont survive when they have new favorites. I witness this right in front of my eyes especially since I was a runway model before I became a designer. The designers that I used to work for, they’ve disappeared now, outshone by new fashion designers who can get a long better with the new generation of the socialites. So these old folks, they ended up depressed and broke. They’re used to being bosses, their career jumped without learning basic skills, so once they’re out of orders, they have nothing to offer when applying for jobs in fashion companies. That’s why not a few of them turned into fugitive (taking people’s money, selling drugs, prostitution etc).

It’s so easy to be like that if I never evaluate my steps. I dont wanna be like them. I want a sustainable career, I want a skill that allows me to work from anywhere and needed in and by many countries. Just in case Indonesia someday turns into the next Syria, at least I’ve been preparing my escape, or if my future husband wants to move to other countries, one of us does not to worry about starting a new job anymore, because I’ve already started my career in remote freelancing. I may need to hustle more now maybe triple than what I’ve done, but I believe it’ll be worth it. I reached out to and consulted with some technical fashion designers that I found online (because they make content, like podcast etc), the career is really promising. But I have to struggle a lot in the beginning since I lack field (factory) experience.

It started with me learning computer drawing because I was looking for ways to make money beside waiting for my gowns to sell and I am interested in graphic design. So I started with Adobe Illustrator and made garment flats. Then I started to dig more, and it’s sooo challenging, drawing flats is like only 20% of the job of a technical designer. The whole tech packs is another new level. So I started selling my flat sketching online. My skill now is still limited in simple garment, not enough yet to draw flats for more complicated garments, but at least I’m making steps and I have to start somewhere.

Now also I just started my new job that’s not related with fashion at all. I realized that I need to keep a day job instead of just throwing myself to the unknown world of entrepreneurship. It keeps me sane because now at least I know I’m having a stable income every month. I keep the learning and freelancing on the side, so I work from 6 am to 2 pm, after that my day is full with study, practice and yoga until late at night. And repeat. I’m also happy that finally after 10 months of travelling every month, finally I have a peaceful month to work and be committed. I was supposed to travel to Bali this month (I already booked the tickets), but I cancelled because I got scared of flying with Lion Air after the tragic incident.

Next year, I plane to move to Bali. So I’m saving my money for that. I have plans to pitch to apparel manufacturers in Bali that’s managed by foreigners. I’ve stalked them already since last month, I’m gonna pitch for an internship opportunity, because I have to gain field experience if I want to increase my rate. This is gonna be a long process. It’s gonna take me another year probably (lol my boyfriend has to deal with my poverty for another more year! Be patient, hon. I’m working for us too! Hehe) But I have to learn how to crawl before I can jump. I have to start somewhere, and if it means doing small steps, being rejected many times and etc, I’ll take them.

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 than 10,000 photos, and that was after I lost my previous laptop and lost most of my photos, imagine how many photos I had 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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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

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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)

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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:
Nama:
Judul buku:
Alamat:
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

UPDATE: Dalam 3 hari, dari sekitar 80an buku yang ada dalam giveaway ini, sekitar 60 buku sudah punya rumah baru 😀 . Senangnya bisa berbagi 😀

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?

  1. LEARN WHAT FASHION DESIGN IS ABOUT AND WHAT A FASHION DESIGNER IS

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!

2. GET A TRAINING AND FIND A MENTOR

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.

3. PRACTICE AND SELF-DISCIPLINE

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.

4. DOCUMENT YOUR PROGRESS

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.

5. BUILD YOUR PORTOFOLIO, NETWORK AND REACH OUT TO PEOPLE

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.

6. NEVER STOP LEARNING AND ALWAYS IMPROVISE

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.

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Uke helps the imposter child in me

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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.