Friday Finds - Dewi Citra - Illustrator

Morning! Today's Friday Finds is Dewi Citra - an new illustrator living in Jakarta. I love Dewi's drawing ability, it's delicate and intricate yet strong and stylish too.

When did you start your business and why? Did you plan how you started meticulously or was it almost accidental? 

I’m not sure when I started my business. When I graduated from high school, I supplied artworks for a manga collective, founded by my friends. My mediums were mostly inks, tones and watercolor. Then I studied valuation and accounting in college, and all the manga business stopped. After I married and gave birth to my second baby, I tried to learn sewing and I dug a crafty side of mine. I sold some handmade bags, girl dresses, and handmade ornaments. I also learned print-making and stamping. In learning hand-stamping, I finally touched my pen and brushes again last year. I took “Design Garden Class” and “Make Art That Sells”, two courses that changed my creative life since then. Illustrating children books, designing logo, patterns, and licensing art for local business have come to me since I started to spread buzzes about my work.  So it was almost accidental. 

Did things take off immediately or has it been a slow burn?

It did take off immediately. And I was a little bit overwhelmed. I must say thank you for my social media friends for trusting me to work for them, we haven’t meet each other yet.

Do you do your business part time or full time? 

I do it part time. 

Do you intend to grow your business into something much bigger or are you happy with it as it is and why? 

Yes I want to grow my business into something much bigger. I love being part of community where people sharing ideas and experiences, so I want to build a community-based studio where people can sew together, learn print-making, make paintings and chat!

Where do you sell your work? 

I sell my art through my website and my blog. Most of my customers were from Indonesia, and some were expatriates who had interest in my Jakarta illustrated map.

© Dewi Citra

Which of the selling methods that you use works best for you? Why do you think this is?

Well, prints are mostly sold through my blog. Design jobs mostly come from facebook. Instagram is also my favorite now. I think they are my best method now. From facebook I can reach the locals, including crafters. Instagram is good for me because it sends message through images 

Who do you think your typical customer is?

Honestly, I don’t know, haha. But let me write down some notes. I have some crafters, makers, business owners and expatriates, all are female ! 
So maybe my typical customer is a crafty woman who love making, creating and having a business.

© Dewi Citra

Which aspect of your work do you enjoy most? 

What I enjoy most are touching pen and brushes again after a long period of art-hiatus, that’s all. My day job is pretty boring, so I’m really happy when I come back home, hug my children and produce arts.

Are you someone who sets goals regularly or more instinctive?

I set goals, but sadly I often don’t have enough time to finish the goal. So I’m now more instinctive, I think.

Have you ever or do you employ people part time to help with any aspect of your business? 

I do everything by myself now. Oh, how I need people to help me doing the selling part. I’m not good at sending mails to art directors and prospects. 

© Dewi Citra

Could you describe where you work? Are you alone most of the day or with others? Do you feel that they way it is now is the best fit for you? Do you see that changing?

I work in my house, mostly in my former sewing corner in my dining room. I also work in my living room if I need a bigger space. And I work alone at night between 10 p.m - 1 a.m. I don’t feel that it is the best fit for me because I do not have enough time to rest.

 © Dewi Citra

Do you have a mentor or people who you are able to discuss your business with? If not how do you find you best make decisions about your business?

I’m lucky enough to have a great husband. He is pretty wise, so I can depend on him for business and communication advice. But I can not push him to criticise my works, haha that’s a good thing actually. 

And I looove my facebook groups where I can hang out and learn with a group of great artists around the world. They generously share their knowledge and wisdom in doing this art business. I think I’m lucky to have them by my side.

© Dewi Citra

What is a typical day for you in your business as it is now? What would be a dream day for you – business or otherwise?

My typical day begins early as I must take kids to school and I have to go to office before 8 a.m. The office hour ends at 5 p.m and I need an hour or so to reach my home. I play with the kids and help them with their homework until 9 p.m. and then my kids go to sleep. I set my art tools at 10 p.m. and work for three hours.

My dream day would be to have more time for myself and my kids. Having time for myself means having time for nurturing myself, making arts, doing exercise, and keeping myself healthy! (I have a chronic stomach ulcer because of my day job, that’s irritating!)

© Dewi Citra

Update - Dewi's links have been removed at her request for personal reasons but I am sure you will be able to contact her should you wish to commission her.

I am so impressed Dewi - you have incredible determination to work into the small hours every night on your passion. You must only have 4 or 5 hours sleep. I wish for more time for you, I am sure you will reach your goal.


  1. Hello Gabriella!
    Thank you so much for this feature! You're so sweet!


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