The Jakarta-based artist behind my old favorite t-shirt, Marishka Soekarna, took me by surprise when she cordially replied to my e-mail and gave me insights on how she does art. It’s one of those unexpected moments where something you never thought could happen and it actually does.

A scroll through her Instagram and you’ll be greeted by her distinctive drawing style of women, her activities as an aspiring artist and a mom of two lovely kiddos. She also has a blog filled with her attractive drawings; each with her personal impressions on each post. Being inspired by everyone and everything, she describes herself in one sentence as,

“It is what it is.”

The t-shirt I mentioned has a bunch of rogue eyes sprouting from the ground surrounding a lone girl. Turns out it represents Marishka’s anxiety being the center of attention and also her social awkwardness (pretty common amongst artsy individuals, according to my observation.) That alone says a lot about where she stands in conveying subliminal messages as an artist.

When she’s not passionately drawing, the Capricorn artist does some thrifting, treasure hunting, and delving into the world of movies and music. She doesn’t consistently use one or two mediums for her art; she prefers to keep the usage of mediums dynamic and non-restricting as “a process of creation should be fun, mysterious and full of errors.” People in the local art scene she recommends are Cut and Rescue, TORS, Buka Warung, and Grafis Huru-Hara. Biggest milestones for her journey as an artist so far were when she did art on huge mediums like Kalijodo (while on her period, she added with a laugh) and her leather bags and clothing line, UGLY. She started the brand 4 years ago along with Dila Ayu and Nasta Soetarjo. Apart from her impressive achievements, she’s also a proud mom of two.

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A hashtag I was drawn to was #menstrualdiary. It is some sort of a visual journal she created to express her emotions during that time of the month. One of the drawings of ‘menstrual diaries’ was of a woman facing backwards drowning in her own pool of menstrual blood. She explains that during her PMS, she creates a better and more fulfilling art as she put it best:

“It is a state where a woman feels everything at the most, a state where we feel very counscious and responsive, a moment where we could see our darkest feelings, so for me…. it’s the best moment to draw :)”

Her favorite cliché is ‘be yourself’. She will be participating in a mural event in Bali at the end of July. Head over to her Instagram and wish her luck, guys. Let me know what you think of her and if you want me to review any of her works on Neighbourlist.

It is “That Time of the Month” for Marishka Soekarna
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