Pop Up Market & a Glimpse of Life in Balikpapan


I wonder if I write about living in Balikpapan frequent enough to assure you that I love this city. I always tell everyone that Balikpapan, despite its very strong sunshine and pretty unstable water and electricity, is a livable city (compared to Jakarta and its supporting suburbs). Here, there’s barely traffic jam, you can go jogging on the beach before leaving for office, you can meet your friends or relatives in their house and do potluck instead of shopping malls simply because you have enough time and even the airport is not far from the downtown.

The first time I stepped my feet in Balikpapan was in January 2011. I came as a student with a couple of friends for On-Job-Training program from the company I’m working for now.

I remembered that we were there when the first Mc Donald’s in Balikpapan was finally opened. People got crazy and queued. Actually there were already some KFC’s and a Starbucks so it wasn’t that bad, but still as kiddos that grew up in and around Jakarta, we found the enthusiasm funny. I mean, c’mon, it was only McDonalds. Yes, blame me for growing up in the cities where the citizens take shopping (or window shopping, maybe) as a kind of entertainment but that time I couldn’t help to underestimate Balikpapan and its society.

It didn’t take long to prove myself wrong.
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What I’ve Been up to Lately: So-Called Life Balance


It’s been quite a while since the last time I wrote something here.

Well, there’s a good news I kept telling everyone through almost all of social media platform I’m using, except here: my illustration is officially on greeting cards and for sale in UAE! Actually it started when Mariam from Hibr Design mailed me and asked if I would like collaborate and draw for her more ‘cute and childish’ collection. I drew 4 illustrations and she turned it into 3 greeting cards and a pack of stickers accompanying each card! They are available offline in some local stores and florist. You can also buy it online through Glitz Store.

Still related to my illustration and design, a few weeks ago I decided to simplify my portfolio and keep it straight forward. I’ve also been spending my after-office-hours of last couple of weeks drawing and designing for a future project related to kids & babies stuff :3 (will spill more later!) More over, I’m currently also working on a book illustration. Please wish me luck for everything. I have to say that it’s not that easy to keep everything managed but I guess the combination of passion and responsibility never fails. :D

I’ve also been trying to beat the 2015 reading challenge in Goodreads. I planned to read 30 books this year. So far I’ve read 19 so it’s still 11 to go, hahaha. Well, I know it’s for fun, but I guess it’s a good way to put reading as one of the priorities.

I’ve been digging books from authors who are attending Ubud Writers & Readers Festival this year; Nam Le, Hyeonseo Lee, Valeria Luiselli, Chigozie Obioma, and Anchee Min. I actually planned to attend the event (mystically, it’s also because I miss Ubud) but I guess it’s not a good timing for me & A to go, so I cancelled the whole plan. However, I really enjoyed the books. I’ve also been reading #Sharing by Handry Satriago, and How Business Works.

Last weekend I decided to do almost nothing. I stayed inside the room and did cheesy & easy movie marathon (or… binging?) On Saturday night I went to watch Everest and bought a new half-priced training suit. Oh yes, I also went jogging.

I take it as life balance. You’ve got to keep letting things come inside your brain; reading, watching movies, going to places, etc. Therefore you can keep letting things flow outside; drawing, writing, making new things, delivering new ideas.

There, a life rolls.

Ending August, Starting September

Just got back from a week (more or less) of leave. A got back to Indonesia for good. I started to set up my personal studio at home, did meeting for some upcoming projects, ate good food, finished a couple of good books, met good friends who were leaving and arriving, also went on a picnic. We also got bad news and went to some hospitals. No, don’t worry, I won’t play ‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’.

We’ll make it, I’m sure :)

Soon to be studio

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