It was a quiet Sunday morning in Jakarta, I was having breakfast at Pastis like usual, and I just had an idea of writing this scene: Beno - the rigid, cold lead character in Divortiare and Twivortiare - writes a love letter on a prescription paper to his wife. Words flow and the iceman melts.
I remember one night when my friends and I talked for hours and hours at Starbucks Skyline building (near Sarinah) and how we loved the place. When I wrote AVYW, the place becomes the escape destination of the confused lead character at the night before her wedding. This sketch, though, does not represent the actual physical architecture of the Skyline Starbucks. It’s just a fragment of my imagination.
My school library in Iowa subscribed to LIFE magazine, and I used to spend my free period in the library browsing the magazines. I think it’s my first fall into photography, although I was just a kid with a cheap analog camera back then. When I wrote Divortiare, I thought I should incorporate one of my favorite pictures in LIFE magazine into the story. It’s this one, a photograph by Kent H. Barton on the 25 December 1970 edition of LIFE.
This might sound cliche but I always love airports. It’s the place where sadness and happiness mix well together. You’re sad because you’re leaving whoever it is that you’re leaving at home, but you’re also excited to go to the new place, or vice versa. This sketch is when Keara left Singapore alone after the scandalous weekend with Harris.
"If travel teaches us how to see, how come every time all I see is you?"
Here’s another scene from Antologi Rasa: the bubur ayam breakfast ritual Harris and Keara (the two lead characters in the book) used to have every morning. Honestly, I didn’t have this scene in the initial draft of the book. Then my editor suggested that since Harris is our main guy, we should have more scenes with him in it. I let the draft sit with me for a couple of weeks or so, then I came up with this breakfast ritual scene. The whole idea is comparing Harris’s thought of the breakfast ritual he had with Keara, and Keara’s thought of her own breakfast ritual with Ruly (another character in the book).
It’s the whole ‘how we assign meaning to the things we do when we’re in love’. And how the same thing can mean differently to different people.
Sketching and drawing have always been my main interest since I was a kid - I even won may art awards back then all the way until I went to high school in the States. But as I stepped into university, I left the hobby and turned to writing. I think it’s been a little oven 10 years since I last played with pencils and pens. Anyway, last weekend, an idea suddenly struck me: what if I sketch some of the scenes in all of my books and then use the sketches for a calendar? I mean, I have been longing to go back to sketching for quite some time. So I just went ahead and bought a couple of Rotring pens (my favorite drawing pens since forever) and a blank sketch book, thought of some scenes in my books and started visualizing them on paper.
I’m gonna post some of those drawings here with the story behind them. And here’s the first sketch that I did: Padang concert ground, the place that inspired me to write Antologi Rasa.
FYI, the 2013 calendars with all these sketches are currently in production. Will post when they’re available for sale. On another note, I’m also framing all the original sketches to display at the new house, and you can buy them too if you want.
And dad, thank you for the talent to draw that you have inherited me.
The Sunday headliner at F1 Singapore this year is Katy Perry. We queued for the fan zone wristband - a pass to see the concert up close - since 2 pm but we didn’t get any. I’m not a fan of Katy but missing out on excellent photo opportunities was kind of a bummer for me. This is one of my good shots of Katy, shot using live view shooting on Canon EOS 60D, from at least 100 meters away from the stage.
Presenting … Adam Levine of Maroon 5
Throughout the concert, I wanted to throw my shoes at this official camera guy so many times because he kept blocking my views. But once he got out of my way, my finger was glued to the shutter.
My favorite is when he sang ‘Won’t Go Home Without You.’