Walgdp—There’s more to art than just fun and games
Art is something all of us has had to deal with at some point in our lives be it doodling on our test papers in school, or just admiring it out there in our great, blue world. What is amazing about art is the fact that it varies from person to person in terms of not only how an artpiece is interpreted but also in the inspirations that mould the work of art making every single piece of artwork unique in its own right.
But art is not that simple. Otherwise, there would be no reason for philosophists to get out of bed every morning and ask the world, “What is art?” or “What is beauty?” In fact, there are multiple layers that go into art—and into the artists. And to local illustrator Walgdp, these layers start with video games and cartoons.
Dhanendra Poedjono, also known by his moniker Walgdp, and also just “Dhan” if you do not want your tongue getting tangled(trust me, it took days before the interview to not screw up and get his approval), is a local visual artist originally from Jakarta, Indonesia; a notorious member of the white space bandits known as the Band of Doodlers; and also a very devoted Pokemon trainer on the side.
“I started drawing since I was a kid,” Dhan reminisces. “I had always been impressed by how drawings can come to life in cartoons and video games.”
This admiration for ‘moving pictures’ is what got Dhan to pursue Animation in Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore and eventually Graphic Communication and Illustration in Loughborough University in England.
However, things did not end with sunshines and rainbows when Dhan graduated from the university.
“When I graduated, the only software I was confident in was (Adobe) Photoshop and Illustrator,” a hearty laugh accompanied this statement as if he were reflecting on how far he has progressed since then.
Dhan recalls having to do a lot of experimenting in the softwares before accidentally picking up his current style of playing with textures.
“I thought to myself, “I wonder what would happen if I put on another layer?” and then I saw that it actually looked good. So, I started adding more and more,”
And I think his work speaks for itself when showcasing the fruits bore from his craft and experimentations.
Though, I must confess, what really made the interview for me was when I brought up video games. Dhan’s naturally smiling face grew into a near-glasgow-like smile and it was really heartwarming to see such honesty.
It might be kind of an open secret, but Dhan is a huge gamer. His favourite genre being adventure and role-playing type games; having been brought up in the worlds of household titles such as Legend of Zelda and Pokemon, which he had to work his grades up in order to convince his mom to get for him. If that is not dedication, I do not know what is. Also, very cool mom for introducing him to the world of videogames and cartoons that would eventually lead him to his path in life now. Momma knows best, huh?
His first ever game was Tetris on one of those even-more-retro-than-the-gameboy handheld devices, so that ought to give you some insight on when he started playing. From Tetris to his current Super Mario Odyssey, the latest installment in the Super Mario franchise to have come out of the golden gates of multi-award-winning game studio and nerd heaven, Nintendo.
When queried about the frequency of his video game adventures, Dhan only had this to say, “I play games every day”.
Translating that to his profession now, and considering his major inspiration from cartoons and videogames, it goes without saying the progress Dhan has covered throughout his journey. And, with his open-mindedness paired with his courage to experiment in new mediums, Dhan is sure to find more ways to express himself and his interests to the world.
He mentions having recently been getting into spray painting, which I managed to sneak a little preview of the behind-the-scenes. More on that in a future article so stay tuned!
For now, I leave you with Dhan’s wise words of wisdom for anyone wanting to get into a profession.
“YouTube tutorials are your source of knowledge. If there’s anything you do not know how to do in any software, look up a tutorial on it. You can learn and discover a lot of things just by looking it up online.”
Do remember to check out Dhan’s pages here:
And finally, look out for his next project, as part of a collaboration between Band of Doodlers and NOISE Singapore, a mentor for the “Journey to the East” episode of the Band of Doodler’s 52 Tales series in December.
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