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Interview with artist Ricky Gunawan

My second book, SARATOGA, comes out April, 2023 and I was delighted to work once again with the talented Ricky Gunawan.  In the interview below, you get a sense of his work as an artist. 

Question: Describe how art is important to society.

For me, art in general is very important not only for the current society we lived in but to the entire world culture. As an example, imagine the history that happened hundreds of years ago. There are civilizations that fall and rise again, there are inventions and discoveries, mistakes and improvements. We can have all of that knowledge, learn about all of them through arts such as literature, illustration, motion pictures, documentaries or video games nowadays. 

Question: What motivates you to create?

As an illustration artist, I really love to see and learn something new. I’m Indonesian and when I worked on the covers of ONE IF BY LAND, TWO IF BY SUBMARINE and KEP WESTGUARD REBEL SPY I learned about American history, the people behind the revolution, and the route they had to take to achieve their goal. For ONE IF BY LAND, TWO IF BY SUBMARINE, I even drew the map of Paul Revere’s famous midnight ride and that was exciting. 

Question: How do you define success as an artist?

Success as an artist is very subjective and personal for every individual. As for me, it’s more simple. It might not be a definitive definition of success, but right now I’m pretty satisfied that I can make a living as a fulltime artist. 

Question: What are your favorite and least favorite parts of being a professional artist?

My favorite part is finding out or learning something new every time I’m working on something. The least favorite part is AI drawing. Currently AI drawing is threatening the art world itself. It’s not considered art because they generate an image by mixing up stolen artworks all over the net. 

Question: Describe your dream art project.

A future goal is to make a video gamer project.

2 thoughts on “Interview with artist Ricky Gunawan

  1. I see beautiful book covers like yours and never know anything about the person behind the art. Thank you so much for sharing Ricky’s vision. It’s gratifying and motivating that he’s making a living by following his dream. Do you have a link to his website? I’d like to see more of his work.

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