“Our Deal”, Sarah's favorite piece inspired by a song from Best Coast.
Sarah Nawangwulan: A Collaging Mind
Words by Jacqueline Elizabeth
Sarah Nawangwulan, who preferred to be called Sraha for distinction, has rummaged through various forms of art since her elementary days and has finally found home in the art of collage.
Sarah’s fondness of art dates back to her elementary days, when she was introduced with Microsoft Paint. When she evolved to Adobe Photoshop, she had fun with brushes and fell in love with graphic design. She went on to try doing illustrations, watercolor painting, digital painting, and even took on industrial design during her study at Limkokwing University. But ultimately, she has always gone back to graphic design. “I have always set aside some time to play around with graphics. It started as something that I do to release stress, then it became a hobby, and now it is a habit and a need. I can’t go by a day without it, I would feel like there’s something missing,” she says.
In 2010, she stumbled upon a Tame Impala vinyl cover created by Leif Podhajsky, which started off her collaging journey. “I thought the cover was very cool and I liked it very much. So I started experimenting about his (Podhajsky) style, and he has become my inspiration ever since.”
She has always managed to get some time in everyday to do her collage work, either it’s between feedbacks at work, or during her free time at home. What she usually does was to browse through the internet to gather stock images, and every time she finds something interesting, she would keep it until she finds other images to compose it with. Although the actual time used to compose the images might be quick, the whole work is actually a process. “You need to gather a lot of images, making sure that you find pieces that would work well when combined. If I feel like there’s still something missing in a collage, I would not publish it until I can find other images that can make it complete. So I actually have a lot of ongoing projects, waiting for me to find the right images to make them complete.”
When asked about her inspiration, music has been a great source for her. She uses it as a trigger, and from there she creates a “mind map” to put the song into visuals or to express her feelings about it. Her favorite piece actually comes from a song titled “Our Deal” by Best Coast. “I was really inspired after watching their music video. It is a forbidden-love story between a boy and a girl from different cliques. There was conflict and misunderstanding that led to a tragic ending. It became my favorite piece because I remember feeling so happy making it. It was really quick, probably took only 10-15 minutes. I just found the right images, and it all just clicked.”
Take a closer look at “Our Deal”, the artist’s favorite piece inspired by a song from Best Coast.
Compared to other art forms she had tried, collage has been the most interesting and the most challenging. “There are so many things you can play with when creating a collage. You can play with the colors, the layers; you can multiply it, or you can overlay it. You can do so much within one frame. It is when you play around with these many elements, when you compose these images and create a connection within each element, unifying them. Though it may be perceived as absurd sometimes, it makes sense in my head.”
As for the future, Sarah hopes to continue developing her work and skill, to have an exhibition and make her works well known. Her love of music also aspires her to someday be able to create album cover for musicians.
Sarah Qinandya Nawangwulan is a Graphic Designer at Lowe Design. She is a gigantic fan of Zayn Malik from One Direction and is not at all embarrassed to tell everyone so. You can browse through her works on Instagram, sraha_
“I have always set aside some time to play around with graphics. It started as something that I do to release stress, then it became a hobby, and now it is a habit and a need. I can’t go by a day without it, I would feel like there’s something missing.”
"It is when you play around with these many elements, when you compose these images and create a connection within each element, unifying them. Though it may be perceived as absurd sometimes, it makes sense in my head.”