Inspired by the British animation industry, animator Wahyu Aditya, also known as Adit, has branched out his creative talent into the path of entrepreneurship. He was only 24 when he first opened HelloMotion Academy, a school of animation and creativity.
HelloMotion has helped give a head start to more than 2,000 young talents since opening in 2004. The school enrolls 20 to 30 new students each month, with the number of students per class ranged between five to eight.
“This month we have six classes, each of which is either a one or two-month short course offering programs of motion graphic, 2D and 3D animation, editing and graphic design,” Adit said. “All classes are taught by freelance teachers. There are currently 15 teachers handling six classes.”
The school also holds the HelloFest Motion Picture Arts Festival each year. Taking place in August, this annual event showcases the work of young animators and other artists. There are dozens of artworks, including comics, caricatures and other related animation arts.
“The main objective of the festival is to show the world that Indonesia is a creative nation, and that Indonesia has talented artists and animators comparable to those from neighboring and advanced countries,” Adit said.
HelloMotion’s success story has echoed around the world. Adit was the first Indonesian and youngest person to be named the International Young Screen Entrepreneur of the Year by the British Council in 2007. He received £ 7,500 (US$12,000), which he later used to study the animation scenes in London and Bristol.
Adit took HelloMotion staff members along with him to Ardman animation studio in Bristol and Passion Pictures in London. They also visited Pinewood Studios Group in Buckinghamshire, West London. Pinewood is the British largest film studio and has produced a myriad of big-budget films such as James Bond and Harry Potter.
“I was amazed with Gorillaz, a British musical project of Passion Pictures depicting a virtual band of cartoon characters. Gorillaz is indeed one of the projects that inspired me in making the iconic cartoon character of Mas Gembol,” he said.
Seeing how the innovative Gorillaz was produced opened Adit’s creativity to experiment more in animation, including the making of Mas Gembol comic book.
“Mas Gembol has the character of super hero, but he doesn’t possess any super power. However, Mas Gembol has brilliant creative thinking,” he said while pointing at his comic book titled, “Mas Gembol si Menteri Desain, Pejabat bukan Penjahat” (Mas Gembol the Minister of Design, High Rank Official, Not Criminal).
The comic book, which had its debut two months ago, details Mas Gembol’s concerns about Indonesia through a series of caricatures. It addresses issues such as corruption, health care system, education and other problems facing the country.
Adit also has a blog with the theme “The Ministry of Design of the Republic of Indonesia (KDRI)” at www.kdri.web.id. The blog has become a community where young animators can share their ideas.
“There are currently around 15,000 members in the KDRI community,” Adit said. “Members can contribute their designs. And I use the choice designs on T-Shirts with the brand KDRI and Mas Gembol as the logo. We have thousands of customized T-Shirts that people can buy at HelloMotion, as well as some retail stores. I offer a fair profit-sharing scheme, in which the designers get a certain percentage of profit selling.”
Adit, who has a degree in interactive media from the KVB Institute of Technology, Sydney, Australia, is optimistic that creative industry in Indonesia has a bright future.
Part of that is thanks to the influence and inspiration provided by the by the creative industry in Britain. Just like in Britain, there are14 sectors here helping to drive the creative industry in Indonesia. They are architecture, fashion, advertising, performing art, TV and radio, film, photography, design, craft, interactive game, printing and publishing, research and development, computer and software services, and arts and antiques.
By Aulia R. Sungkar. Published in The Jakarta Globe, special supplement, on July 23, 2011.