"Well, aren't we all fictional beings who constantly roll our eyes at things we don't really understand?" A dash of quote from Lala Bohang, illustrating humans as creatures with a pile of pent-up emotions.
Lala considers the process of drawing as something magical. "From a blank paper, and just using a pen or a brush, a entire universe / story / image can appear and I do not need to work with many people to produce it. It's powerful," this Makassar born artist and writer explained. Name any object - paper, canvas, wood, walls, - all of them have become her receptacles containing her illustrations, and each medium lends its own experience, which allows Lala to grow more in the arts. And she believes that art itself is a never ending learning process.
Uncovering the origins of Lala's illustrative talent brings us to the story of her childhood where her late father, an architect, introduced her to the medium of image. "He had one big drawer in his desk that he dedicated as a place for used paper. So yeah, since I was a kid I drew on those papers using his mechanical pencil or his rotring pen when he was not aware. He would always get mad at me every time I drew with his rotring pen," recalls this alumni of Parahyangan University with a major in Architecture. In 2008, she decided to focus on the world of illustration and had her first exhibition in 2009 with a number of colleagues. As time passed by, there was a desire to create personal work and a desire to work without briefs and revisions. She also ventured to hold a solo exhibition in Yogyakarta in 2013.
"Drawing is like a part of myself. While drawing, especially when I get to the point of focus and its just flowing, that feels really good, because my brain is like moving on its own. I don't think about anything, I just enjoy the process of drawing," She describes a process that is more or less the same as the other pursuit she enjoys, writing. Her books, released until now, include a book collection of short stories titled "Case Post the Twilight" (Serambi, 2012) with other authors - she contributed the short story and drew all the entire illustrations, "The Book of Forbidden Feelings", and LULA LYFE (Gramedia Pustaka Utama, 2016), as well as her latest project to be released in May 2017.
The desire to become special, from "The Book of Forbidden Feelings" is what inspired her. Lala interprets humans more deeply and for that she wanted to talk about everything that is related to emotions and all the hidden thoughts. "I want to speak about things, thoughts, emotions that are hidden under our current society obsession towards "a picture perfect life" since it only accepts shiny, perfect things. Only positive. Only happiness. While a human is a multi-layered creature. We're not always happy. We're not always sad. We're not simple and we need to embrace every layer and fragment within ourselves to become a whole and complete living creature." She closes her book with a picture "This is not a motivational book". In fact, readers often show, through social media, how motivated they are by her book. This book itself makes the reader feel free, real, honest, and motivated to be themselves. "It's a wonderful thing to motivate people not in a motivational way. Living is hard enough. Why do we burden our real selves under superficial things."
Lala has always had the desire to publish her own book since she was in high school. In 2015 she had a thought about her work as an artist. "My work has a limitation in time and space, because artwork is not accessible for everyone. It is exhibited in a space, for a short time; it is side-stream because of the limited access and audience. Nothing is wrong with that, but exhibitions have this limited time to be accessed by public. I love to exhibit my works in an exhibition form because the experience between me and the audience is instant and magical, but I also want to have my work frozen in a more independent and accessible medium for everyone, in short, in a mainstream way." She therefore made a book as a natural option to immortalize her works and feelings and was greatly pleased when Gramedia Pustaka Utama offered her to create a book with her own ideals.
"I never imagined that the two things I have loved to do from childhood - drawing and writing - will continue to grow into adulthood and become a big part of my life. Every time life gives me horrible things to face, I always remind myself that I am a lucky person because I am able to do things I like the most."