Meet the Artist Behind the Gorgeous Indonesian Book Covers – Part 1
Nicholas Filbert Chandrawienata is a rising artist who recently designed the new Indonesian Harry Potter book covers that are the first country-specific cover illustrations for the series in that nation. Subtle they are not. With their numerous iconic references to the novels, these covers have been well received. We decided to find out more about his background and early start in Part 1 of our exclusive interview.
Growing up, what was your most profound experience with illustration and design? Was there one moment that pushed you toward exploring these subjects?
Nicholas: It would be really hard for me to point out one specific moment because I have been doing this almost all my life. I have been drawing since I was little. I am just lucky that I have very supportive parents who have always supported me to do what I like the most. When I was a kid, I competed in tons of drawing competitions that kept me interested and propelled me to do art to this day.
At what point did you think that you might actually be able to pursue this as a career
Nicholas: I majored in animation art in college. At college, besides learning techniques, I also learned about the industry in general. I realized how diverse the art industry actually was. Because drawing was my strongest skill and I believed in myself, at that time, I already knew that I would pursue illustration.
What about your exposure to Harry Potter? How did that all start?
Nicholas: It’s pretty much the same as a lot of Harry Potter fans around the world. When the first book came around I read it and loved every part of it. So I have read all the books and watched all the movies countless times. Right now, I am working with a publisher who has the rights to Harry Potter books in Indonesia. My editor challenged me to make a proposal for the Indonesian cover designs and of course, I said yes to the challenge!
That’s interesting. How long did it take to create the final product and when did you learn your design was successful?
Nicholas: For one book it usually takes around a week or more, including the [initial] idea, rough sketches, final line art and coloring. The term “successful” differs from one person to another. I’d like to think that I am successful on my own term [sic], which means that I can do what I like in my own way. And this thought came around since early this year.
You previously did illustrations for adult coloring books. How different was that experience from designing the Harry Potter covers?
Nicholas: It is a different experience and a different pressure for sure. For coloring books, the challenge is to make pictures that are interesting enough for people to color. As for the Harry Potter book covers, those were much more than just making beautiful pictures. It held value as one of my favorite series and because I represented my country and linked it to the fandom. That being said, I enjoyed working on both.
Curious to read what Nicholas thinks he will do with future covers? Be sure to catch Part 2 of his interview. To see more of Nicholas’s work and the upcoming Indonesian covers, be sure to check him out here.