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Featured Artist: Utsukushiitsumi

The name Utsukushiitsumi comes from a Japanese photo book i’ve seen. Utsukushii means beautiful, and tsumi means sin. I like how the 2 words contrast each other, so I chose that for my artist name.

Written by Sawgrass
on April 11, 2024
in Make It

You can find more about him and his work at

1. Where did you grow up, and how did it influence your art?

I grew up in Jakarta, capital city of Indonesia, until high school, and then I moved to another city to go to college. I grew up listening to metal/rock music, skateboarding and being in a band, and I guess looking at skateboard deck and t-shirt graphics really influenced my art and made me want to be a graphic designer/ illustrator.

 2. Who inspired your love of art?

Many artists inspired me such as Ed Templeton (designer/owner of toy machine skateboard), Don Leon for his amazing talent in vintage cartoon/mascot illustration, Richey Beckett for his amazing and detailed ink illustration, John Dyer Baizley for his phenomenal watercolor and pointillism illustration.

 3. How did you discover your talent for design?

I don’t know about talent, but I have always liked to draw since I was in elementary school. I remember my mom always scolding me because I drew something on my schoolbook instead of writing school lessons. When I started learning about graphic design and digital illustration. I was in my second year of college (even though I was an economics major lol). My friend introduced me to the world of graphic design and illustration and told me that you can earn money from it, and it blew my mind. I started to take graphic design and illustration seriously and learned about it more and more, and I have kept learning since then. I don’t have talent, I just keep learning and practicing to be better.

 4. What would we find you listening/watching while creating?

I usually listen to music like 80s Japanese city pop, Korean artist Yerin Baek, Mac Ayres, and many more while creating, most of them is just a chill and calm music, it helps keep me focus on my work.

 5. Any tips for breaking through a creative block?

For me, learning a new drawing style makes me excited and makes me see art from a different perspective and helps me break my creative block.

 6. How have you built confidence over the course of your career?

Building my confidence is not an easy task for me, there has been moments where I always compared myself with other artist and questioned myself why can’t I be as good as them and the thought of it makes me want to give up but I have learned that a good break from creating and focus on practicing my skill rather than comparing myself with other artists helps a lot with my confidence and to this day I never compare myself with others anymore.

 7. Where do you find inspiration for your art?

I find inspiration everywhere. Inspiration can come from just seeing a graphic from a t-shirt my friend’s wearing, seeing my artist friends work or just by browsing online on Instagram, Behance, dribble and Pinterest.

8. What’s a piece of advice you would give young creators looking to pursue a career in the arts?

My advice for young creators looking to pursue a career in the arts is to believe in yourself, always eager to learn new things, practice as much as you can, widen your horizon and maybe go to an art exhibition or a museum to learn and appreciate art.

 9. Who inspires the collection you’ve designed this month?

The collection I have designed this month is a collection that celebrates the style of old school American uncles in general, the inspiration comes from vintage label beer design, vintage band t-shirts, plaid and camo pattern and trucker hats and a little bit of patriotism to capture the vibes of American uncle.

10. If you could visit with your ten-year-old self and tell them one thing, what would it be?

If I could visit my ten years old self, I would tell him, “There will be a time where you have to decide something that can impact your future, don’t take it lightly or you will regret it.”