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Vektoria Nourishing Talents in Graphic Design

It was around 4 PM and some of the desks were empty. Most of us were out, refueling ourselves with some afternoon snacks, cigarettes, gossips, and laughter at the terrace before getting back to home (or work, if we have deadlines). Ekky Pramana, the Art Director in our office, was the only employee I could find sitting at his desk. He was immersed in his phone, scrolling up and down his Instagram. No, it wasn’t his personal handle. Ekky, as he is often called, was instead managing another account: Vektoria.

“I’m sharing this on Instagram Story,” he said, showing me the contents.

“Vektoria?” I asked. Confused.

He nodded his head and turned his gaze toward me. “So my friend, Kenneth, and I set up a creative visual community for graphic designers who hunger for learning design and illustrations,” he introduced me to Vektoria.

Ekky and Kenneth were IT students back in the days but had a strong interest in visual design. With the spirit of sharing along with their professional experiences in visual design, Ekky and Kenneth created Vektoria in July 2018 where they act as mentors in the community. They also welcome other speakers to join Vektoria.

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“We learn that every year more people are interested in being a freelance graphic designer, yet only a few non-formal educational opportunities are available. We’d like to address the demand,” he said. His eyes sparkled when talking the things he loves, I know.

Although many talents are interested in the job, Ekky also finds that a lot of people seem to underestimate a graphic designer job.

“Many have come to hire me, but as soon as I tell them my rate, they frown. It is a standard rate in the industry though,” he said.

“I do not believe in such things like harga teman (a special, more affordable rate provided to your friend for the sake of friendship. It is a slang term commonly used by Indonesians at work setting). I think friends supposed to support each other. I often buy things that my friends made. It is mainly because I want to support their business, rather than because I need those kinds of stuff,” he explained.

Ekky thinks that underestimation should be fixed through easy access to information and education on graphic design, while also encourage the talents to sharpen their skill– in which he hopes Vektoria would fill the needs.

The mission clearly resonates on its taglines: Berkarya, Bermakna, Berdaya (To Create, To Give Meaning, To Support). To create, Ekky explained, means to leave a living proof of our existence as a human being. Not only enjoyable, our creations, indeed, have to be functional and meaningful to others. Lastly, he continued, our creations are expected to support our lives and others’, both financially and psychologically.

To realize its mission, Vektoria provides weekend classes that enable the participants to practice their flat design skill. The class itself has 3 meetings with a total of 9 hours. “You learn it from scratch. So please don’t feel bad if you’re a newbie. This class is created for you,” he encouraged.

He said that the classes are paid although there is no fixed price yet. “We adjust the price with the demand and location,” he added.

By the end of the class, Vektoria will hold a free public exhibition that showcases the participants’ creations. The event will also be filled with a talk show and networking sessions with design practitioners.

“On the Bicara(i)a (Vektoria’s talk show session), design practitioners will share their experiences and insights on working in the graphic design industry,” he told me. Ekky and Kenneth are also setting up a website that allows the community to get updates. But for now, they rely on Instagram to support their movement.

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Mesmerized by the idea and the spirit, I continued to ask him a question: “What are the challenges in managing Vektoria?”

He exhaled, changing his seating position. “Time, I would say. Both Kenneth and I have a full-time job. Kenneth works at an IT vendor company. It is challenging, but we try our best to make time for Vektoria, “ he replied. Make sense, I thought.

In the long run, both creators hope to attract more participants to learn graphic design techniques, while also educating people on the importance of visual and design talents in supporting a business. “We’d love to connect those who eagerly learn graphic design and the demand for those talents,” he expressed his optimism.

By listening to his story, we might think that Ekky is satisfied with everything he has achieved. But, is he?

“I love sharing to people and, so far, Vektoria is the closest to what I have searched for. I surely hope Vektoria is not the final answer. I will continue to search and evolve because, I think, that’s what we supposed to do,” he concluded.

“I see. So, if the graphic design were a food, what would it be?” There came one random, silly question.

“Hey! What a random question,” he giggled. “I would say Maicih, ramyeon by Samyang, or Ayam Geprek. Only those who love spicy food could enjoy the tastes. Once they are addicted to spicy foods, they want much spicier food later,” he answered.

We laughed and I pretty agreed with his philosophy. It was not the first random question I asked him and I knew there would be more random questions in the future. But, for now, it was one of the fruitful, satisfying conversations I will always cherish.

1 Comment

  • Kemala Pratiwi November 13, 2018 at 10:09 pm

    Reading this story for the second time today. You guys inspired me to get back on my keyboard and start writing again, something to keep my curious soul alive :))

    Reply

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