Illustrator Ayang Cempaka

Woman's Career

This super creative woman doesn’t like to be called an Artist. Born in a family or artists, Ayang Cempaka wants to do something different but still to her passion, which is drawing. Even though when she was a bad and a tomboy kid, people never thought that her artworks are really feminine and vintage.

The results of fad drawing and uploaded them on Instagram led to successful results. This mother with one kid is able to develop and monitor its business in Indonesia from Dubai. Ayang Cempaka’s colorful works have been published in major media such as Elle and Cosmopolitan. Moreover, Ayang Cempaka also had several workshops in Indonesia. This time, Ayang Cempaka will tell how she became successful, a story behind her success.

Full Name: Ayang Cempaka

Age: 30

Educational Background: Sarjana Arsitek, Universitas Islam Indonesia, Yogyakarta

Company/Brand: Cocomomo Bags & Ayang Cempaka Paper Goods



When did Ayang start your own business?

In 2007, I created leather bags, its name is Cocomomo. I had sold it on Grand Indonesia level 1. In 2010, I moved to Dubai after married. In Dubai, it was difficult to monitor my business, if that in Indonesia I could monitor the workers, etc. After moved in to Dubai, I still had many years with Cocomomo but it felt so hard. In the beginning, I was alone and then I had a partner. But we didn’t get along, and then we ended up. Since then, I became lazy to create bags. But I love creating products. In Dubai, it’s different as in Indonesia. They’re not typical creative people, but more to type of consumers and workers. Meanwhile in Dubai I felt like there’s no one I could talk to, or had a discussion. So I started to create illustrations. I want to create something, I don’t want to be the typical housewife who always take care of the kids. I love drawing, and I want to create something, that has value on that. But my main purpose is not money, if I need money then I might be selling eggs. I have drawings, I love drawing, how to turn my drawings into something people and I love, so I created this paper goods. Cocomomo is pretty expensive, around 1 million and 3 million. And not everyone can afford and enjoy that, so what people love but it’s affordable. I want everyone can enjoy that.

How about the process of starting your own business (from the business plan, web design, etc)?

I love drawing and then upload my drawings to Instagram. There was an Indonesian friend who asked me whether I want to turn my drawings into stationery. And yes I want that, I don’t want my illustrations would be useless. And then I sell it on Grand Indonesia. Then I met my partner, owner of Linoluna, Michael. He helped me to create Ayang Cempaka’s website.

Ayang Cempaka’s work have been featured on big magazine like Elle and Cosmopolitan. How did you get exposure for your brand?

Mostly they know me from Instagram. Social media is really important now. I really love photography, drawing, and styling. Some people asked me how to create something really good. I do it naturally. I really want to create a great work.

Where do you get inspirations for your beautiful works?

My mom loves flowers, and I love flowers too. In Dubai, flower is really expensive. Instead of buying flowers and those flowers will be wilt in 3 days, so I draw those flowers. I love pop colors, and pastel. I love pink. My references are old children story books. I love vintage children books. I can’t remember the names. And I love Kate Spade, and J.Crew. My favorite flower is Ranunculus. Besides, I look for inspirations on Pinterest, then search wedding bouquet.

As a young entrepreneur, what is the most difficult part of starting your own business?

The obstacle is marketing. Actually, I’m pretty lazy with marketing. And also, I don’t know what I want. But I want to create expansion on home & living. Because I’m easily get bored with some stuff.

How do you manage your time as a mom and your time for business?

It’s difficult, but I can. I have to take time for it. I have to do my work at day. I still take a nap until now. For me, daylight is really important. In Dubai, the daylight is really great. If I take pictures, I don’t need to edit it. Then, every morning I wake up and prepare for breakfast, take a good care my husband until he leaves for work. Afterwards, I take care of Mimi. Well, my neighbors have kids with the same age as Mimi, so Mimi can play with the kids whether it’s at my home or my neighbors’ home. When Mimi plays with the kids, I start to work my drawings. Luckily, it’s quick to make illustrations, doesn’t need much time like typical art works that need weeks to get inspirations. It’s easier when you have inspirations.

What is the most important lesson while running your own online business? Do you have any advice for other girls who wants to start their own business?

Doing what you love. You must have a passion first. I can’t work if I don’t like it. Do what you think is the best. I don’t want to be stuck as a housewife. I also don’t regular social gathering, get together but do nothing. I like gathering but you can make something, not just having a tea time. Create something first, business is later. I still need learn a lot. And I still need to find my drawing style.

In 5 years later, where do you see your business?

I’m still confused what it should be. I want to have a small boutique but it’s difficult here, must have an expansion. And I want to live in a place that has a lot of museums, I can walk and ride a bicycle to everywhere, a place that has a lot of flowers, animal, street music, enjoying outdoor atmosphere, shopping vintage. I want to explore everything.

What is advice you give to your 22-years-old self?

If only I already knew what I was going to do after graduated. I was a bad girl. I had colored my hair, like red and green. I had 11 piercings. If only I was diligent and patient, that would have been better.

Career highlight thus far?

I can meet people, and people could be inspired with my artworks. There are some people who created artworks inspired by mine, but I don’t mind. Instead, I love it! It’s happy to see people get inspired by me.



Winny Irmarooke

Co-Founder & Editor