Tangguh Karya (aka BATHI) is an incredible illustrator and t-shirt designer who eats, sleeps and breathes the arts. And rightfully so, he has been surrounded by creatives his whole life.

After a friend introduced BATHI to 99designs, he fell in love. Besides considering the site fun and challenging, he was able to build a consistent client base from around the world and broaden his career opportunities.

We spoke with BATHI about how 99designs helped his career go global, where he draws his inspiration and where he sees graphic design going in the coming years.


Name: Tangguh Karya
Location: Indonesia
99designs handle: BATHI
Specialty: Illustration

How did you get started in design?

I was raised in a loving, and arty, environment. My uncle was a great artist and introduced me to the art scene as a kid. It was then, I became interested in the arts.

Not only was my family environment full of creatives, but I lived in a neighborhood full of artistic people. It indirectly helped galvanize my passion to art activism.

Are there any other mediums or forms of art that you like to work in?

I really like the artwork of David Smith. Incidentally, I am working on a design project for a band, and the work of David Smith is really inspiring me.

Where do you find inspiration?

I get inspiration from everywhere — while reading books, watching movies, etc. I record a lot of things and write down ideas that randomly come to mind. It has been very useful in my design process.

What led you to start using 99designs?

A friend suggested I try 99designs, and I feel very lucky to have found it. Here, I find a different world that’s fun and challenging.

Through 99designs, I have established good relationships with many clients. Some clients ask me to work up to 3 designs per month and the additional work is still happening to this day. 99designs really opened my door to a bigger client base.

bathi illustration
Yeti campfire illustration
What are the three most important things that designers can do to have success at 99designs?

Three things I’ve done on 99designs is:

  1. try
  2. fail
  3. try again
Why do you think design is important?

Each day, we are faced with lots of design: letterheads, banners, magazines, books, newspapers, web sites, product packaging and much more. Through design, it’s easy to distinguish between a quality newspaper and a “cheap paper.” Or distinguish between a small company and a bona fide company.

If a company doesn’t appreciate design then they will lose to the competition. Design is one of the most important factors to stand out and can often be overlooked by companies.

How do you see the field of graphic design changing in the next few years?

Viewed from the aspect of design technology, graphic design is likely to have a bright future where each designer can easily visualize their ideas.

But from the aspect of design values, I think it will not be much different from today. Design is an idea and not just about technology.

We can still create great design without technology but we can’t create great design without ideas.

bathi illustration
Pelican Grove
Describe your hometown. Do your surroundings impact your design style?

I live in Yogyakarta. Most people call it the art city in Indonesia. I get influenced by fellow artists in my city, hence the emergence of spirit in my work.

See more of BATHI’s work here.