Sunday, July 10, 2011

Introducing Noval: Pencil Art So Fluid

The Comic Art Show 2011 is coming up in just three more weeks!

This is a small 2-day art event aimed to showcase the comic artwork of three indie artists. (Check out the details in previous blog post here!)

Besides Mashi (Click here for interview with Mashi.), who will be showing her cute-sexy chibi-styled art, there are two more featured talented artists who hail from our neighbouring land of Indonesia.

Red Dot Diva is very pleased to introduce one of these Indonesian artists - Noval Hernawan. Noval used to work in the advertising industry. He is now currently based in Singapore and has bravely decided to freelance and do comic books and illustrations on a full-time basis.

Noval already has some published works in his portfolio including "Third Eyes Shut #2"/ "Third Eyes Shut #3" (Atlantis Studios), "SuperPsyche #1" (Sigma Teta) and "Legend of Isis #3"/ "Legend of Isis #4" (Bluewater Comics). He has also drawn the "Marvel Dangerous Diva" sketch cards for Rittenhouse Archives.

Red Dot Diva admires Noval's smooth fluid pencil/ inkwork. Those relating to his work on "Isis" looked strong and beautiful. A look totally worthy of an ancient Egyptian warrior goddess. He also has a style that tends to look "cartoon-y" yet still portrays those superhero-musculature fans expect - all rippling abs and biceps (or ample boobs, if one prefers the superpowered lay-deees).

Since not many folks are familiar with Noval at this point, Red Dot Diva asked him to pen (or is it pencil?) some answers to her nosy questions, which he so kindly obliged:

Noval's self-portrait
Red Dot Diva: When was the first time you realized you’ve fallen in love with drawing?
Noval: Like many other artists, I fell in love with drawing even before I can write. Unfortunately, in our society, art wasn't really seen as an occupation. A decent occupation at least. So I falling in love with it, and finally deciding to do it full time was a different thing.

Red Dot Diva: Did you attend art school or were you self-taught?
Noval: I'd like to consider it as self taught, but the fact that I've enrolled to Visual communication faculty in Trisakti University Indonesia prevents me to say so.

Red Dot Diva: You used to be an advertising art director. What’s the difference between that and drawing for comics?
Noval: Well basically they're both involved with selling ideas. In advertising, you have to go through so many processes, decision makers, and too many other factors. As much as I liked the creative process on both counts, comics is simpler and more personal. And I think that is what suits me better.

Red Dot Diva: How did you get involved in comics?
Noval: My father introduced me into comics when I was young, and I've gotten addicted to it since then.

I did my first comic called "Ova-Team" - a weekly comic strip I did for Ovaltine Indonesia. When I was still in advertising, I sent samples of my work to Atlantis studios, and they offered me to be one of their featured artists. I did at least 4 project with them, before I finally decided to leave my daily job and move to Singapore to go full time doing comic artwork.

Red Dot Diva: Being a comic artist is pretty competitive these days. So how do you ensure that you keep yourself marketable and visible?
Noval: Well, the way I see it, every discipline is competitive these days. The cliché answers are about keeping updated with the industry, knowing the trend, and always trying to improve yourself. And also, to keep networking online in your day to day life. But, I think in the end, it's all about giving the best that you can.

Red Dot Diva: Name us your artistic inspirations.
Noval: There are just too many to mention, but if I must name a few - Neal Adams, Dan Jurgens, Adam Hughes, Alex Ross, Claudio Castellini, Gill Kane, Jose Garcia Lopez, Jim Lee, Mike Deodato Jr, Ivan Reis, Rag Morales - all my inspirations for different reason.

I personally like the idea of Jim Lee selling Wildstorm to DC just so he can draw again. I also like to mention my fellow Indonesian artist Ardian Syaf as one of the locals who manage to handle Superman, Batman, and Green Lantern, Aquaman, X-men, etc in less than 3 years. But the person I most admire is probably Jackie Chan. Not sure what's the reason.
(Red Dot Diva's note: 'Coz Jackie kicks ass!)

Red Dot Diva: What or who do you like to draw best?
Noval: Hmm... probably my own characters from Ovateam, but that is a long time ago, I don't even remember it without checking the references anymore. Superman might be the second best, since that's my default mode whenever I doodles.

Red Dot Diva: What do you use to render your artwork to the final result? Any special software or process?
Noval: Basically just pencil. But I'm using this Sketchbook Pro for digital pencilling. Photoshop if I color or digital paint.

Red Dot Diva: How did you get involved with Comic Art Show 2011?
Noval: I met Alwyn Liang (organizer of Comic Art Show 2011) back in STGCC 2010. I was like Ardian Syaf's translator (bodyguard?) at that time. Alwyn asked me to draw his sketch book. I think it was Wonder Woman... oh, no.. it was Supergirl. Far from decent, but the guy politely said that it was nice. 

Fast forward to this year, and Alywn asked me to contact Ardian to make an appearance in STGCC 2011. Long story short, it didn't worked out. A couple of weeks later, he called me and invited me to do this Comic Art Show. I told him I didn't really have enough materials to do it, but he convinced me to do it. I told him I'll do it if he move the show to the end of July so I can at least do more stuff, and here we are.

Red Dot Diva: Will you be showcasing anything special at Comic Art Show 2011?
Noval: Well, I'm preparing two special piece related to DC and Marvel Characters. But I can't say much more than that. You gotta come down to the show to see it for yourself.

There's a request to showcase sequential artwork from my published books, so maybe I'll select a few pages to show. Then, there's the blank 4 Artist proof for "Marvel Dangerous Diva" which I still need approval for the sketches first before I can do anything to it. I might bring this sketch cards along too, some other prints, and if it's possible, I might do some card sketching on the spot.

Red Dot Diva: What is your next gig?
Noval: I'm still finishing this "Marvel Universe" Sketch Cards and "King Kong of Skull Island" Sketch Card Series. Another Sketch Cards Series has been offered to me but they wouldn't mention the details until next month.

Red Dot Diva: At this point in your life, what are your aspirations?
Noval: I'd like to keep the balance of doing my work digital and traditionally. Maybe find a new hybrid way of working with both method. But I think it's still a long way and process. Until that happens, I'd like to maximize the purchase of my Wacom Cintiq by doing a fully digital drawing for an ongoing comic book. It's either digital pencil only, or fully colored. I still haven't quite decided yet.

Having viewed some of Noval's lovely sample artwork, Red Dot Diva is eager to watch him do live sketches during the The Comic Art Show 2011 on 30 - 31 July.

So, do come down to Wilkie Edge that weekend, and spend some time to get to know Noval, as well as support the talent of burgeoning South-East Asian comic artists !


Check out Noval Hernawan on Facebook book. Like his FB page here!

Or take a peek at his deviantart page!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. wow ... definitely The Comic Art Show 2011 will be good for Noval to show his work to the public, especially to comic lovers.
    For Noval is also a way to get into the international comic community.

    congratulations to Noval!

    salam from friends in Jakarta

  3. I really hope all 3 artists who are featured in the Comic Art Show will get new fans and more exposure!

    They sure deserve it!