How are you feeling if your art is worn by the number one person in the country? Proud? Feeling appreciated? Never Too Lavish is feeling the same. They painted a map of Indonesia on President Joko Widodo’s denim jacket and it went viral everywhere. People are eager to have the same jacket to the point they sell only 50 pieces and it was sold out in a blink of eye.
Started off as a reseller, NTL gives a fresh idea about how your stuff looks different from others. They do a customized shoes, jacket, wallet, even suitcase, to make it look astounding. Letter F had this encounter with the main artist and co-founder of the workshop, Bernhard Suryaningrat, and its workshop manager, Azka, and two of them told a lot behind the scene of this promising workshop. Let’s dig more!
People are curious how the beginning of this workshop is. Tell us about it please.
Abeng: “We actually started differently from now. We began our business as a high brand reseller. Until one day, we discussed about turning our business into a customized workshop. We thought about drawing on some unusual stuffs. We are here for something different, so we draw onto branded stuff. At first, we drew it onto our personal stuff, for promotion purpose. So that people can know what we are doing here, what we are making. Back then it was only me who painted all the stuff, but right now we have around 21 painters.”
21 talented painters in the house, then. Where did you find them and asked them to join the workshop?
Abeng: “Basically we met in a big graffiti community, but we were from different cities. They are my friends who have this potential to grow even further with painting or graffiti.”
The meaning behind Never Too Lavish?
Azka: “It’s actually the literal meaning of never too lavish. We’ve never had enough to create something new.”
NTL became a hot topic ever since President Joko Widodo wore a customized jacket from here. What’s the back story?
Azka: “So we met him on Jakarta Sneaker Day months ago and one of our owner showed him our artwork, which was a painting of him on a wallet, and he visited our booth there. He showed interest in our portfolio, until he actually asked us to draw on his jacket. We did as he asked and surprisingly he wore it on his official schedule. And Mr. President ordered some other jackets to be painted after the first order.”
The difference before and after Mr. President?
Azka: “We feel so proud that number one person in this country wear our artwork. It’s like all eyes on us. We also have an increasing income, and tons of followers on our social media sites. Plus a good publication from media.”
Abeng: “What most important is people trust us more now. And that’s what we want to keep, our customer’s trust that we make good stuff here.”
As you paint the stuff per request, did you ever have a hard or complicated request?
Azka: “Almost all of the requests from our customer are unique. And all of them also need a lot of effort to make it better.”
Abeng: “That happen a lot actually. Sometimes our clients only have the visual and explain what they want without a concrete picture. That’s where we direct them about this concept and that concept. So it’s more like we discuss and we collaborate together. In that way, our clients are content with the outcome.”
How long does it take to finish one stuff?
Abeng: “We have two kind of services, painting a decon recon. For the former, it’s around one month, while the latter is in one and half. Decon recon needs an extra time because we have to deconstruct and reconstruct the shoes with new materials, while painting is a bit easier. It’s usually 2 weeks for discussing the concept and idea, and the other two weeks for the painting processing.”
Any special treatment for the painted stuffs?
Abeng: “I mean, if you have one of a kind stuff, you probably don’t want to use it often. But let say for shoes, you shouldn’t brushed it roughly. We coated them stuff with high quality paint, water proof, and a protector. So it will be safe. But it would be better if you treat the stuff nicely.”
Another big project from Never Too Lavish?
Azka: “Yeah we have lots. For the upcoming Asian Games, there six ministries ordered a jacket to us.”
Honest hope about this workshop ahead.
Abeng: “We want to be another medium and platform for mural arts and graffiti. We want to try something new, so the public will not see mural as a pure vandalism again. It’s a part of an art and positive outcomes. Never Too Lavish wants to be an inspirational medium for mural and graffiti in public eyes and for our mural artist themselves.”
Writer: Adhinda Latifa
Editor: Olivia Elena
Digital Imaging: Dela Naufalia
Photographer: Ganang Arfiardi
Videographer: Iqbal Syafei