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Jakarta Post

Illustrators seek parity in RI publishing world

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, March 8 2021   /  01:00 am
Sekar Bestari, a book illustrator, works on a drawing. Creating a book illustration is often overlooked in the publishing industry, although the creative process a complicated labor of research.(Courtesy of/Sekar Bestari)

Sometimes, people do judge a book by its cover. Every story may have its own charm, but a work of fiction can usually shine brighter on a bookshelf with the help of an enchanting illustration gracing its cover. Unfortunately, with the way the publishing industry is set up, authors tend to steal most of the limelight, while book illustrators are quietly relegated to the sidelines. Sekar Bestari, a 28-year-old illustrator based in Ngaglik, Sleman regency, Yogyakarta, said she discovered from poring through readers’ testimonials that enough people buy a book for its attention-grabbing cover. Even so, there are only a few publishers in the country that are willing to allocate enough funds to commission work from illustrators specializing in book covers. “Most publishers will get their in-house designers to do them – they’ll do any work thrown at them. U...