Indonesian artist's series of Line stickers is popular
Indonesian artist's series of stickers for Line app are among its most popular
One night in late 2014, Miss Dira Gana Mahata was messaging her friend using the Line messaging app.
The 28-year-old wanted to use a cute cat sticker (emoticon) to attach to her message, but found that Line stickers did not have many options then.
So she created sketches of her own stickers and sent them to the Tokyo-based Line. They were approved and released to users.
The series of stickers, named Meow The Tabby Cat, have become one of Line's most downloaded stickers.
Earlier this month, Line started an inaugural sticker design competition in search of Singapore's next young sticker artist.
And it is using Miss Dira's success to inspire others to come up with imaginative stickers.
CUTE CREATION: Miss Dira Gana Mahata with one of the stickers for Meow The Tabby Cat. PHOTO: MOHAMED FIRDAUS AL-AMIN
Miss Dira told The New Paper: "It was unexpected but I am very happy. It means that people out there enjoy my stickers and use them to talk to their friends."
Miss Dira, who is from Semarang, Indonesia, came to Singapore in 2011 on a work permit. She works as a creative manager at a local fashion boutique.
It took Miss Dira four days to complete Meow The Tabby Cat series.
The Tabby Cat has about 40 different expressions.
She said the "evil grin" is the most popular expression. It was inspired by someone who sent her a message on Facebook, requesting that she draw that expression.
Miss Dira has also drawn instant noodle character stickers for Line. The inspiration for that series came about one night after she had a craving for instant noodles.
She is currently working on the animated version of Meow The Tabby Cat and hopes to release it soon.
She said: "Line has an animation feature which allows the creator to draw animated versions of their stickers. So, (that's what) I am working on now."
Drawing has been her passion since she was young. She said the walls of her childhood home in Semarang are full of her drawings.
Her parents are supportive of her love for drawing and were delighted when her stickers became a success.
She said: "They don't know about messaging apps because they use phones only for calling. I had to explain to them what Line is and what the stickers are about.
"After I showed them, they were very proud and happy."
Her advice for those who want to try sticker drawing or enter Line's contest?
"Do research. Find out what kind of stickers work and don't work, and also what expressions people use in their chats."
"It was unexpected but I am very happy. It means that people out there enjoy my stickers and use them to talk to their friends."
- Miss Dira Gana Mahata on the success of her Meow The Tabby Cat series of stickers
Design stickers for Line app
Earlier this month, Line launched its inaugural sticker design competition.
Themed Singapore Fabulous: Life in Singapore, the competition is targeted at tertiary design students.
Contestants have to create a set of 16 stickers that are personal interpretations of their unique Singapore experience such as fashion, buildings, food, slogans, local slang and famous landmarks.
Said a Line spokesman: "Stickers are becoming increasingly popular here, and Line is committed to recognising local talent and bolstering creative talent in Singapore."
The Line spokesman added that more than 2.7 billion stickers are sent by users worldwide every day.
Said the spokesman: "In Singapore, some of the top sticker sets are Singlish sets with illustrations depicting phrases such as bojio (You did not invite me!), win liao lor (when you grudgingly concede to an argument) or kan cheong spider (an anxious person).
"People can relate to the content... and it helps to convey emotion and liven up conversations."
The deadline for the competition is Nov 8.
Up to 10 shortlisted entries will be featured on the official Line Sticker Shop (Singapore) on Nov 29. These entries will be evaluated by a panel of judges. The top three winning entries will be graded based on the number of downloads and their usage numbers.
The first prize is $3,000. The first and second runners-up will get $2,000 and $1,000 respectively. The prizes are in stored cash value of FEVO Prepaid MasterCard Cards.
The winners will be announced in January next year.