WMC artist focus: Dede Putra

This month’s focus artist is Dede Putra who was born in Indonesia but now lives in New Zealand.

We caught up with Dede to find out what inspires him, took a peek at his latest work (which includes a custom skateboard deck) and discovered his favourite ‘tools of the trade’.


Watermark Artists: Dede Putra from Watermark Creative on Vimeo.


After watching our short video interview with Dede, you won’t find it surprising that his favourite projects are those that he describes as ‘full of energy’.


‘It’s kinda hard to explain it,’ he says with a smile that reaches from ear to ear, ‘but it’s sort of like that energy you get from listening to music. The coolness of Jazz, the cheeriness of pop or the angst of punk. Sometimes I get the same type of energy I feel from those types of music when working on particular projects.’


Artistic process

When it comes to process, Dede says that he doesn’t start putting sketches or images on paper before having a solid concept or ideas in his brain.


‘After I have an idea or assignment I usually stew it thoroughly in my mind. Most of the time, I will look at references on the internet or real life inspirations to shape it further.


‘Once I have a clear idea what kind of mood or shapes I want to create, I will start the rough image process. Usually I will go straight into drawing or painting one or two quite detailed images with Wacom Cintiq on Adobe Photoshop, although sometimes I start with paper and pencil when I’m in the mood. I always find that working digitally is easier as I can move from the rough image into final image way faster.’


An eye for fashion

One of Dede’s most memorable projects was a series of images chosen by Prada Italy for the marketing campaign to support their first sunglasses line.


‘I love that I was able to let my imagination run wild while still featuring the sunglasses.’ 

Dede’s work for Prada eyewear


Current explorations inspired by the seasons

Dede has recently been working on a personal project which he’s calling his Seasons Portrait Project.


He’s using the project to explore faces, shapes, profiles, colour combinations and motifs and has also been experimenting with different print substrates (read more about that in our recent 2019 print and paper innovations article).

Summer and Autumn
Winter and Spring


The best tools = flexibility

We asked Dede which ‘tools’ he likes to use when creating art, and his favourites have a focus on flexible working.


‘I currently prefer to work digitally, using Photoshop CC. I like the ease of use and how compact it is because sometimes I work in a cafe to be inspired by a fresh environment.


‘The Wacom Cintiq 22 hd is my go to gadget when i’m in the studio. I love the real estate that it gives me to work on. I can use my shoulder more to paint, instead of just using my wrist.’


Check out Dede’s bespoke deck

Our final piece for our Dede showcase is a bespoke skateboard deck.


‘I had a lot of fun researching how to make it happen and talking with people from printers and skateboard shops to find out the best way to apply the art,’ explains Dede. ‘I’m really happy with the result, and it’s been quite popular with people who I’ve shown it to.’


See more of Dede’s work on his artist portfolio page