Ngah Muli Ong blends type, color and beauty

The letters on the pages of her sketchbook are beautiful! “Wow, just wow!” is all I can say about the work of Ngah Muli Ong. Enjoy!

1. Your name and title/business name?

I’m Ngah Muli Ong, you can call me Muli. I don’t really have a business name, but I’m using MuliOng as my handle, the (unofficial) business name.

2. Do you have a specialty or special style that makes you relatively unique? If so, what?

I never really thought of my specialty, but more and more people seem to recognize my work as colorful, having various combinations of type styles, and often combined with illustration. Ahahahaha

I love colors, and see it as the most efficient way to communicate emotions without saying much. So yeah, colorful lettering could be my style.

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3. What’s your educational background, i.e., college, professional school, high school, apprenticeship, etc.?

I graduated as Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design (Graphic Design) and have been working as graphic designer since 2006. And I thank the Internet for being the supplier of daily knowledge and inspiration!

4. Preferred tool(s) and medium?

I do most of my art with regular brush and watercolor (and gouache), though I started off around 2013/2014 using pencil and tiny notebook. I use various watercolor papers and canvases for large-scale artworks, but for daily doodles and exercises, I have my trusty A5 journal.

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5. Where or how do you recharge your creative battery, i.e., books, blogs, music, art, exercise, meditation, prayer, hobbies, interests, etc.?

Museums and art exhibitions are always my first choice for a quick charge-me-up, sadly there’s not many well-maintained [museums] here in Indonesia. And I try to travel to new places, at least once a year. Being a stranger in an unfamiliar place is truly the best way to open your mind and eyes. There’s always something to discover, to experience, and in the end to inspire you in a way you’ve never expected before.

Coffee and good books are also my choice to unwind. Gosh, I have plenty of books to catch up on! 😀

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6. Tell us something about you that might surprise or delight us.

Despite being the artsy one in the family, I never really thought of being a designer (or anything in a creative workforce). Back in elementary school, I always said I wanted to be a nurse, to which my parents replied, ‘Be a doctor instead’! Didn’t happen.

Oh, I used to dislike my first name. Ngah is a common Balinese name for second child but some say it’s hard to pronounce, even for fellow Indonesian, so they made fun of me until junior high. Some people also mistook me as Vietnamese, maybe because it’s similar to Nguyen.

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