Welcome to September gang! It's that time of year when the last long summer days slowly stumble into the soft embrace of autumn. While I love changing leaves, a good sweater, and spiked cider as much as the next person, I’m not quite ready to call summer over here at BANDITS. Labor Day may have come and gone, but I’m keeping the summer vibe alive all through September with this month’s featured design – “Sleepy Barong” created by Indonesian artist and design student Naufal Muviawan aka Muvvi.
This bright bandana is inspired by the island of Bali, the beautiful and balmy birthplace of BANDITS. The bold red and white (or “merah putih” in Bahasa) are the same colors featured on the Indonesian flag that flies proudly all over the island. It was the very first design I commissioned for the brand, and it still makes me think of warm days spent on my motorbike, speeding through jungles and rice fields, wondering where this bandana idea might take me.
As soon as I saw it, I immediately felt a personal connection to this design and it’s by far the bandana that I wear the most. Keep reading to learn more about the Balinese traditions behind the design, the talented young artist that created it, and the incredible Indonesian charity it supports. Once you do, I’m sure you’ll see why this design brings about those warm, summery, Bali vibes no matter where in the world you are.
The Artist – Muvvi
Muvvi (Naufal Muviawan) is an 18-year-old illustrator and graphic artist from Jakarta, Indonesia. He recently left home to start college studying art and design, and I’m proud to say that “Sleepy Barong” is Muuvi’s first ever commissioned work! Judging by his prolific illustration catalog and his budding graphic design skills, I’m sure he’ll have many more in the near future.
("Sleepy Barong" Artist Muvvi with a Furry Friend)
Muvvi submitted the winning entry to a design contest I posted on 99designs, a site where artists can search design contest and submit their work for consideration. Muuvi’s design stood out immediately among a slew of unspectacular entries. He was able to weave together traditional bandana elements (red and white colorway, polka dots, etc.) with his own experiences to create a uniquely personal piece that connected with me immediately.
As I spoke more with Muuvi, I came to truly admire his enthusiasm for the project and his gratitude for having been chosen. His positive attitude and huge heart inspired me to work even harder to make BANDITS a reality, if for nothing else than to introduce this impressive young talent to the world.
Though his specialty is illustration, since starting design school Muuvi has expanded his portfolio and skills into graphic design, mixed media, and video. I’m honored to have given him a platform to show his skills to the world, and I wish him the best of luck as he embarks on what is sure to be a successful design career. You can see more of Muvvi’s work using the links below:
The Design - "Sleepy Barong"
Muuvi’s hometown of Jakarta lies on the Indonesian island of Java, one of nearly 17,500 that make up the country. “Sleepy Barong” was inspired by Muuvi’s many childhood trips to Bali, Java’s neighboring island to the East. Muuvi said he always cherished his trips to Bali and vividly remembers the sights and sounds he experienced on the island as a child.
He explained that one memory that always stuck with him was that of a colorful Balinese ceremony winding through the streets. I can attest that these ceremonies (which often seem to spring up out of nowhere and block traffic) are a memorable sight to behold. Makeshift drums, cymbals, and other noisemakers clang out traditional rhythms as men, women, and children perform ceremonial dances, often in elaborate costumes depicting ancient spirits.
(A Barong Mask and Costume in a Traditional Balinese Dance Ceremony)
The face in the design is that of a Balinese “Barong” mask, an integral part of traditional Balinese mythology and ceremony that predates the island’s Hindu religious influences. The Barong (loosely translated as “bear”) is considered to be the king of the spirits and the leader of the forces of good. The battle between the Barong and Rangda (the demon queen) is central to traditional Balinese dance, representing the eternal battle between good and evil. In dance ceremonies, the Barong is represented as a lion-like creature with the mask on the front of a costume occupied by 2 or more people. Elaborate Barong masks have become a symbol of Bali itself and permeate Balinese art, design, and of course, tourist souvenirs.
The mask in Muuvi’s design, particularly when represented in the colors of the Indonesian flag, expertly captures the essence of Bali – the old and the new, the good and the evil, the traditions and the tourists, the natural and the human. The short phrases around the border of the design – ‘We are Free Sometimes” “I Don’t Know” “Let’s Try Again” and “Let’s Face It” - serve to reinforce this duality by contrasting positive and negative, confidence and doubt. Muvvi wraps the whole thing in a polka-dotted border that, along with the classic red color, evokes bandanas of the past while pushing the medium forward.
The Charity – SOS Children’s Villages Indonesia
SOS Children’s Villages Indonesia is a non-profit organization that advocates for children’s rights and provides family-based care for children who have lost or are at risk of losing parental care.
(Children from an SOS Children's Villages Program in Indonesia)
As part of the larger SOS Children’s Villages International NGO, the organization operates according to a mission of ensuring that every child in the world should be brought up in a family environment that is loving and overflowing with affection, feeling safe and appreciated. SOS provides shelter, food, education, and surrogate family structures aimed at creating an environment in which at-risk kids can thrive. SOS is currently active in 134 countries providing care for more than 80,000 children around the world.
Muvvi chose to support SOS in order to help the many underprivileged and orphan children he sees everyday on the streets of Jakarta. When he spoke to us about the charity, his genuine concern for these children and their struggle was evident. His heart ached for these kids knowing that in many cases, an unfortunate future has already been determined for them. By raising money and awareness for SOS, he hopes that some of these children can receive the support and inspiration, as he has, to pursue a better life and a career doing what they love.
Links to learn more about SOS Childrens Villages Indonesia:
The Most Exciting Part
As you can probably tell, I have a personal connection with “Sleepy Barong,” Muvvi, and the charity this bandana helps to support. I’m honored to feature this amazing bandana design, introduce Muvvi’s work to the world, and bring awareness to this globally impactful charity. That’s why BANDITS is helping you to support all three!
In honor of “Sleepy Barong” being this month’s featured design, BANDITS is giving you 25% OFF all month long! Just use code SLEEPY25 at checkout and bring home some Bali vibes. Tie it up your way and set out like a BANDIT for never-ending Summer adventures!
Click the discount code above or go HERE to grab a “Sleepy Barong” bandana of your very own!