Indonesian photographer and graphic designer Joe Hida is making waves in the minimalist scene on Instagram, having amassed over 30,000 followers online- we caught up with Joe to learn more about his unique blend of digital art & photography, and the clean, crisp aesthetic we found on his feed. Check it out below. 

COZY MAG: First of all, whats your name and where are you from?

Joe: Hello! My name is Wahyu Hidayat but everyone on instagram calls me Joe. I’m from Indonesia and currently I live, study and work as a graphic designer in Indonesia’s capital city, Jakarta.

CM: You have a clear style in your work- keeping things minimal and often using pastel colours. Have you always worked in this way?

J: I am an avid fan of consistency and rules, so keeping my Instagram account coherent and seamless is a must. But somehow I must admit that I have a rebel mentality too. I love breaking the law to create a new law, I love being different and unique. So I choose minimal photographs with pastel colours as my visual language because of its quirkiness and distinct palettes, compared to more conventional and mainstream photographic styles.

CM: Your work seems like a mixture between photography & digital art. Where do you see yourself as an artist? 

J: For me, everybody is an artist, even a politician, or a three year old baby. But not everybody is a true artist. As a graphic designer, photography and digital art are inseparable from my daily life. So I can proudly say that I’m an artist. But to be a true artist, I should have a full understanding what and how my artwork speaks to other people, and I think I’m still far away from that.

CM: What first made you start creating these images?

J: Since I started sharing my photographs as @wahjoehidajat (now @hidajoe) on Instagram in September 2012, my early photographs were just my personal daily life. Then around mid 2013, my interest in minimalism started when I took a simple photo with my phone and put some hashtags, including #minimalism. Through them, I found some instagram accounts that attracted my interest in minimalism photography such as @killerminimal and @candyminimal.

I began following many aspiring minimalists behind those accounts on instagram and have been inspired by their distinct, consistent style  and attention to detail. I tried to do the same experiment on my photographs and I fell in love with the works of @mattcrump, the man behind @candyminimal, a movement of photographic style that makes use of simplicity, contrast, and a striking colour palette of electric pastels.

Since those string of events, I decided to keep my pastel minimal style as my Instagram signature.

CM: What are the main themes that you think reflect your work?

J: My main themes are nature and architectural photography with a surreal minimalism twist, distorting shapes and colours without losing their basic elements.

CM: What would you say inspires you to create?

J: I love to interact with clear sky, negative space and landscapes. They are  what shapes most of my work. I want to let people feel like they are in a soothing dreamy space when they see my artwork. 

Also, there are several instagrammers that constantly inspire my works. To name a few: Matt Crump (@mattcrump), Tara Wells (@rarabro), Francesca Salerno (@o0fs0o), Ingo (@_ingo_1), and Karel Descamp (@multiplanar). They are my the main source of inspiration.

CM: You have a large following online. Has this helped you promote your work in the real world?

J: So far, I just treat my Instagram account as my creative outlet to escape from daily work. It's also a way of interacting with other creative people across the world. It’s still all about having fun with pictures.

CM: What goals do you have in so far as your work? Where can you see yourself down the line?

J: I have planned some travels to interesting places to take more pictures. I’m still dreaming of  having my own website to showcase and order the prints of my works. And lastly, I want to spend more time with my Instagram to connect and inspire more people.

Once again, thank you so much for featuring me on your magazine. It such a big honour for me.

CM: No problem! We're pleased to have you and showcase your amazing work! 

Keep up with Joe on his Instagram account, @HIDAJOE

Interview led by Neela (@Foxyneela) All artwork by Joe Hida.