Being good is not enough — Five words at the top of the Indonesia Envato Authors national meetup banner that stood out to me. In a room of around 50 Indonesians, specialising in design, development, video, photography and music; it was clear they were here to make a difference.
A difference that would see some quit their regular jobs to pursue item creation on Envato Market or freelance on Envato Studio. To create a level of independence for not only themselves, but also their friends in the room.
We were in Malang, Indonesia—East of Java—at the foothills of one of Indonesia’s most extraordinary natural wonders, Mount Bromo.
I had been invited to attend the national annual meetup by Budi Nusyirwan, the co-founder of the group IdEA (Indonesian Envato Authors); who I happened to meet while filming Rizki and Suki in Jakarta for our video series, Envato Stories.
Kai Loon, Envato’s Senior Reviewer for ThemeForest was also invited to attend the meetup, to share insights with the group.
I travelled from Melbourne, Australia to attend the meetup. 14 hours in the air, stopping off at Kuala Lumpur to pick up Kai Loon and arriving into Surabaya, the closest city with an International airport.
Indonesian attendees were travelling by train, car, bus and plane. Many came from Jakarta, on a 16 hour train ride, followed by three hours in a car. There were also a good deal of attendees from other islands in Indonesia, some even flying five hours by plane to attend.
The group established in 2011. The founders wanted a way to talk about Envato products with other Indonesian authors in their native language, Bahasa.
The group formed a private Facebook group where most discussions now take place.
There are over 3,000 members in the private Facebook group today. Each day you’ll see them have conversations around item support, creation, inspiration, tips and even celebration; there are a number of members who have become Envato Elite authors, since joining the group.
Many will take their conversations offline, by organising small meetups in their local area.
Luthfie Saja, one of the attendees, told me about a group of Envato authors in Aceh. They meet every morning at a cafe to talk about the latest trends and help strategise.
The National Indonesian meetup is a unique event. As Budi sat in the bare field across from the hotel—he was capturing a time lapse of the mountain—he explained that “This meetup is a holiday”.
The meetup contained the things you would expect, talks from successful authors and opportunities to work on each others’ projects, but there was also activities unique to the event; visiting a wildlife park, a night of music by DJ Fajar (an AudioJungle author), a transport museum and a drive through the middle of the night to see the spectacular sunrise from the top of the mountain.
The wildlife park had animals from around the world, including a lot of familiar Australian wildlife. Before attending the event, I would never have thought I would be surrounded by a group of Indonesians peer-pressuring me to put my hand out, so they could put a scorpion on my hand. “Do it for Envato” they yelled. If I’m being honest, I deserved it. Only a few seconds earlier, I was chanting the same words at Kai Loon. I thought I was safe because I was holding the camera. Let’s just say, I hope Envato is proud.
The transport museum was just as eventful. In my head, I was expecting a couple of rooms with a few old cars and a replica plane model. Instead, we experienced—what I can only describe as—Indonesia’s answer to Universal Studios. It felt like we had just landed on set in Hollywood. There were replica cities, including New York, London and Paris. Mr Bean’s car, a replica of the Queen, the van from Scooby Doo; even a knock off KFC restaurant called CFC. It was much more than just a transport museum.
Amongst all of the fun, there was also a night filled with talks from Envato authors, sharing both practical tips and stories of inspiration. Kai Loon gave a talk on website visuals and code, while I gave a quick talk about collaboration.
The event had a contagious energy—a mix of excitement, hope, opportunity and collaboration. There were attendees that had sold thousands of items through Envato and there were those who had only gone as far as creating an account.
This was the 2nd annual National Indonesian Envato Authors meetup. It was exciting to hear stories of those who had no sales only one year ago, that today have hundreds of sales and are inspiring the next group of authors to do the same.
I made many new friends over the three days I attended the meetup. A group of self-starters, who saw an opportunity to connect, to work together and to share knowledge. Congratulations to IdEA and thanks for inviting Kai Loon and myself.