Staff Reporters
Jun 2, 2022

Creative Minds: Fabiola Renetta says period talk should be normalised in Indonesia

The creative director at TBWA Indonesia on their favourite period-related campaign and finding solace in feeding stray cats.

Fabiola Renetta
Fabiola Renetta
In Creative Minds, we ask APAC creatives a long list of questions, from serious to silly, and ask them to pick 11 to answer. (Why 11? Just because.) Want to be featured?

Name: Fabiola Renetta

Place born: Medan, Indonesia

Places lived/worked: Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Bali

Pronouns: They/them

CV:

  • Creative director, TBWA Indonesia, 2021-present
  • Freelance creative director, 2020-2021
  • Creative director, Wunderman Thompson, 2019-2020
  • Creative director, Wunderman, 2019-2019

How did you end up being a creative?

Working in a creative department is something I’ve wanted since secondary school. I always told myself I would become an art director because I love all forms of art, ever since I was little.

I was lucky my family supported me in my decision to go to advertising school and in my last year, working as an intern, I was involved in winning a new business pitch at BBDO Jakarta. I was then offered a role.

But instead of being offered my dream role as an art director, it was for a copywriter position. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting, but I also wasn’t prepared to let the opportunity of joining a creative department go. So I took the chance and had confidence in my ability, and with the guidance of senior creatives I developed a balance of both worlds.

What's your favourite piece of work in your portfolio?

In 2017, I had the opportunity to join the creative department of Asia’s biggest sporting event, the 18th Asian Games 2018. The last time Indonesia hosted the games was 1962, so for me this was a chance of a lifetime. To be part of the team that created a TVC for everyone across Asia to enjoy was incredible. My role and responsibilities also included training the volunteers to create digital content and create engagement to bring more excitement towards the games. Working with people from many different countries, with different expertise was a truly enriching and unforgettable experience.

What's your favourite piece of work created by someone else?

I’ve always believed creativity can be a solution to a real problem and has the power to shift human behaviours, like this product, which tackles environmental issues by creating bags from one of Indonesia’s bountiful plants: cassava.

I also love ‘Womb Stories” from BodyForms. I feel we need to have more conversation about the normality of menstrual cycles, especially here in Indonesia where girls are told that their menstrual blood is ‘dirty blood’. 

What kind of student were you?

The one illustrating notebooks with charts, botanical sketches and colourful doodles. I also often sneaked out to the canteen between classes.

Do you work best under pressure, or when things are calm?

Give me the pressure, bring it on!

What app could you absolutely not live without?

During this pandemic, I think the answer is pretty universal: the ecommerce app.

What's the craziest thing you've ever done?

Jumping off a ferry boat in Indonesia’s biggest and deepest lake—Danau Toba.

What really motivates you?

Problems. I love finding creative ideas to bring a solution.

How would your co-workers describe you?

An OCD cat-lady who loves to eat.

What makes you really happy?

Feeding stray cats outside the office.

Cat person or dog person?

Did I hear a meow?

What food can you not live without?

Sambal. This Indonesian chili relish gives a kick to any food you can think of (yes, spaghetti too). It is a medium of creativity and has probably over 20 variation that differs between regions and households. Google it up.

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