Timotius grew up loving arts and sports. Out of the two though, he ended up diving in more into arts professionally while sports remain as a hobby. Timotius progressively explored quite a number of art media throughout the years such as those using crayons, sketches, oil and acrylic painting on canvas, installations, graphic design, animation and photography. However, he was never sure which one he should really master and focus on. It was when Timotius had to decide on a core subject for my bachelor’s degree that this dilemma really hit him.
A good friend of his told Timotius that he should take film as it would provide him with the opportunity to combine everything that he has learned. So with gut feeling, Timotius decided to major on film and it turned out it was one of the best decision that he has ever made. He was and still is in LOVE with film!
Timotius decided to take the next step by developing his talent through pursuing further education in Masters of Advertising. Through this learning experience, he was given the chance to combine all the technical and practical things that he has learned about film and media, and use hand-in-hand with the business side of things. At the end of his time in school, he was confident, fired up and ready to face reality and the working world – believing and hoping that he could somehow successfully start a business that would make an impact and revolutionize the film and media industry here in Jakarta.
He learned the hard way that there needs to be a balance between this idealism and the commercialism evident in the industry in order for revolution to happen – and finding this balance is a challenge on its own. This is especially true in Indonesia and perhaps also in other Asian countries where art and creativity is not being treated as seriously in the business world; or at least not as valued as skills in finance and accounting, for example.
Today, The Asian Entrepreneur speaks to Timotius about the business he finally founded, Creative Owl Studio.
What do you guys do at Creative Owl Studio?
We aim to discover the talents we have here in Indonesia and expose them to local industries, and ultimately to the world through the usage of our Youtube channel and our social media as a platform. We incorporate undiscovered local actors and actresses and crew in the making of our short films, and we produce talented but unheard singers and musicians by providing them with studio recording sessions and music video clip shoots. As the entertainment industry is extremely tough and competitive, Creative Owl Studio is here to help the many creative people out there by offering them the opportunities to rise up to their potential and maximize their talent. We also offer an internship program to help them build their portfolio for their future career. Besides all that, we are also a tiny advertising agency.
Why did you decide to start Creative Owl Studio?
I’ve always had a heart for creative and talented people who are shamefully underrated and unappreciated in the industry. I want them to rise up and get the acknowledgement they deserve. Therefore I decided to build Creative Owl Studio as a business platform that would provide people who loves art the opportunities to develop their skills and expand their creativity to achieve greater things. I want the world to know that a little creativity can make a huge impact and this might sound very cheesy but remember that earth without art is just.
Could you walk us through the process of starting up Creative Owl Studio.
Convinced my dad for his approval, borrowed his money for capital, recruited the right people, found space for our office, and voila.. Creative Owl Studio was born.
How have you been growing Creative Owl Studio?
Our main focus is to make an impact; a positive one. However way that is. This is how we grow. We don’t chase after dollars. Make an impact and the money will surely follow.
Did you find anything particularly difficult during the startup? How did you overcome it?
Gaining the trust, confidence and support from people close to me was a big obstacle. Most people found it risky for me to start as an entrepreneur instead of working and building up my way up to a long and stable career. It took almost a year for me to have the courage and the capital needed to finally do something. Recruiting the right people who would want to share the same belief, mission and goal as where Creative Owl Studio is heading was also difficult. It took quite a while to get everybody on the same page and realize that there is more than just waking up every morning for work merely just to make money. If you are passionate about what you do, work is not just work.
What is one strategy that you believe has helped grow your business?
The Blue Ocean Strategy. Strive for perfection, aim higher, never be content, over-deliver, make competition irrelevant by finding untainted market space and exploiting on that to create demand – rather than competing within the known barriers of the industry.
How do you find the industry that you are in? What can you tell us about it
It’s a tough and competitive industry just like any other industries.
Have you developed any industry insights that you could share?
Most of the industry in Indonesia is very trend driven.
Do you find the industry is different from the West? If so, how so?
We’re all in the same game; just different levels.
What is your approach towards managing your team and human capital needs?
Create a company of believers not workers.
If you could start all over again, would you change anything about your approach?
Nope. Everything has made what the Creative Owl Studio and I have become today. So no regrets or what ifs.
What do you think about being an Asian entrepreneur?
Being Asian was not a result of choice, but being an entrepreneur is. It doesn’t really matter whether you are Asian or not, it is rather the choices you make that’s important.
What is one market trend that really excites you?
What is one habit that makes you a more productive entrepreneur?
Analyze, reflect, improve and pray.
Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
If I don’t build my own dream, someone else will hire me to build theirs. I would rather build my own.
What do you think are the most important things entrepreneurs should keep in mind?
Having a clear, solid goal for your business and having strong, valid principles to guide you. A clear goal serves as a compass that gives you direction, while strong principles makes up the business’ DNA and helps you draw the line when things start to get blurry. Having these makes you stop and really think about the decisions you made or about to make, even if it means a missed financial opportunity.
In your opinion, what are the keys to entrepreneurial success?
Differentiate or die. How? You choose your customers. Narrow your focus. Then dominate your market. You must not only decide what you are, but what you are not.
Any parting words of wisdom for entrepreneurs out there?
A bird sitting on a tree branch is never afraid of the branch breaking, because its trust in not on the branch but on its own wing. Always believe in yourself.. but don’t be a smart-ass.
Website – www.creativeowlstudio.com (under construction)
Facebook – www.facebook.com/creativeowlstudio
Youtube – www.youtube.com/user/creativeowlstudio
Instagram – www.instagram.com/creativeowlstudio
Twitter – www.twitter.com/creativeowl_id