Social Media


The Sassiest Mama: Ayang Cempaka

Family LifePost Category - Family LifeFamily Life - Post Category - That MamaThat Mama

The Sassiest Mama Awards 2015

Growing up in an arty environment with a family of artists and painters was inspiration for this mama – for whom drawing is not only a hobby but now also a fabulous career. Her beautiful illustrations adorn notebooks, cards, art prints and customised projects and have become a huge hit on Instagram – as has her little girl’s rendition of traditional Javanese songs – divine!

Who’s The Mama?

Full Name: Ayang Cempaka
Occupation: Illustrator, see her stuff here
Children: Airis Lumina Dradjat (Mimi), 4.5 years old.
Nationality: Indonesian
How long have you lived in Dubai? 5 and a half years

1) Tell us about your business/businesses and why you started them.
I am an illustrator, I have a small paper goods design studio which produces stationary like notebooks, cards, daily art prints and customized projects (ie : wedding invitation, packaging illustration). Why? Drawing is my hobby. My mom is an artist, she’s a painter and so is my grandpa. I was raised in an artsy environment. I used to make bags, mostly leather with hand embroidery, under my first brand “Cocomomo”, before I moved to Dubai in 2010. I found that long distance bag production was too difficult for me to handle. I stopped making bags and started to draw, and posted anything I drew on Instagram. And that’s how it all began.

2) What do you feel have been your biggest achievements both in your personal life and career so far?
My greatest achievement would likely be the moment I found I could balance my work and family. 🙂

3) As a child what did you dream of being when you ‘grew up’?!
A vet.

4) If you had 3 wishes, what would they be?

I’d wish to speak every language imaginable.

I’d also want to live in a country with lots of greenery, wild flowers, fruit trees that I can forage. And then finally, I’d want my own factory that would manufacture anything I wanted from stationary to fabrics!

5) What does being a Sassy Mama mean to you?
When I first got the email, I was like “Really?? Me??” Well, I am honoured! Thank you very much. I hope I can spread more positive vibes!

6) What’s a typical day in your life like?
Wake up in the morning, prepare breakfast, green juice, lunch box for Mimi, clean up my apartment, draw for 1-2 hours, answer emails, cook lunch, pick up Mimi from school, after school playdates and afternoon nap. Dinner together with daddy, brush teeth, put PJs, put her to bed with some bed stories. I then usually work a bit more, if not then movie time at home, snuggling on the sofa with hot tea and chips before finally going to bed.


7) What’s your guilty pleasure?
Shopping for books and home decor, especially if they are on sale.

8) What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given in your personal life and career?
Start where you are, use what you have and do whatever you can.

9) What do you most enjoy doing as a family in Dubai?
On weekends, everyone cuddling up together in my bed (with one of our cats usually join in), after that we go for breakfast or brunch.

10) What is the ‘best-kept’ secret in Dubai, something fellow mamas should know about?
Indonesian restaurant named Betawi in Karama! We go there almost every weekend.

11) Which three words best describe your personality?
Creative, spontaneous and a bit impulsive!

12) What advice would you have for a new mama?
Just breathe… and stop trying to do everything at once.

13) What advice would you give to a mama who wants to go back to work or start her own business but is worried about juggling family and career?
Let go of the guilt, focus on a plan, and find the balance.


14) If you were on an island and could bring only 3 things (family not included) what would they be?
My iPhone (I work mostly from this baby), my set of SK2 and my drawing tools.

15) Top 3 books?
Wild Flowers by Colour by Marjorie Blamey, The Adventures of Alice Laselles by Alexandria Victoria and The Perfectly Imperfect Home by Deborah Needleman.

16) Describe your style.
Versatile and casual.

17) If there was a movie produced about your life, who would you choose to play you and why?
Keira Knightley!

18) Tell us something funny that your kids have said or done.
Lately I’ve been teaching Mimi songs my mum used to sing for me when I was a kid. They are traditional Javanese songs, which most people have already forgotten. And she pulled them off pretty well! I put her video on Instagram and she got more than 1200 likes!


Thanks to The Studio for the gorgeous pics! Book your photography experience on (+971) (0)4 347 1745.

Special thanks also to Sassy Mama Dani for coordinating mamas and photographers while juggling 3 little ones too!

more sassy mama

What's New

We're social

We're social

What we're up to and what inspires us