Children are what inspires Atmi Kristiadewi the most. As an artists, she takes her own experiences as the guideline to go through her art journey. On the other hand, being involved in a child’s innocent world has opened up her horizons, leading her to depict her thoughts through ‘naïve’ portrayals of humans and other living things. She is currently exhibiting at Bentara Budaya Bali until May 21.
How did you get into the world of art?
I jumped into this world due to my excitement while watching Japanese anime, and I pursued art purely as my hobby. Within my main family, there’s nobody with a formal background in arts. Only my uncle is an artist. Fortunately, my father is really supportive. He supported my decision to pursue this childhood dream. I wanted to be like my uncle, to have works that can inspire people.
So, did you pursue a formal education in order to be an artist?
I did. After finishing junior high school in 2005, I continued my studies at the High School of Arts in Batubulan. Done with that, I was given two options on where to continue my studies. It was either the Institute of Arts Indonesia in Denpasar or the Institute of Teacher Training and Education Bali. After so much consideration, I picked the latter as I wanted to share my experiences by being a teacher. While studying, I also taught, trying to understand children, as well as learning my own painting characteristics. I finished my studies three and a half years later. A few years later, I joined the Institute of Arts Indonesia in Denpasar to get my masters degree.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Inspiration normally come from my students. It’s free, and has no burden. The children give me many experiences through their world which is full of honesty and innocence. Additionally, inspirations also come from my surroundings when I’m walking my dog, from my friends through their critiques, and from my husband who is also an artist.
What processes do you use to make your pieces of art?
When I draw, the scratches unconsciously turn out to be an innocent image. This naïve style might be seen as trivial, but it’s actually not as easy as it might look. As a young adult, I was required to feel and be an ‘innocent kid’ in order to realize my idea. After gaining experience in the world of children, it happened naturally and wildly.
No wonder that your works seem so innocent and naive. Can we say that this is your character?
I’m still finding my true character actually. However, when people see my paintings, they will normally say that my artistic character lies in the colors that I use. It’s bright and sweet, and it shows no burden. Even when anger exists, it turns out to be vague due to the positive mood that is tucked in it, portrayed by these colors.