The Uncle Joy

Tri Haryoko Adi, going by the name ‘Uncle Joy’, started drawing ugly faces in 2000 in outboard around Legian, Double Six and Seminyak roads. After he settled in Bali, The ugly faces then developed into character drawings, doodles and also the use of traditional elements of Bali and Indonesian art. Uncle Joy’s work will bring you back memories with his mesmerizing childhood stories.
How did you become an artist?
I love to draw ever since I was a kid, yet I didn’t have the chance to get an education in art. I studied language in Bandung and I also skateboarded. It was the skateboard world that brought me into doing art again. I got a job as a graphic designer in Yogya then I moved to Bali. That’s when I started to grow an interest in drawing ugly faces and began to meet many people from all over the world because I liked to hangout in Poppies 2.
What do you draw normally?
At first I liked to draw ugly faces as a depiction of what I saw in Jakarta. Then, it developed into some kind of characters like combination of giants, cartoons, robots and other traditional elements of Indonesia. I like all colours in my drawings, but I prefer to choose bright ones. For me, the brighter the better. Also, since I base myself in street art, my drawings are poured onto any media that I can find such as cardboard, wood, paper, walls or canvases using pencils, markers, spray paint, acrylic, and wall paint. There is no limitation.
How was your journey as an artist?
Financially, I can’t say whether it’s hard or easy living as an artist. But I believed if I put myself to focus on this, the money will come easily. There are obstacles though, especially in terms of networking, most artists who concentrate themselves in their works lack networking skills even though almost all the jobs are earned through network circles whether online or offline. Therefore, there are many artists who barely get a drawing job.
What makes good art according to you?
There is no bad art. All art is good if it is accomplished through passion. However, each person has a different appreciation towards art. There will always be people who likes and dislike our art. Our work is the result of our own thinking, there is no need to care about opinions coming out of other people. If we focused on other’s opinions, we will always have doubt on what we’re working on.


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