Whose Canvas: Atmi Kristiadewi

Children are what inspires Atmi Kristiadewi the most. As an artist, she takes her own experiences as the guideline through her artistic 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 a ‘naïve’ portrayal of humans and other living things.
How did you get into the worlds 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 is nobody with a formal background in art; 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. Finishing high school, I was given two options on where to continue my studies: It’s 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 option 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 master’s degree, and I graduated last June.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Inspiration normally comes 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, inspiration also comes 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 get these works done?
When I draw, the sketches unconsciously turn out to be an innocent image. This naïve style might be considered trivial, but it’s actually not as easy as it seems. As a young adult, I was required to feel and be an ‘innocent kid’ in order to realize my idea. After gaining experiences in the world of children, it happens naturally and wildly.
No wonder that your works seem 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 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 within it, portrayed by these colors.


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