Art Asylum: Arkiv For those who don’t know, tell us about yourself, who you are, what you do, background/lifestyle:

Arkiv:    Hello, I’m Arkiv, I’m from Indonesia and I’m 29 years old. My friends called me Rushhead as a designer name. I’m an architect and a big fan of art!  I ain’t got any kid just yet! To be frankly, architect is not my world; I didn’t see nor experience any fun about it. It’s kind of boring for me. Now I decided to be the architect of ARKIV INSTANT, and after all, this is what I really want with my life

Art Asylum: How did you come up with the name Arkiv instant? Is there a meaning or story behind it?

Arkiv:    Definitely. I used to be a serious collector since 2002. My first toy was Michael Lau and I’m really impressed about the toy movement at that time. I started to design my own toys around 2006 until I decided to be a creator rather than a collector. I sold all my collections to a friend who was mad about it! Get some cash and developed a prototype for my figure. When the idea came, I always thought to give some name to my debut figure, since I’ve been designing it for a few months already at that time. it took me a while to design something simple and classic, The hardest part was to know when to stop, since it’s never good enough, there is always new additions that I want to put on the design, when often they just made the design worse. As a good designer, you got to know when to stop. The word Instant, because the idea came instantly, and of course I represent myself as Arkiv on this, it’s a new life for me.


Art Asylum: How long have you been painting / designing and how would you describe your artistic journey?

Arkiv:    This is a fun journey for me. My blood is to be a designer, and I love to be one. There is always mad and creative ideas around this design world, and I learn everything by myself and still learning now, When I was studying architecture, I always paint with water color mark, which was a fun experience for me, and by the end of 2005, I tried a new medium which was acrylic and it was fun too! I learn a lot of techniques from the internet and my first canvas was a Looney Toones and its rabbit. Now I just design my own character only, Arkiv.

Art Asylum: Where do your characters come from? Do they originate from imagination or inspiration?

Arkiv:    Cartoon has always haunted me since I was little. I’ve always been fond of Looney Tunes and Mickey Mouse. My favorite characters are the Bugs Bunny and Marvin the Martian. I think they are both genius and funny characters. I also like panda. I think panda is a silly animal that is innocent and obedient to humans. Haha…And last but not least is the killer whale. The killer whale is my favorite of all, because of its naivety and its mysteriousness. But once you disturb it, it will attack you. so you better not disturb it.   When I start drawing, what I have on my mind is the Bunny, Panda, and the Killer Whale. I have always tried to draw things that remind me of my childhood, and things that I like since I was a little kid. These characters have always inspired me for my designs, especially for my Arkiv design. For me, Arkiv is the combination of these characters in modern and classic era. Arkiv, for me, is an imagination that can’t be left behind. Sometimes I like to imagine that he would be alive, and we would hang out together, drinking beers…Haha.

Art Asylum: Your style as an artist is unique, what and who are your major influences in the development of your style?

Arkiv: I have never thought that Arkiv Instant is a unique character, because I have known him for way too long that there’s a point when I got tired of seeing it with its big teeth. However, a lot of people said that Arkiv is a unique and a strong character. My major influences are Murakami and Dalek. They are great artists. They always use brilliant colors, and this gives such a great sensation for people who see their art works. They take you to a different world. It’s crazy!

Art Asylum: As a working artist can you tell us, what has art given you and taken from you?

Arkiv: It’s been such a great experience for me. Frankly, I do not have any art background. I was not in an art school either. It all happened because I love art! Art makes me more creative and a bit autistic (haha). I spend a lot of time in the studio, almost 15 hours every day. I’d try to make something new every day and painting has been my new hobby other than designing toys.

Art Asylum: When you first started painting did you anticipate how global and culturally encompassing your art would become?

Arkiv: It was all a surprise, really. I didn’t expect myself to be involved in the art world. It is all because of those who like my work, as well as my friends who have helped me a lot. There are a lot of people who bought my art works and chose not to publish them, and that’s good enough for me. I just think that they’re lucky to have my first paintings, which is good for me!


Art Asylum: Three words to describe your work?

Arkiv Instant:  Modern. Sophisticated. Clean.

Art Asylum: You are well known to some for your signature character who is depicted in most of your images, how was this character developed and will he remain the main subject in your work?

Arkiv: When I started designing, I have never thought about a signature character. However, as I do more and more design, I started to see a theme of my own designs. I read an article in an art toy magazine once, they said that if you want to be successful in making art toys, you don’ stop drawing till your eyes bleed. And I think it is true. It has been fun for me. I will maintain my own signature while creating more and hopefully interesting designs!

Art Asylum: Is this character a reflection of you in anyway?  what is it that he represents and where will he be in years to come, will he develop along with your work or be kept as the signature mark of Arkiv?

Arkiv: I see my character as a reflection of myself. It started when my friends said that the character is similar to me. And then I started to think about it. And that’s how it happened. It was some kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy I guess. haha You will see Arkiv in me one day. Maybe when I talk, or being alone doing my work, or even when I feel like talking to no one, or when you see my big belly… Haha, Arkiv is Arkiv and I will make it a new style that is rich of art, as well as a signature that brings you to a deep and modern imagination.



Art Asylum: How would you describe your art for somebody who does not know your work?

Arkiv: They can see his big teeth and the evil eyes!

Art Asylum: As an artist what do you love most about what you do?

Arkiv: The happiest moment for me is when you plan something big, and it happens.

Art Asylum: As an artist, what do you find to be the most difficult challenge?

Arkiv: One thing that I love and hate the most is when doing a sketch. Everything starts from a sketch. I was always lazy to start my daily routine with a pencil and a sketch. But when I have a lot of ideas, I will quickly sketch and finish papers in front of me.

Art Asylum: If you weren’t an artist what could you picture yourself doing for a career?

Arkiv: I would be making my portfolio and applying a job to Philip Startk. And when I get the job, I would change all of his designs. Haha.



Art Asylum: How do you see the evolution of your art compared to what you did in the past? Is it important to you as an artist that you constantly evolve or would you like to continue maintaining a unique style that represents YOUR work?

Arkiv: Well, it changes all the time. Art is something that changes and it’s hard to go back. I have seen a real evolution with what I’m doing right now. It is of course different from what I did in the past. Art has transformed me entirely. Maintaining what is in my art is an important thing for me. I think many artists feel the same way. There’s nothing else noticeable other than your own unique style.

Art Asylum: Your work is very clean and contains a very unique use of color…Some even relate your work to that of “Kaws” who shares the same clean and vibrant appearance, how would you describe both your likeness and differences to those who have compared your work to Kaws?

Arkiv: I like this question. I’m very careful in doing my work, especially in doing my paintings. I have to do it once and it has to be perfect. I am a very clean type of painter. I always try to make my style very clean. I prefer Dalek as my biggest inspiration and I love seeing his bright color paintings which are very clean.

Art Asylum: You recently released your first vinyl figure with AdFunture, tell us a little bit about this project, the process etc..?

Arkiv: Eddi of AdFunture and I have always had a great time in doing this project. I started to make the prototype about one and a half year ago, did the promotion DIY style, I used the internet as my media to grow the exposure of Arkiv, until one day Eddi ask me to produce the figure in vinyl form. He gave me one day to decide, I knew that AdFunture is an experienced company in the designer toy business for years. The offer came so sudden and I had to decide quickly. I said yes on the next day. Now I know that I made the right decision, and am so glad about it. They’re really doing a great job.


Art Asylum: In what point in your art career did you feel the need to expand your mediums to both design and branding? Was this intentional or did it happen accidentally?

Arkiv: I have been thinking about it. I feel like I have to change it sometimes. And I will always be exploring with my art, and it will definitely grow bigger. I will do two things: designing and branding. I think it’s important and it will definitely be an interesting thing to do. I will do something original and new. Just wait and see.

Art Asylum: You now exhibit in a number of solo and group shows, how has the transition of taking your art to the gallery affected your art and your creative process?

Arkiv: I have been contacted by some galleries, with some help from my friends, and there are some people in the States that ask for my solo exhibition. There hasn’t been anything definite yet with the people in the States, but hopefully sometime soon, since the biggest market of Arkiv is in the States. Currently I’m doing Asia.


Art Asylum: As an artist who works in multiple mediums have you ever attended art school or are you primarily self taught?

Arkiv: I did private painting course when I was in high school. I went to the first class and stopped going right away. I decided to just do and explore it myself. I knew the techniques and how to make a painting. I learned and explored painting by myself using different kinds of medium, and thats basically it. Just try, try and try.

Art Asylum: As a multi platform artist, what are your current aims, inspirations, and challenges?

Arkiv: Time has passed and everything just happened. I just want to enjoy what came out of my hard work for the past 2 years. I’m not saying that I’m very successful, but I have been successful in letting people know about my work, and they like it. And I like this. And this is my success. And I will keep doing this till I get sick of it, till my hair falls off… hahaha

I’m a man with a big ambition when it relates to my art/character. I want to make them alive. Make them tell stories, send messages to the world. I have new inspirations and I will use them in my toys. This is the time for me to make something new and fun, and this is an exciting challenge for me.



Art Asylum: With so much taking place at once, what motivates you to make work and stay focused?

Arkiv: Being in the studio everyday and seeing what I have done and giving new colors to my art works. I try to do more and more. Don’t get tired of what you do, because one day you will find what it was all about. What you worked hard for. For me, I have found it!

Art Asylum: What other interests do you have besides art? What is your idea of fun?

Arkiv: Travelling around the world with Anthony Bourdain!


Art Asylum: And what can we expect from Arkiv Instant in the not so distant future, any news you would like to share or maybe a preview of what’s to come..? Gallery shows? Projects?

Arkiv:    I will release some colorways and AdFunture and I have talked about it. It will come out soon. Keep your eyes open from now on. And there will be a surprise this year for those who love Mr. Huck, as we’re doing collaboration with him. Nowadays, I’m doing a lot of projects with some brands and well known designers. But what I (myself) will do is a clothing line. (It’s still a secret though, and I’ll let you know when everything is up. I will also make eye wear design with a well known brand. For upcoming shows…Good news for those who live in Europe and Taiwan. By the end of this year I will be having a solo exhibition in Taipei, which is at Oneway store, this November. There’s going to be a lot of surprises in this show. For those in Europe, Arkiv will be having solo exhibitions in Amsterdam, Vienna, Paris, and London. The dates have not been set yet as we are still counting the budgeting. I will give the best for them and will plan everything for the best!

-Arkiv

www.ArkivInstant.com

Stay tuned for Art Asylum Boston’s exclusive fine art print featuring the work of Arkiv. www.artasylumboston.com

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