One Day – Teguh Santoso
Artist Teguh Santoso, who as a child was branded with the nickname Ogut for his rotund resemblance to a well-known comedian of the same name, paints oily waves for surfer tourists and more complex works for himself and a growing clientele.
The 32-year-old from Surabaya but living in North Kuta has a nine-year-old and four-year-old daughter with his wife Siti Aminatus, and shared a day with The Bali Timesâ€™ I Ketut Pariyasa
When Iâ€™m in a good mood, when I paint the night before, I usually get up at 9:30am. Sometimes I even donâ€™t sleep at all when Iâ€™m painting, but when I do my daughters often wake me up around 8am but Iâ€™m too lazy to get out of bed. I donâ€™t want to disappoint them, though, so I tell them, â€œJust a few minutes more…â€ Then I go straight back to sleep.
When I eventually get up Iâ€™ll have a steaming cup of coffee with lots of sugar and an obligatory cigarette. Thatâ€™s my breakfast, though if my wife has some rice or vegetables ready, Iâ€™ll have that too. Iâ€™m not a picky eater; Iâ€™ll eat everything thatâ€™s put in front of me. But generally I donâ€™t eat until Iâ€™m hungry; that way the food tastes better.
In the mornings I spend some time looking after my daughters, talking to them and answering their questions; naturally they love to play. My time is not solely for myself: Iâ€™m part of a family and have to give my time to them, too.
After all that playing around, Iâ€™ll have a shower and sit alone and have a smoke. This is what I call my refreshing time, after painting at night, and sometimes Iâ€™ll also watch TV.
I always try to be at home at noon for lunch, to respect my wifeâ€™s cooking. And after that Iâ€™ll go out and bring a pencil and sketchpad with me. Who knows what interesting things I might find as I wander around? Iâ€™ll head up to Echo Beach in Canggu on my motorbike and hang around Dian CafÃ©; itâ€™s a small beachside restaurant that displays some of my paintings. Itâ€™s good to be there among the foreign surfers as I get a lot of feedback from them about my work. And so I keep on learning.
Some of the people who come to the cafÃ© are painters themselves; they either do it as a hobby or are well-known artists but pretend not to be. Whatever the case, we talk, exchange ideas; giving and receiving.
The paintings of mine on display at Dian CafÃ© are purely decorative; they follow the buyersâ€™ tastes. And the buyers here, of course, are the surfers. They want waves; I give them waves. I donâ€™t mind doing them, though, it means I earn enough to support my family.
I keep my real art at home, but I carry a digital camera so that people can look at pictures of the paintings.
I can often stay at the cafÃ© till around 7pm, and then head home with meat and vegetables I buy at a roadside foodstall on the way. I donâ€™t want my wife to start cooking again; she should relax, as you know how hard household work is.
As night settles in, I go to my special room to paint. There I have all the things I need to trigger a good mood and ideas, including coffee and cigarettes.
Watching TV and interacting with people make my works socially themed, like my painting No One Has a Boss, Only the Doggie, which is also my own personal motto. Itâ€™s about people who feel awful about being dictated to by their boss, and a German bought it a few years ago for what at the time was 680 deutschmarks (US$420).
If Iâ€™m not working straight through till the morning, Iâ€™ll fall into bed around 3am, thinking about the next day thatâ€™s already here, wondering what Iâ€™ll give to my family â€“ and the world.Filed under: One Day