I Made Arya Dwita Dedok, a 37-year-old cartoonist and artist, shares his day with The Bali Times

I can’t imagine what I would do if I wasn’t an artist.

I wake up at 6am and start my day by boiling water for my children to wash with and going out to buy food for the family. When I get home from the market, I wake my kids up so they aren’t late for school.

I have two daughters; one is in elementary school and the other is still in kindergarten. I make them breakfast, send them to take showers and get them dressed while my wife does the cooking for the day. It can take a really long time to dress them, because even though it’s a duty of a father, I’m honestly not that good at it.

At about 7:15am, I take my older daughter to Saraswati elementary school, and have to head straight home to pick my younger daughter up and take her to Hainan kindergarten.

I get back to my house about 8am, have a wash and then go to an English course to learn to improve my English. I’m working hard on improving my English so I can to go to the United States for an exhibition in January. It would be really difficult to interact with visitors if I couldn’t speak English.

When I get home around 9:30, I have breakfast with my wife, and then we go together to our studio on Jl. Imam Bonjol. My wife, who is also an artist, had a show in the United States in 2006. I was really proud of her.

The studio is the place I make my ideas a reality. The time I spend there has always been precious to me. When I get to the studio, I work on ideas in my sketchbook or on paper. I can’t just start a final piece; I need to work on ideas and draw inspiration from a lot of different places. It takes time for me to find unique ideas and work out exactly what I want to do. I find my inspiration in lots of different ways, like reading, watching TV or movies or listening to people or the radio. Mainly I make cartoons, but I also take photographs and even do body paintings. I only have about an hour in the studio before I have to pick up my little girl from kindergarten. My older daughter usually walks back home by herself. When I know they are both home safely, I return to my studio.

Recently I’ve been preparing for the exhibition in America. I’ve been working on a printmaking technique using woodcuts, but my concentration for the exhibition will be on cartoons. Half of my work will be done here and the other half at the actual exhibition. I’m the only representative from Indonesia, and one of only 11 participants from Asia invited to the Asian Fellowship Studio Centre in Vermont, so I’m really proud of myself. I feel like I have to do my country proud and prepare myself as well as possible because I’ll also be showing with very talented artists from other countries. I have to make my own unique work and make the most of this fantastic chance I’ve been given.

I have been a cartoonist for local and national newspapers since 1989; it’s my life and my living.

I finish working in my studio between 5 and 8 pm, and go home to spend time with my family. I play with my kids, watch TV and sometimes continue work on my cartoons if I am on a deadline. Occasionaly I have to stay up all night to finish my work, but I don’t mind because I’m in love with my job. Not everyone in this world can do what I do, so I feel like I have a unique role to play in society and for my family.

I can’t imagine what I would do if I wasn’t an artist, but I would never force my children to do the same thing I do. I want them to study to as high a level as possible and work hard.

When there is nothing more for me to do, usually around 10pm, I check on my two lovely daughters and go to bed.

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One Day

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