Indonesian-based intuitive Rensi Ardinta transitioned from interior designer to full-time artist through her success with NFTs. She switched from hand-drawn, black-and-white illustrations to colored exports a little over a year ago, when a friend offered to mint her first piece for free.
Rensi made a series of artistic meditations in exchange, emphasizing creative therapy in a burgeoning virtual arena notorious for cash grabs and little proof of use. Her works dissect complex, unresolved emotional states and weave newfound understandings into visual narratives of self-discovery.
“The ability to express my ideas and emotions through art has saved my life."
What were your first “creative” memories?
I loved to trace Disney’s princesses (Sleeping Beauty) drawings when I was a kid. :D
What were you like as a child?
I didn't talk much as a child. I drew a lot and loved to create dresses for my Barbie dolls. Because I was shy, I didn't have many friends. I always felt like I didn't belong because I was sensitive and emotional. There weren’t any grown-ups to comfort me or tell me that being sensitive was normal, so I struggled.
Was there a defining moment where you felt called to art?
When I was in high school, I was adamant that after I graduated I would major in graphic design at university.
What are some major life experiences behind your work?
I worked at an advertising agency for a short time, which shaped the way I brainstorm concepts. It helped me develop how to formulate ideas. I also ran an interior design company with my husband where we generated 3D renders for cafes, houses and businesses in Indonesia.
Which parts of yourself do you explore and reveal through your pieces?
Emotional states are the focal point of my work and what stimulate me to create. My pieces document my personal journey to understand myself. My art focuses on healing past wounds: heartbreak, regret. I tell visual stories about my struggles in life.
Do you experience art as a form of therapy?
Art is my sanctuary. The ability to express my ideas and emotions through art has saved my life. It’s able to be satisfying and frustrating at the same time. I am soothed by drawing, although I can be indecisive over which ideas I want to execute or which colors to use. Still, it heals, piece by piece. It’s a journey, not a destination… and when I finally decide, it flows.
When did your relationship to color first begin?
I only recently started experimenting with color in my illustrations. I was afraid to use color before I started doing NFTs. I did most of my work in B/W.
How would you describe your relationship to color now?
I am addicted to it! I don’t plan on using B/W anymore unless it’s necessary.
How did you transition from interior design to full time artist?
I made the decision after I had a few sales on my NFTs. It was a blessing for me because drawing has always been my passion.
How did you enter the NFT space? What have been some of the high points and pitfalls?
I heard about NFTs through my good friend Prasajadi, who taught me about them. He helps artists enter the NFT world by giving them 1 tez to mint their first piece. He and his love wife are dear friends of mine. I am forever grateful to them!
I’ve made many new friends in the NFT community and found collectors for my art… but slow sales can lead to self-doubt. My friends and family are supportive when I start to feel low, and I’m grateful for that.
How do you choose the right marketplace to host your NFTs?
At first I just followed friends who had been doing NFTs before me. When I grew comfortable enough in the space, I started experimenting with different marketplaces. There’s no manual book, it’s up to you to find a place that works.
What advice would you give to other artists interested in switching to NFTs?
Test the water and sell a few pieces first to make sure it’s sustainable for you. You want to be able to pour your heart into your art without worrying about survival.
What are your favorite mediums?
I only draw digitally at the moment. I’m going to try different mediums in the future.
Which medium is most challenging and why?
It can be hard to draw manually because I tend to want to change details of the piece I’m working on when I’m already halfway through it.
Who/what are your sources of inspiration?
Anything can inspire me, but mainly it comes from artwork, music or movies.
A few of my favorite artists are James Jean, Banksy, and Yayoi Kusama.
Interstellar, Batman Begins, Life is Beautiful, Up, and Prometheus are a few of my favorite movies (but there are a lot more… I love movies!)
When I’m drawing I like to listen to The Mighty Rio Grande by This Will Destroy You, Comforting Sounds by Mew, and anything by Sigur Ros.
What does your dream project look like?
Complete freedom of expression. A collaboration with James Jean that’s a mix of digital and physical. He excels at both mediums—he could give me some pointers.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Making art while traveling the world with my family.
If you could design a world of your own, what would it be like?
I’d mix dreams with reality and create a world with an abundance of water, flowers and magical creatures.
Describe your imagination in three words:
Fluid, dreamy, melancholy