Atreyu Moniaga: The Self, Lyrical Words, and Gender-Free Illustrations

What do you see when you see? Do you just glance or do you actually observe? Are you
really seeing?

These questions are implicitly instilled in Atreyu Moniaga’s artworks, as he aspires to free
the idea of gender from his illustrations. “It depends on the viewer. Some say it’s a girl,
some say it’s a boy. Some say that there’s no gender identity,” he explains. “Well maybe,
there’s really no gender”.

Although he enrolled in visual communication design major when in college, which is
technically a breakdown of arts, he feels like he should be taking specialty in painting. At
first, when he attempted to make a living out of drawings, his father disagreed. His dad’s
wanted him to be in agriculture, but Atreyu refused.

His artworks speak about himself, as to him, creating artworks equals to expressing the self.
Atreyu admits that his inspiration mostly comes from writers or lyrical musicians such as
Jewel, Neil Gaiman, John Carter Cash, and Johnny Cash. While for visual artists, Tim Walker
and James Jean are who he finds inspiring.

His early projects were collaborations with other artists—from photographers in Montreal
and Philippines, a fashion stylist in Canada, a local Indonesian photographer named Ryan
Tandya, and the most memorable one: with Sebastian Gunawan. He created bird-patterned
embroidery patch for Sebastian Gunawan’s collection. Since then, he gets better exposure
and acknowledgement from public.

Despite how tiring or boring the process could be, Atreyu deals with drawing best than if
compared to doing other activities. As an artist, his message to fellow art enthusiasts is to
be adaptive to shifts in trends and change in environment, but never losing one’s own
identity in creating artworks at the same time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *