It is always fascinating to see life from various perspectives. Being a teacher to individuals with autism for nine years have moved and widened my view. I witness the overcoming of obstacles, the making of dreams, and the perseverance to thrive. Along the process, one of the biggest challenges lies in knocking doors to create working opportunities. But once the door is open, remarkable things happen.
When Kreasi Abyakta had the moment to meet Chic & Darling a few months ago, I was excited that we were talking about diversity in the same level of vision. It is so important that above all differences, we as humans, work together to aim for a greater goal in our future. And there is no better way to instill the love of learning differences and celebrating diversity than to start from home. In Chic & Darling, they wholeheartedly implement what is true to life at home. They view life from its simplest core and embrace all that life has to offer. In an era where everything spins fast, it is important to have someone that speaks in candor. Someone that does not only speak about making a difference but actually make it happen. Reminding us to soar our spirits while also keeping our feet grounded. Chic & Darling brings these sparks.
This collaboration is a journey that started with a dream to make artworks that come from pure love and imagination. In this collection, I am ecstatic to vision life from the lens of Joey Santoso (Joey) and Ramadhika Asra (Rama), two talented artists from Kreasi Abyakta.
"I witness the overcoming of obstacles, the making of dreams, and the perseverance to thrive. Along the process, one of the biggest challenges lies in knocking doors to create working opportunities."
- Arani Aslama
Rama has a boundless passion that gleams in everything he does. He brings calmness in his presence while at the same time drawing our attention through his art and music capabilities. He draws, paints, sings, plays guitar and bass guitar as well. At age 24, Rama has played in various music performances, been involved in multiple art exhibitions and sold his paintings numerous times. In his spare time, he enjoys listening to music. His view of life is uniquely characterized in his bold lines and choice of colors. For this collaboration’s design, Rama was inspired by cotton candy. He shared that although his diet excludes candy, just seeing a picture of a cotton candy makes him happy. His artwork reminds us that happiness is a state of mind. It is a matter of how we choose to view life.
Joey’s thorough observation of life is reflected in his detailed presentation of artwork. In his 27 years of life, he has attained many achievements, especially in art. He is fond of everything neat and it is apparent in his process of making art. From choosing which sketch pencil to use to clicking a color palette on his screen, everything is well thought and thoroughly crafted. Besides art, Joey has a great love for history and archaeology. He treasures his free time by building Lego, reading books, and writing a journal. When asked about “Marvelous Life”, Joey shared that one of his favorite flowers, hibiscus, was chosen to represent a life full of love. He emphasized that flowers bring joy, referring to a moment when a man proposes to a lady and that is how he imagined what a marvelous life is.
It has been a journey to be where they are right now. They completed high school degree through a distance-learning program, took a graphic design course in one of Jakarta’s leading campus, and now striving to create opportunities for work. Perseverance is evident in everything they do. Parents, educators, and community that work together have contributed in creating an empowering environment.
In this collaboration, Chic & Darling gave space for Rama and Joey to explore and express themselves freely, while staying within the creative brief. Yes, both Rama and Joey experienced the same creative process as any graphic designer would. It is the core of this collaboration to give equal working opportunity as well as experience. They began crafting their design with research, tried alternatives in their sketches, before finally translating their ideas into digital illustration. Chic & Darling gave their thoughtful support, positive energy, and above all, their trust.
When we believe and persevere, we will thrive despite all doubts and fears. This collaboration is not merely about the creation of a product, but rather it is a union of two communities that strongly believe in empowerment, creating equal opportunities, and embracing every individual’s authenticity.
Rama, Joey, and all of our friends with autism have eagerness that never cease, which gives an inspiration to always look at life with infinite possibilities. It is important to open the door, to break the barrier, and to take chances, because everyone deserves equal opportunity. We believe everyone should have the same access to learn, to work, and to live. A collaboration like this, truly broadens and enriches our community in moving further together. May everyone see the beauty in diversity through this collection of “Colours of Life”. Let’s embrace life.
"It is important to open the door, to break the barrier, and to take chances, because everyone deserves equal opportunity."
- Arani Aslama
Arani Aslama is a contributor writer for Chic & Darling blog. She is an autism educator, lifelong learner and a coffee lover.
Text by Arani Aslama
Photographs by Reita Devita
Creative Direction by Kania Anggiani & Michelle Ariella