Bali’s creative allure is undeniable. Drawing people from across the Indonesian archipelago and the globe, the island has long been a hub of innovation – constantly evolving and always invigorating. In our new series, Island Inspiratif, we talk to authors, artists and entrepreneurs who have made Bali home, and what it is about the island that gets their creative juices flowing. In today’s blog, we chat to Javanese visual artist and founder of House of Rumantra, Rully Rumantra.
Rully, please tell us about what you do here in Bali.
Well, I started as a graphic designer and kind of evolved into a visual artist. Like many people on this island, I’m working on many things at once. I built a brand called House of Rumantra; an art and jewellery collection where we focus on one animal as our inspiration, and then use the profits of that collection to help with conservation efforts. Like many other Ubud friends, I’m also involved in AKU (Asosiasi Kreatif Ubud), an independent creative community based in Ubud with the mission of empowering local artists.
What was it that brought you to Bali in the first place?
I’m originally from Bandung in West Java. Bali was a dream place for me to live from when I was in Junior High School, even though I’d never even visited the island at the time. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always been drawn to the idea of living in Bali. Maybe I was a Balinese in a past life.
What is it about Bali that has kept you here?
As an artist, it feels amazing to be surrounded by culture and custom, great natural places, and the slower pace of life. But I guess what has kept me here the most is the people I’ve met here, my second family.
What are some tips you’d give to people thinking about basing themselves here for a while?
After seven years of living in Bali, I know that it’s not for everyone. Some can only visit, not stay. My number one tip would be: remember that when you decide to live here, you have to get rid of the whole I-am-in-Bali-vacation-mode-thing, because a) you gotta work and b) you goin’ bankrupt unless you do.
What’s your favorite secret (or not-so-secret) place in Bali?
My lil home in Subak Sok Wayah. That’s what I call a glamorous view.
You can connect with Rully on Instagram via @houseofrumantra.