Mr. Chris Tianto is a young artist hailing from Indonesia whose artistic creations hint at the destructive and beautiful powers of nature in all its forms: plants, animals and mother earth herself.
Chris has produced highly technical illustrations, that are both cramped and expansive at the same time. Like the feeling of standing alone in a large, overgrown forest. He has also released a resin sculptural piece called the Euranth – a manifestation of nature’s aggression and beauty – to much acclaim.
(Picture below of the Euranth from ‘Pe-Cu-Liar’)
With a busy 2014 ahead and many projects in the works; now is the perfect time to get to know Chris Tianto and ‘Pe-Cu-Liar’ by reading the interview below…
Basics/Getting to Know
Name + D.O.B?
Chris Tianto, 25 Dec 1987
City, State n Country you’re Repping?
(Picture below of Chris Tianto toy reppin)
Describe a memory from three stages of yr life ….basically trying to piece together Mr. Tianto’s pivotal moments. Concerts, art, action-figures, women, school, college… ANYTHING man.
* age 10 – pre pubes:
Playing Sega & Nintendo, watching tons of anime & tokusatsu series, collecting manga, fascinated by Goosebumps book covers, listening to classic rock.
* age 15 – pube rage:
Playing in a hardcore punk band, pissed off all the time, going to gigs, collecting tapes, being that one peculiar dude at school, don’t really care about anything else but music.
* age 20 – acceptance of pubes:
Started making random shitty artworks, graduated from college, started working and getting paid, started collecting indie/art toys.
(Picture below of a ‘Pe-Cu-Liar’ logo by Chris – this one a tribute to ‘Candlemass‘)
Back when Metallica doesn’t suck, they made cool song like “Motorbreath”. Its always been my favorite song, this line pretty much changed my life:
“Those people who tell you not to take chances, they are all missing on what life’s about”
Tough question, I listen to a lot of bands from various genres.
Its all depends on my mood, but lately my playlist has been pretty random: Wolves In The Throne Room, Hexer, Falls Of Rauros, also chilling stuffs like Daughter, City & Colour, Kendra Morris, dudes like Antwon and Lil Ugly Mane drop some nasty beats.
Also sad rap like Yung Lean, too emotional to be missed!
Favorite TV show(s)?
I don’t really watch TV but I watched tons of anime series, anything from action to comedy and drama.
Shaman King, Flame Of Recca, Devilman, Yu Yu Hakusho and the list goes on.
Cartoon series like Toxic Crusaders, Felix The Cat, Extreme Ghostbusters and Count Duckula also shaped me as I am nowadays.
(Picture below a NagNagNag tribute shirt by ‘Pe-Cu-Liar’ )
Favorite sport(s) + teams?
I hate sports! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vasmgy5Yjfk
I don’t watch movies that much, but let me try to list some: The Exorcist, Poltergeist, The Elephant Man, Black Sunday, The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, Studio Ghibli movies.
And oh I like Die Hard: With A Vengeance and Rambo III, they ruled!
Favorite books and comics?
I don’t read that much nowadays, but I grew up with manga like Dragon Ball and Meitantei Conan and horror novel like Goosebumps. I think those can be count as my favorites?
Do you consider what you are making to be ‘art’, ‘design’, re-hashed crap?
I don’t know man, some dudes might call it as art, but some might call it as crap.
(Picture below of an illustration by Chris, titled Centipede)
When and why did you first start making ‘art’ (toys, drawings, paintings, anything)?
I’ve been drawing since I was little, started by copying manga and Looney Tunes characters.
No shit man, but I remember me and my brother used to draw our own kaiju characters. I don’t think he remember that, we were really into Kamen Rider back then.
Of course we didn’t knew the term “kaiju” at that time, we just thought that Kamen Rider’s monsters were cool!
Why + when did you decide to go in on the art hustle?
I got to do commission work for bands when I graduated from college around 4 years ago, so I think it was pretty cool that people paid me to do “non commercial” design works.
I don’t do commission works massively though, but regarding art toy world I just started pe•cu•liar on early 2013. January 5th to be precisely, it was my mom’s birthday.
It’s like a tribute after my mom’s passing by late 2011.
(Picture below of the guiding force and inspiration behind ‘Pe-Cu-Liar’ – Chris’ mother)
Any formal art training? Or pivotal moment/influence?
Never, but I majored graphic design in college. They taught me how to draw manually, and how to operate design softwares.
The education was suck though, so I learned the rest by myself.
I don’t have actually, but let me make something cool. “By a freak, for the freaks out there”, is it cool enough?
Favorite ‘other’ artist(s)?
Tim Jacobus, Frank Kozik, Skinner, David Horvath, Jeff Lamm, Justin Bartlett, Rainbath, Feeding, Peter Saville, Nick Blinko, Junji Ito, and the list goes on…
(Picture below of Chris Tianto in the wild)
Worst aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?
Worst aspect, well I think not many people appreciate when you make something different. I think it takes time, but eventually you’ll be recognized as long as you stay in your path!
Best aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?
Getting to know another artists and toy makers, learning something new from them. Its always good to be friended with dudes who have the same passion as you are!
What are the best and worst aspects of life in Indonesia – both as a citizen and as an artist?
As a citizen –
* Best aspects: I think the people are nice and the foods are good. As you see Indonesia consists of many islands, so many different cultures are interesting to learn and understand.
* Worst aspects: The government, the traffic jam, the mentality of some people who always cutting the line and throwing garbages everywhere.
As an artist –
*Best aspects: many young talented artists are rising, so its good getting to know and support each other.
* Worst aspects: the mentality of conforming, I mean nothing new under the sun but try to add your own flavor.
I’m sick of another Pushead or Riddick wannabes, also sucks that when you do something different then just a few people can appreciate it.
Try to draw skulls and goats, then you get more attentions. You know what I mean, man!
Is the rise of ‘art’ toys an indication of the changing nature of ‘art’? OR just a bunch of nerds with too much $$$ and time?
I think its a bunch of people with passion, and its good to know more people contributing to the scene!
Of course you need money and time to release your own toy, but I still think that passion is the main driving force above all.
Favorite toy/figure? (I’ll allow self promotion)
I haven’t owned them all, but I love Jeff Lamm’s monsters!
(Picture below of some of Chris’ Jeff Lamm collection)
What does your wife/girl/woman/family make of the whole perpetual adolescence/Peter-Pan/man-child aspect of toy art + toy collecting?
My wife is a graphic / character designer actually, she loves anime and she collects a lot of kawaii / weird fashion-related accessories so she’s cool with my collecting obsession.
She digs my toy collection too, and my niece & nephew (both 4 and 5 y.o) think my toy (Euranth) is cool!
‘Chris Tianto’ Art Questions
Describe the method of making a Chris Tianto piece? (dot point all o.k.)
– your sculptural work…
Honestly I’m not that experienced with sculpting and resin casting, but I’d love to learn more later.
For my first toy release, I hired a professional studio to handle the sculpting and resin casting.
I made the sketches (front, back and side view) of the figure for the sculpting guide, then I supervised the progress.
– your 2D works such as your highly detailed illustrations…
Nothing fancy really, I sketch with pencil then redraw it with drawing pen. Sometimes Photoshop is involved, mostly for color adjustments.
What is the background on your Euranth sculptural work – both the artistic process, and it’s narrative back-story?
(Pictures below of the Euranth in various stages: original sketch, original sculpt, unassembled, and the final bagged version)
Actually the drawing itself was inspired by The Cure’s “Bloodflowers”, not my favorite album but I really like the title so I illustrated it.
The drawing was never used for any commercial project, so I was thinking to make a toy based on it. I didn’t have much knowledge about sculpting, so I contacted a professional studio to handle the production.
At that time I was really into bands like Fall Of Efrafa and Vestiges, the message they delivered really inspiring me. Men can be such horrible creatures, there will be consequences for what we’ve done. So I made my own ‘realm’, my own story called “the myth of Glandastern”.
Glandastern is a world ruled by deity creatures, they can provoke disasters when Men do horrible things to our mother Earth.
Euranth is just one of many deity creatures to be released by pe•cu•liar. I want to spread positive message through my toy release, a portion of proceeds from sales of Euranth will be donated to a local nature preservation organization.
Here’s the story behind Euranth:
“Euranth is the god of nature, keeper of the forests. It dwells inside the darkest forest of Skard, a forest which never located on any existed map. Once was shaped as (one eyed) white flower, symbolizing the sacred of nature. But as the hearts of Men filled with greed, damaging the nature, it started to bleed. It feels the pain, its wrath provokes natural disaster.”
Any collaborations on the horizon?
I’m about to do header card art for my friend’s toy release, can’t tell the detail yet but I’m stoked!
(Picture below of an illustration by Chris, titled Octopus)
Any major projects you want to hype man?
Right now I’m helping my wife building her own “brand”, in the terms of conceptual and art direction, but the graphic / character designs will still be handled by her.
I’m also planning to release new character in 2014, I also hope to do more commission works.
So hit me up, freaks!
Pe-Cu-Liar – website
Chris Tianto – website
Pe-Cu-Liar – store
Pe-Cu-Liar – Facebook
Chris Tianto and Pe-Cu-Liar – Instagram
Chris Tianto – email = firstname.lastname@example.org