Meet The HONey: Arsy Medina
This multi-talented, Bali- based lady is an obvious style icon and a total piece of art. Her passions and work reflect this beautifully. Her style is an amalgamation of clean and elegant & hip, experimental and contemporary- she’s got the best of both worlds going on. She provided an inspiring workshop for our HONeys, during the House of Notoire Bali retreat, in September 2019, which resulted in some unique tote bags which our HONeys took home as the ultimate self-made souvenir, an ode to their dreams and goals. Without much more to say, admire her work below and meet Arsy Medina (nickname Medina)!
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
My name is Medina and I'm a freelance fashion stylist, jewelry designer and an artist.
What’s your background?
I majored in interior design, yet I started styling (fashion) a year before I graduated. It’s funny really because my mom had offered to help me out with a degree in fashion, but I refused. I should've said yes, I probably would’ve graduated faster!
How did you get started doing what you’re doing?
So in 2007, I began styling for one of the most well-known Fashion Stylist in Jakarta as an assistant. I worked with the same person for three and a half years. I learned a lot about the fashion industry, all the in’s and out’s. During my second year as an assistant, I started doing my own projects. When I graduated from university I was certain I didn’t actually want to pursue interior design. I fell in love with fashion and there's no going back.
As for drawing, I never really knew I could draw before I started experimenting in 2007. I’m completely self-taught. I learned how to draw by watching shit loads of Youtube videos until I felt confident enough draw without having to watch videos for guidance. To this day, I still watch tutorial videos when I want to learn a new technique, or if I when I’m having difficulties doing something. I really believe that you shouldn't stop learning just because you’ve mastered something. Never stop being curious!
As for my jewelry, is my latest and newest baby. I started that just two years ago, in 2017. I participated in a jewelry making class and fell in love with it. I made all of the samples by hand, which was a bit of bloody process!l So my pieces are like my cherished possessions.
How would you describe your style?
I would say my fashion style embodies simplicity, I like clean and simple. I love creating a concept, like, I really LOVE IT. I love trying to find the right photographer, model and make-up artist to achieve the concept I have envisioned. Personally, I feel styling should be about practicality. When you take away all the glamorous elements used to create an image, such as the lighting, make-up etc., you should be able to wear the clothes in your everyday life. That being said, with some projects when collaborating certain photographers, it's best to go all out! It’s fun to able to think and play out of the box too and be as idealistic and as crazy as you can possibly be.
For my jewelry designs, my style is also simple yet classy and elegant. I also aim to design pieces that are timeless, I want people to see my jewelry in ten years time, and still be eager to wear it, and for it to not have gone out of fashion. I guess that's one of the major factors why I decided to get into jewelry. I think jewelry doesn’t need to be seasonal ( like fashion) so you’re free completely to create whatever you like.
As an artist, my style is super versatile. But I'm a hipster at heart, so my style usually doesn't stray far from that.
What’s drives you to do your work?
My drive is my love and my passion for what I do! Sure at times, I feel like I have no drive at all. But in other moments, I can be triggered to create just by looking at an image and my mind would wander places I never thought of. A whole photo shoot concept can be created just by having been inspired by a specific corner in a coffee shop, or by a store display that caught my eye. Creating art and jewelry is a little different. Creating an idea for artwork is based on my current emotional status or current events in my life. Coming up with a whole concept of the next jewelry design starts with a word that pops up in my mind. So my mind constantly wandering. To say that I think a lot is an understatement, my mind is wandering most of the time!
What inspires you to create?
Hhmm, everything and anything, really. It changes all the time as well. So I can't really say that there’s a specific thing that inspires me most.
Can you give us some insight into your creative process?
My creative process usually starts off by creating a concept, and it evolves from there. The concept or theme usually comes first and then there's the research process. I love concept making and researching. So I spend a lot of time scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram, trying to find an image that best represents the concept or theme I'm thinking about. It goes the same way for everything that I do. I'm a bit OCD, so it's hard to break away from that pattern, but it works for me!
What part of your work do you enjoy the most?
My favourite part is seeing my concept come to life. That has got to be the best part! The first time you see the edited version of a photoshoot project you did, the first time you see your artwork finished and polished, the first time you hold the jewellery sample after going back and forth. Nothing beats that! I get butterflies in my stomach and all.
What’s your favorite art piece?
Hhmmm...I feel bad naming favorites... Hahaha. I'd like to say that they are all good in their own way, each has its own meaning or marks a certain period of my life, and each piece tells it’s own story.
What are your future goals? Do you have any plans in the making?
My future plan is actually to expand Isola 49 to a lifestyle brand, including a clothing line, homewares and maybe some beauty products. I intend to continue exploring and developing my talents in fashion, drawing and anything that screams art! I already have so many ideas, I just need to sort them out. And eventually, my ultimate goal is to combine all of these elements together. Everything I've learned throughout my career (and life) and create something GREAT. My most real future goal is to continue to GROW really, both personally and professionally.
How did you end up in Bali?
I moved to Bali because of my boyfriend at the time. So I guess I have to thank him for that, but eventually, I realized in a weird spiritual kind of way that Bali was calling me. I’ve come to realize that I've grown more in 3,5 years of living Bali than I ever have during my 35 years of my life. So I guess that's how I ended up here, that's the hidden purpose and what universe had in store for me, by experiencing life in Bali.
What’s your favorite part of living in Bali?
My favorite part? I get to live with my best friend, Sitta! My mentor, my coach, my teacher, my everything really. If it wasn't for her I wouldn't be where I am right now. And I couldn't thank her enough! Also, I love the fact that I'm closer to nature than I've ever been before. And, of course, all the healthy food, you got to love that! Not that I am the healthiest person ever or eat healthy all the time, but it's nice to have the option and availability.
What are your spots in Bali?
Hidden beach in Berawa for sunset drinks and occasional walks along the beach. And, my house actually, it's the place where my mind can wander the most without being in some sort of danger.
Anywhere that inspires you?
At the moment, it's starring at the beach and the waves and the sky. But sometimes it's nice to go off of the island and immerse yourself in the city life, this inspires me in a bit boarder sense, in relation to what's going on in the world.
Do you have any females artists/ do gooders/ professionals that you look up to?
Hhmm, I don't know really. I've always wondered why I can't pinpoint one person or one thing that really inspires me to do what I do. It's always a bunch of different people and a bunch of different images that got all mixed up in my head that made me create something, it's never one specific person or thing. I guess I'm just a bit of a scatterbrain!
Photographers & Models
Anton Ismael www.instagram.com/antonismael
Karina Twiss: www.instagram.com/karinatwiss
Agath: Sahell: www.instagram.com/agathasahell
Teuku Ajie: www.instagram.com/teukuajie
Hilarius Jason: www.instagram.com/hilariusjason