Library of
Design, Art and Idea

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Sayı 20

İllüstrasyonları ve Socrates Dergisi Üzerine Bir Söyleşi...

Interview: Şener Yılmaz Aslan

Please tell us a little bit about yourself. How long have you been illustrating?

I was born in 1987 in Denizli. My art education began in my childhood years. After the courses I took during middle school, I attended Denizli Anatolian Fine Arts High School. Then I studied Graphic Design at Mimar Sinan University. But actually I had started drawing even before elementary school as soon as I learned how to hold the pencil.

You demonstrate a hyper-realistic approach in your illustrations, which is not a highly preferred method because it is more time consuming than normal and quite difficult. Why do you prefer this style?

Throughout my art education I had the opportunity to examine countless works of art. But I have not been able to break away from Renaissance in terms of my artistic approach. This is not merely a decision because I hope I can fully convey the feeling I wish to create with this style.

Is it because you enjoy illustrating human forms and faces more or you are commissioned for them that the majority of your portfolio consists of portraits?

I like illustrating the human face, which I believe offers the most effective expressions. And when this is the case, I am commissioned for such works. But I also like illustrating things other than portraits.

How did the Socrates Magazine develop? Were you interested in any sports prior to Socrates?

I was working at TBWA / ISTANBUL when the agency was asked to design a sports magazine. Normally advertising agencies do not take on such works. However, when you examine Socrates more closely, you see that it is actually an archival magazine that you would perhaps want to leave to your children because it unifies many sport branches through a literary language, which sets it distinctively apart from other contemporary sports magazines. . After I was included in the design team, I created a design language for the magazine from scratch. When I added a quite lot of illustrations into the design language I created, I began to produce more illustrations as well.

Prior to Socrates, I tried many sports throughout my life. I was just enjoying myself amateurishly. But the bike has always been my passion.

Assuming the creative direction of a magazine and also illustrating for it must be both great and hard. What are these challenges and benefits?

I think, when a designer is also able to do illustrations, it would open many new doors for him/her. Even though I studied design, I believe that the basic concepts of illustration and design in fact very much overlap. When this is the case, you can combine the design and illustration language to express what exactly you visualize on your mind and present it to people. These things make your job easier.

When it comes to the challenges, checking every page of two monthly magazines and also doing all the illustrations naturally takes up significant amount of time. But they are all for creating a beautiful thing.

You seem to be working very hard from the outside. What do you do other than draw when you get a chance?

It is true that some periods can be quite busy. Actually, I'm not just an illustrator. Since I am the Creative Director of Socrates Magazine for Turkey and Germany, I do a lot of other design stuff in addition to illustrating. This is why we look so busy at times.

Besides designing and illustrating, I can say that I am into music and sports. I have been playing electric guitar since high school and the drums as a percussion instrument for quite a long time.

As for sports, I am focused on the bicycle business we all love. When this love was too much, about two years ago we decided to create our own handmade bicycle brand called “Anonymous Cycles” in Italy. We are now happily riding the bikes we have designed.

Which mediums feed you the most, films, music, books… Who would you recommend for us to follow in the field of illustration?

Actually music, films and books are things that already exist in our lives. I think that one should benefit from each individually. For instance, when you fuse music and design or illustration, the works that emerge begin to feed your soul. I believe that this interaction ensures that the whole foundation is firmly in place, from the colors you use to the design or balance of the illustration.

I can name many illustrators but the world that Ignasi Monreal has recently illustrated for a fashion brand is truly amazing… Another favorite artist is Yuri Shwedoff, who creates the best mood and “color correction” feeling that I always appreciate.

Sayı 20
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