“If I did not illustrate, I would have liked to write stories like Sait Faik did.”
Interview: Şener Yılmaz Aslan
Please tell us a little about yourself, your educational background and how you ventured into illustration.
I was born in 1989 in Mersin. I graduated from the Graphic Design Department at the Kocaeli University. I loved painting like so many children do from an early age. Later, when I saw that this love and enthusiasm did not go fade away but rather grew, I decided to take up this discipline.
Who do you usually illustrate for, are there publications you work with regularly? What is the path you follow in illustrating?
I work for İletişim Yayınları and illustrate book covers. I also do illustrations for various publishers and magazines such as Sabitfikir and Notos. Even though small in number, I have illustrated some children’s books as well. I generally work on paper. I like using ink pens and acrylic, and trying new materials and techniques.
We see plenty of strong female figures in their drawings. Except for being a woman, what exactly is the idea that leads you to this theme?
There are basically political reasons in addition to my being a woman. I strive to support women who are subjected to exploitation of labor, sexism and violence in their daily lives through my illustrations, and I like illustrating women whose stories I find sincere and warm.
How do you get started, where do you draw inspiration from? Does it come from other disciplines of art, or unexpected sources? Are there any figures that inspire you that you can share?
I am inspired by events that draw my attention during the day or things such events evoke in me. I never sit down with a pen and paper, and say, “now I will draw so and so”. In the daily illustrations that I do for myself, what inspires me is directly life itself. I like to express the situation, to elaborate and even exaggerate at times, in short, to tell a story in an aesthetic way using the art of illustration. Literature, music, and cinema all keep this motivation alive. There are so many artists that influence me. If I did not illustrate, I would have liked to write stories like Sait Faik did.
How does the process of designing book covers progress?
I definitely read the book whose cover I will design. And as I read, the design begins to take shape in my head. We also exchange ideas with the author. It’s rather hard work, but it’s very developmental… Since the end result will accompany a literary work, there should be no disagreement between the content and the artwork. On the other hand, you are also trying to inject your own style into the content. Other wise, it would be like commissioned work. I am very particular about it.