Library of
Design, Art and Idea

Mert Tugen

Vol. 10

Sokak sanatı üzerine

How did you begin your drawing process? Are you one of those who started during childhood?

Yes, I am one of those. Until the high school period I used to draw things only on the sides of books, notebooks. When my art teacher realized my drawing at secondary school, he recommended me to go to Fine Arts School. The turning point for me began when I started to go to Fine Arts School in Gaziantep where I was living with my family at that time.

You study animation but you do illustration. What is more attractive about illustration?

Animation is a branch that requires more time and labor and I believe that it also includes illustration in itself. Regarding earning money illustration becomes more attractive too even though I can earn more by making animations. But more I really enjoy doing illustrations more. I feel happier. Also, when I start to do something I cannot spend days. I am a bit impatient. I want to finish as soon as I begin. On the contrary animation is a work of patience. At every step I should be more careful and programmed. Otherwise it is a matter of time to produce a poor quality work.

Until today, I could complete only one film. Its name is “Bird without wings”… Besides that I keep writing and drawing things for new animation films because in order to graduate I need to produce films. Therefore, this means that I will start producing a new film in the near future.

Where does your mural painting intention come from?

When I was at secondary school, I got this magazine called Blue Jean. In the magazine there was a page prepared by Tunç “Turbo” Dindaş showing graffiti examples from the world and Turkey. I kept that page. From time to time I imitated them. When I started high school I began doing research about them on the internet and drawing them on the paper. At the same time I live in Gaziantep and there are 2-3 people who paint walls. I did not know how and where I could get the paint. After all on the first wall I painted I used bicycle paint and I realized I had great fun. In time I started to paint more and share the wall I painted. I had to stop because of the exams when I became senior at high school and I directed myself mostly towards drawing and illustration. Since then there has always been something different to do on the walls on my mind. By chance recently I got this opportunity. We painted walls in Moda, Çamlıca and Kaş with Elif Demir. Unless something comes up, it seems like we will go on painting.

There are many reasons that walls, streets seem more attractive. Normally the people who will see an illustration I share on the internet would be a specific one or the people who would come to an exhibit when an exhibition is held… But it is different on the streets. When you do a work at somewhere visible, you can reach any kind of people at any age from the public. And the interaction you get while painting the wall is the gratis. I love these sides of street art.

What is the difference between Street Art ile Graffiti? What is your preference?

Graffiti is closer to the street culture as a result of its way of outlet. It is more ghetto-ish. The person who does the graffiti finds a nickname and turns it into graffiti with his style. However, street art is mostly done by people who are into fine arts.

For me, graffiti was a hobby that I did during high school, had fun of and spent a lot of time with, and it remained that way. Generally I think that way about graffiti. It consists of a lot of repetitions and copies. The part of it making it nice, fun and exciting is its being illegal, yes, but it mostly appeals to my adolescence. Surely there are great names who do this work for years and I respect them highly but this is what I think.

Who are the Street Art artists you follow and are influenced by?

Actually there is only one name for me and that is “Os Gemeos”, a group by Brazilian twin brothers. I admire their works.

What do you think about the Little Prince calendar and notebook Project of Box in a Box Idea? Did you enjoy drawing an extraction of Little Prince?

We all like Little Prince. I think there are not any people especially like me who picture children’s books and not like “Little Prince”. Thus, you may imagine how joyful a work it has been for me. If they tell me to draw again, I would!

Are you interested in cinema? Would you recommend us a film?

Surely, I like watching films and I think cinema contributes a lot to me. As for recommendations, only the films I recently watched come to my mind. The first one is The Double by Richard Ayoade that is taken after the film Submarine which I like very much. And the second one is ‘Were Dengê Min – Come to My Voice by Hüseyin Karabey. A very naïve, epic film.

Vol. 10
La Haine Cuba - İlknur Can