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Artist Focus: Eda Ertekin Toksöz

Updated: Feb 29

I'm here this week to talk a little bit about myself and a little bit about my work. Even though I can't share a small room of our house in Istanbul with my husband, I made a workspace for myself. Most of my time is spent in this room. As I got older, I started to become a morning person. I used to like working at night, now I'm napping.

My routine every morning is to make myself a coffee and loaf around with my cat until I wake up. Then I sit down to work. Especially if I'm at the beginning of a project and at the sketching stage, I always like a lonely and quiet environment while working. When I start coloring, music becomes indispensable. I can even listen to a song that raises my energy a thousand times without getting bored. I'm a bit of an asocial homebody who usually works long and busy hours. In my free time, frankly, I prefer to be mostly empty.

If I'm drawing a children's book, it's important for me to be able to connect with the characters of the book when I first read the project. If I catch something familiar, maybe from my childhood, maybe from my surroundings, it's impossible not to enjoy it. I can even say that as soon as I read the text, I get into the mood of the character I'm going to draw. I especially like to work on fun and humorous projects, and I think I use more vivid, brighter colors because of this.

Like every illustrator, I like to work traditionally, but I prefer to use digital techniques in my work. Depending on the project, I sometimes use more textured brushes, sometimes flatter brushes. I take care to give different styles and different touches to each project. Most of the time I ask for a brief from my editor, and when necessary from the author.

One of the things I enjoy doing besides drawing is ceramics. I make small objects out of ceramics whenever I have time. Music is food for the soul. I even started to study violin for a while, but this enthusiasm ended with the pandemic.

Since I'm a cartoon/animation graduate, I was interested in stopmotion for a long time.

I like to cook a lot. When I can't focus on the project, I usually cook or clean to clear my head. Apart from that, one of my new hobbies is fishing. I love spending time by the sea, taking walks, it calms you down.

As a cat mom, my biggest source of inspiration is my cat Bambam. My personal drawings are usually about him. The bond between us inspires me. As you can see in the photos, he can even be my art director.

Apart from that, everything is a source of inspiration for an illustrator. A flower, an animal, a sentence, a child, a feeling, a song. So I don't really chase inspiration, it finds me when needed heheh.

Although I'm not a very colorful personality, I like to use vibrant colors in my illustrations. I don't create a color palette in advance. I make improvised color preferences according to the story I'm working on. If I don't like it, I change it later, one of the advantages of digital. I like to use textured brushes because it gives the drawing a traditional touch. When I paint books, I usually do the sketches on Wacom Cintiq using photoshop. Then I transfer the sketches to iPad and do the painting in Procreate program. Working on iPad is a great convenience for doing work in different places. You're not stuck at home when you get bored.

Recently, I have been thinking of doing pastel paintings. I have gotten so used to the convenience of digital that I believe I need to do some traditional exercises and refresh myself.

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