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Artist Focus: Gülseren Akgül

Updated: Feb 29

This is my workroom. It's where I like to spend time and where I spend most of the day. Sometimes I'm in my room to work, sometimes to poke through my library and sometimes just to relax. My desk is right across the balcony. In this way, I can watch the tree coming up to my balcony while I work. I can say that my room is the place where I find peace and where my breath multiplies. Because producing is breathing for me. I am definitely one of those who like to work from home. Because I feel more free and peaceful. I definitely like to be alone when I draw. Because for me, producing is an action in your own imagination and you go there alone.

I listen to light music during the idea phase of the work. Turning on a low volume of music throughout the work increases my motivation and focus on my thoughts.  When the painting part progresses, I also listen to podcasts. I can work for a long time without getting bored. Especially if I like the work and it excites me, I think about it day and night and draw sketches from time to time. I work very organized and disciplined. Working hard makes you asocial, but I also like to spend time with my friends. A coffee break and a little chat is good for me.

I start drawing with character design and then I determine the color palette. In all this, I try to read and understand the story. I determine the striking part of the text and design the scene. If I have passed the idea stage of the drawing, I move fast in the drawing part. At this stage, I like to add small details and try different things. Although I do digital drawing according to the need and the work, I like traditional techniques the most. I like to mix acrylic paint with other paints and create textures. Then I make digital interventions to these. I try to make use of every material. That's why I don't throw away a lot of things at home, I hoard them. The color palette is important for me, I think you convey the emotion to the audience first with color.  Then comes character design for me. I always try to emphasize an emotion in the character's drawing. I like to express emotion in an exaggerated way, like drawing big sparkling eyes, smiling mouths.

Even though I'm only drawing now, I also make animations as well as children's books. A few of them have received funding from the Ministry of Culture. I love reading very much. I always read with my daughter in the evenings. I like reading children's books more. I also try to write children's books. I have been reading and receiving training in this direction for a long time. I have been writing and drawing for a long time on a series I want to create. I wrote my master's thesis on children's books. My daughter and I go to a children's library where we volunteer whenever we can. I love being with children and books. I usually spend most of my time at home because I work very hard.

I can be inspired by everything; children, nature, different profiles of people, different branches of art. That's why I visit a lot of exhibitions. The books I read can also inspire me.  The garden I look at when I sit at my desk can be my inspiration. I think this is something that comes from within. A way of expressing yourself and thinking. Everyone expresses themselves in one way or another, and I guess I express myself by drawing.

I love pastel shades. I try to bring contrasting colors together. I love the colors used in orientalist clothes. Still, I try to stick to the emotion in the text when creating the color palette. When drawing, I like to add as much fun detail as possible. I really like to refine the details. I think children really like small details and they definitely notice them.

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