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Artist Focus: Öykü Akarca

Updated: May 28

Hello, welcome to my world. This is my workspace. Even if I'm not going to draw, just sitting at my desk gives me a lot of peace. Of course, I don't always work at my desk. Sometimes I sit at the table in the living room, which I love to work at, and sometimes I like to sit on the balcony. When I start a new painting, I like to start in a quiet environment. Then, after I've fully realized what I have in mind, I start listening to music. What I listen to usually changes depending on my mood that day. If it's a job where I need to concentrate a lot, I prefer to work in silence. If I need to work fast, I listen to more upbeat music. When the details are finished and the drawing is fully revealed, I sometimes listen to podcasts. I love working at night, I can say I am a night person. When night comes, everyone retreats into their shells and I feel like I'm all alone. When I start working, I close myself to the outside world for a while because I focus too much and get into an intense working process. If I have to work during the day, it feels good to start very early and sit at my desk.

As soon as I start working on a story, I start living in that world. I even have dreams as if I'm in the story. I immerse myself in that world as much as I can and concentrate on what it makes me feel. Then I make tiny sketches of each scene and make the general outline of the book, it also guides me for the balance of composition, the harmony of full and empty spaces, etc. Then the textures of that story appear in my mind. I collect textures from nature, scan or photograph all the textures I collect and work with, transfer them to digital media and use them in my drawings. My color palette changes according to the emotion the text makes me feel. I love details and dealing with them. Tiny details make up the whole in my drawings. I like to play with them and play with dimensions.

Apart from being busy with children's books, I love being on the road, exploring new places, visiting ruins, taking long walks in the woods. When I'm not working, I actually produce and draw a lot for myself and I love reading books. Working with my flowers also gives me peace. I am also interested in Linol printing, but I can't spare much time for it because it takes a lot of time and effort. I can focus on it better when I am less busy.

Sometimes a texture or a place I visit, a song, a painting can open different doors in my mind. That's why I have a hard time counting the things that inspire me, but nature is always the biggest source of inspiration for me. I feel renewed, self-discovered and liberated when I spend time in nature. Visiting ancient cities, touching the stones, hugging the columns during the vacations I take with my husband also gives me a lot of energy. You can see the sun and the moon in many of my drawings. Their rotations and cycles have always inspired me. All the books I read and old myths, old tales and mythology are also sources of inspiration. And of course I can't forget our cat Zarife, she is one of my sweetest sources of energy.

This drawing is from our new book Mutluluk Küçük Bir Şeydir (Happiness is a Small Thing). It's a page where I use digital and traditional methods together. I love playing with textures and making collages with them. In my brushes, I take care to choose brushes that create more texture and that I can play with textures instead of digital brushes that paint in a uniform way. Instead of painting something flat, I like to work with the textures that the brush provides me, and I like to work with textures in digital and add them to my drawings. I love to create fluid compositions that are in a state of motion. I strive to make you feel a transformation and motion in all my drawings...

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