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Artist Focus: Tuba Burdurlu

Updated: 16 hours ago

Hello, this is Tuba Burdurlu, a mother and teacher who feels very close to the world of children. I have been very interested in drawing for as long as I can remember. You know the children whose wooden school desk was full of pictures; I was one of them.

My father was a very good cartoonist. I can say that's how it first started. I remember my father even taught me how to read by making funny drawings of letters. I would turn a tomato or a potato into an old uncle or a boy with glasses and then I would write stories and share them with my family.

I studied Visual Arts graphic design at university. I attended various trainings on illustration and it was after these trainings that I found what my dreams were. This is how my work on children's books started. I realized that the illustrations and characters in children's books have the power to affect the future of children and therefore the whole world.

When a new project comes, I start to read it with excitement, I quickly sketch the details that come to my mind at that time, at this point, the first parts that come to my mind are very important.Then the first person I consult is my son; we read the book to him and ask questions and talk about it. Together we imagine what the character is like. With his ideas, details that reflect the spirit of a child can emerge. The thing that helped me the most in this process was to devote serious time to this work, to read a lot of children's books and to observe the work of illustrators I was inspired by on Behance and Pinterest and to experiment.

Before I started illustrating children's books I think I was excited about photography I bought my first camera for my photography class when I was at university. But nowadays, with smartphones, everything is instantaneous, right?

Photography for me meant capturing the moment, focusing, paying attention to details. I started to buy İZ photo-reportage magazine with its first issue in 2006, Ara Güler was the editor-in-chief. I used to wait for the new issue every month with excitement. I created a great magazine collection this way.

Nowadays, I devote most of my time to illustration. I would be lying if I said I didn't miss that period. It was the most enjoyable time when I was intertwined with life, witnessed life, and looked at life from a different perspective.

I'm a big fan of Charles M. Schulz's timeless and eternal Peanuts characters. I've loved them since I was a kid and even collect figurines and things belonging to the characters. I also have a red Volkswagen that I named Road Runner. When I am with him, it is like we are already in a fairy tale.

The days when I prepare my picnic basket and we go for a walk together are very pleasant moments. I think I am more productive when I feel positive. For this reason, I fill every moment of my life with details that make me happy, drinking coffee with my favorite mug, drawing in a cafe that makes me feel good, listening to music while stepping on the sand on the beach awakens the artistic side of my rested soul.

Sometimes I am inspired by a movie I watch, a seemingly ordinary moment or a friend, and these are reflected in what I draw.

I can describe my drawings as fun, stressful characters that make people smile a little bit during their stressful days. I usually like to work with a chalk pen. On the one hand, I want to give a feeling of simplicity and as if anyone can draw. I can see now that in the past I used to feel a lot of pressure to be very beautiful in my drawings and I stopped myself from working freely. This is the case in many fields, illustration is just one of them. I draw with the motivation that maybe my work will motivate others a little bit. You draw and put it up, you are not afraid of being judged and you can make people smile with something small. It's not easy, but you shouldn't be afraid of making mistakes, everything doesn't have to be perfect.

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