For this article in the international artist series, we turn to Turkey, featuring six artists who create fantastic work, from illustration to graphic design and more! I asked each artist how their country and culture inspired their work, and they delivered fantastic answers. Enjoy!
Muhammad is a motion graphics director based in Istanbul, Turkey. His work showcases his passion in broadcast motion graphics and visual effects with incredibly vibrant and thoughtfully crafted designs. Check out a small collection of his work below or see more in his portfolio.
What I love about Turkey most is the history and food!
AHABER New Season Identity
Almost six years before a news network allowed me to come and work on their designs I had joined the largest news network in Istanbul. I found myself lucky to be working in Istanbul and clearly felt a change in my work after mixing my ideas in Turkish culture.
News Branding - K24 IRAQ
Within creative projects, designers bring a wide array of skills they've gained from all sorts of experiences regardless of their particular circumstances.
In my experience of collaborative projects, designers are keen to participate as a member of the team. Every designer has a unique perspective, and working on collaborative projects became an open door for me to understand the perspective of others. After just one project my circle of creative friends has increased and we sit and discuss ideas together in one small coffee shop. It's heaven to be able to do that.
Ezgi is an illustrator and costume designer based in Istanbul, Turkey. Her work features fantastical illustrations and remarkably embroidered designs. Check out a small collection of her work below or see more in her portfolio.
Twins in the Forest
Turkey is my home. This is the land where I was born and raised and also where I feed my soul. Turkey is a huge country and there are so many cultures and religions all mixed together.
When you travel to Turkey, you're also traveling to so many different cultures, regions, and civilizations. People have learned to live in harmony in this country for many centuries. I also love Turkish people, songs, poems, language, and the things that are uncontaminated in my country.
Embroidery - Rainy Day
I live in Istanbul and this city has a population of 15 million. It is the metropolis of Turkey and you can see so many cultures coming together. When you are traveling to the city, it always surprises you with its beautiful character and history. You can see ancient churches in modern districts and modern art museums in historical places.
Find a lovely violin maker along a narrow street, or watch a great musical in the center of the city. This diversity gives artists a great perspective, and you can find so much inspiration for your art in İstanbul. Depending on how much time you spend on the street, the city will take you away to extraordinary worlds. The city can show you new places, and open many new doors for you.
Woman n the Goose
In spite of our country's size, there are very few art schools and they only receive a few students. As a result, all of the artists usually know one another. With the help of social media, we are now familiar with art worldwide too. We are always trying to improve our talents and we all know we can not survive without development. The world is changing so we have to catch up. I believe that Turkey's best artists will be blooming in the next few years.
Burak is an illustrator based in Istanbul, Turkey. His illustrative style features unique characters and awesome compositions. Check out a small collection of his work below or see more in his portfolio.
Istanbul and I have a love and hate kind of relationship with one another. Sometimes it feels good, and sometimes it feels bad. The sunny side of the picture is that the complexity of the country feeds me well enough to create art. Just like a Blues musician.
Palmtrooper with Krüw
Istanbul is in the middle of the Europe and Asia. It is a very tough place to survive. We are neither European nor Asian. It's a complicated situation which makes us very multifaceted.
Freddykenstein for Villainz
My friends and I have an artist collective called KRÜW. It has 21 artists. We've had three successful screen print exhibitions so far and hope to keep doing what we do. Ultimately, we would like to introduce our art to people from all walks of life.
Merve is an illustrator based in Istanbul, Turkey. Her work features beautiful illustrations for children's books and so much more. Check out a small collection of her work below or see more in her portfolio.
"Sa Yuu" Illustration for Bant Mag No. 50
There are lots of things to love about Turkey. We live in a beautiful area that's got different botanical features and different types of weather which I admire greatly. There's so much culture within this territory. The area is rich in cultural heritage which is reflected in every single detail, from food, to patterns, and even architecture. All of them carry marks from this rich history and it's absolutely magical.
No. 41 for Bant Mag
Turkish culture inspires me from all directions. Especially the real Turkish culture before the Islamic era. The shamanic Turkish culture is magical with its mantras, music, habits, food, and patterns. I love all the traditional patterns and colors inside it.
Illustrations for Akbank Jazz Festival
Poster for Akbank Sanat Jazz Festival
The art community here is getting bigger every single day and that’s great. The illustration field has gotten more popular in recent years. People are trying new techniques and are collaborating with artists from other countries. Sharing culture and art feeds the artist's souls. It's so nice to see people getting over certain stereotypes so that they can create art together.
Ahmet is an art director and designer based in Istanbul, Turkey. His work features amazing characters and environments developed for films, animations, and video games. Check out a small collection of his work below or see more in his portfolio.
Turkey is mostly known for its underground art and music. It's an adventure to discover new places hiding within its walls every day. Istanbul is a dynamic city and it gives me inspiration to create new artwork.
There are all kinds of people you can meet in the street, which is a blessing for an artist who is curious about character design like me. I love to draw human sketches, especially on ferry trips.
Illustrations for 2D Projects
I started sketching and drawing when I was 11 and never stopped. This course gave me the chance to try lots of different styles. I was influenced by the flow of cubism and blended it with minimalism to create my own style. I like vivid colors and landscape paintings as well. I'm always trying to add new things into each artwork I create to make my style even better.
Day and Night
In Turkey there are mostly editorial designers and illustrators. There are a few styles that are accepted by the community. Unfortunately, very few artists can escape from this and discover themselves with new styles. But, of course, there are talented artists too which I follow actively. These artists will inspire future generations.
Zeynep is a freelance art director and illustrator based in Istanbul, Turkey. Her work features unique, minimalist designs with gorgeous colors and interesting shapes. Check out a small collection of her work below or see more in her portfolio.
Turkish Airlines Illustrations
I believe Turkey is a unique country with an unexplained charm and a fully evolved hybrid of eastern and western cultures. I have lived in Istanbul for all my life, and even though I have frequently traveled abroad, I started with discovering the beauty of my homeland first.
Turkey has a lot to offer, with its gems scattered all around the country guaranteed to satisfy every interest and taste. The wonderful geographical location and the friendly atmosphere let you fully experience all four seasons and it is easy to understand why many people have made it their home.
Molte Design Agency - Glass Folio Design
In my opinion, the most important gift that this culture and region has given me is my curiosity. I have grown to be so insatiably curious with every aspect of life that sometimes I feel that living once won’t be enough to cure my itch to learn, evolve, and create. There is a rich history and culture to discover here, a flow of breakthroughs in creativity and technology, and lots of interesting people to meet.
Pat Findros - Character Design
The art community in Turkey is very diverse, productive, and inspiring. We have an incredibly talented and closely-knit crowd of illustrators and each have mastered their own style. We also have a passionate group of creators working in studios producing exquisite products and gaining worldwide recognition in exhibitions and fairs around the world. Not to mention all the actors, performance artists, dancers, videographers, and motion designers that contribute to making the art community thrive in Turkey.
Many thanks to the artists above that took time to answer my questions and share a bit about themselves and how their country and/or culture has impacted their work. You can check out more of their work in the links below: