Hi Deniz! Nice to meet you and hope you are ready to start.
Hi! I think so. Let's start.
How would you introduce yourself?
I’m a digital artist from Turkey, who draws and paints in many different styles. My main style is cartooning. I’m also an expert on photo manipulation and retouching.
Hi Deniz, I am happy to start an interview process. I hope you are doing well and ready to reply for my first question:)
Hi! I think so, let's start.
So, How did you first get started as a cartoonist and illustrator?
I have been drawing as a hobbyist since I was 11 years old. Newspaper cartoon style was very famous in those years, and there were weekly and monthly magazines that always included cartoons. Those inspired me a lot. That is when I started doodling. From there I began to draw digitally on a computer with small tablets on Adobe Photoshop. I drew funny cartoons and illustrated stories.
In the meantime, I was practicing other areas of Photoshop, editing, and manipulating. That also helped me learn and I combined my skills and experience to create posters, flyers, etc..
Talk about your process. Do you write a script or make up the drawing as you go? Can you describe your drawing routine?
Usually, scripts are coming from my clients. If there is no script, there will be a theme or a few simple sentences describing what the client needs.
I start the process by drawing a lot of doodles to decide on the scene, and draw small squares and fill them with the ideas. Sometimes to give a better idea, I use photos to create the scene. Once I am happy with it, I draw that scene myself. In that creative moment, new ideas can come up, so I also add those to the scenes.
Sometimes to get quick better results I pose for the pictures and use them in my projects.
How much revision/editing do you do in your work?
As long as it is needed. The most important thing is that the image should tell the story, and if it is not doing that then I have to revise it. So in my work, layering is key.
I draw everything on a different layer so I can move them around and edit as I go. Sometimes I am happy with everything except for a very small detail, which is in the middle of the scene. If I don’t work in layers, I have to edit the whole project.
Is drawing a pleasure to you?
It is definitely a pleasure for me. I love creating art, especially the cartoons, because they help to make fun of very serious issues.
I would not really call it pain, but there are some other things that are time consuming which are not about the drawing part, but in the creation process. If the instructions are not clear, or if there are not enough instructions, it requires a lot of brainstorming and researching at times.
Sometimes people want us to create cartoons on their subjects, but they forget that we are not experts on their subjects. Telling a story theme and a title, and finding fun things to draw and handing it over, is not exactly what a cartoonist does :)
I cannot create funny content with a title that I am not familiar with. If I don’t have enough information, then it is a time consuming process.
Do you compose the page as a whole or do you focus more on individual panel composition?
This really depends on the scale of the work. If it is one scene with a lot of details, I think of it as panels, and then decide what goes where, doodle, and move things around with layers. Even if they are not divided into panels, it actually does divide because all are telling the whole story.
For Cartoon Strips, I design every one of them separately. After finishing it I open a new page, and arrange them.
At this point I may add or edit the images to make the story whole.
What work do you most enjoy doing?
I enjoy creating cartoons and photo manipulations. After all, ı started out manipulating my familys and friends' photos to have some fun memories.
Right now, I’m pretty much enjoying small stories, mostly a paragraph, and leaving all the creation to me. I always share my process with clients, and at every step having a nice conversation, enjoying the idea, and even laughing at things together is a plus.
Do you read a lot of comics? Are you someone who reads comics and then gets excited to make more comics, or is your passion for making comics not linked to any particular love for other comics?
As mentioned above, cartoon magazines were very famous when I was a child. They are still around, but not as popular as they once were.
I also enjoy reading comics and enjoy them, I just do not get into the realistic serious type of comic style. My style is more like cartoon shows. My passion leans on very funny Turkish cartoonists, and whenever I read their jokes, it inspires me to do more.
What is more important to you, style or idea?
I think both are very important, but without the idea, the style does not matter because the idea sells the style. On the other hand, if the style is not a good fit with an idea then the idea would not reach the crowd as it should.
What books/websites do you recommend to beginners?
There are a lot of books out there. Some of them have just images and call themselves a help book. I would avoid step-by-step instructions.
These are not teaching how to draw cartoons. Instead, they teach you how to draw like the person who wrote the book. So, the person should decide what kind of art they are into, what kind of style, and they need to find out which cartoons they like best. Then they need to try to draw a couple. of the time it will surprise the person that they may like drawing other styles more than the ones they were initially interested in. So, trying to draw more than one style is very important. After finding out what they like best, I recommend checking out instruction videos on YouTube, which is the step. That will help to find out which books and sites they need to seek out.
There are a lot of good tutorials from artists' paid sites. However, before finding the style you are looking for, it can become expensive and paying for a course then finding out you can't do it or do not like to do it, can be very discouraging.
Do you see an increase in comic art right now?
Yes, definitely. Especially now that everything is digitized. Now everyone who has an iPad and pencil can start as a beginner cartoonist.
This is a huge improvement. You do not have to stay at home because you can bring your small device anywhere, get inspired by anything you see, and be able to draw it instantly on your digital device. At that point, you can send it to your computer. If it needs more work then you can work on it when you return home.
Just being interested in comic art is enough to jump in. There has been an increase in the number of artists around the world. Before that, most people didn’t know that teenagers could draw manga and anime, which is good, and now communities are full of teenagers creating comic art better than a lot of the pros out there.
Who motivates you in the cartoon production process?
We have weekly cartoon magazines in Turkey, and these were way more popular in the 90s. So that has made a big impact on me. I have been drawing cartoons and funny materials since that time. So getting into cartooning was on my mind for a long time before I started to draw for stories, magazines, and children’s books.
Who motivates you? (personal and professional)
Personal - My son :) I love his passion for life and learning curve and he motivates me to create more art. I actually create activities and coloring books for him.
Professionally, I love the style of Scott Adams, Gary Larson, and from Turkey: Nisan Hakan, Bahadır Baruter, and Selçuk Erdem.
Thank you! It was a pleasure talking to you!
Well, thank you for the invitation.
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