Quote of the day:
"Peace begins with a smile. Only God knows our true needs."
Emel Alp Sari
Today I welcome a special guest from Turkey - Emel Alp Sari. Emel was born in 1979 in Hanover, Germany. She graduated from Dokuz Eylul University in 2004 with a BA degree in Graphic Design and is currently taking her MA in Graphic Design in Fine Arts Institute at Dokuz Eylul University. Emel has been working as a freelance illustrator since 2002 and worked in Istanbul between 2004 and 2008. She prefers using digital colouring, ecoline, gouache and coloured pencil techniques for her illustrations. Welcome, Emel. Tell us more about the wonderful life of an illustrator ...
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR ILLUSTRATING JOURNEY.
I studied at Dokuz Eylul University in Graphic Design. Now I'm still studying masters degree at the same department. I have been working as a freelance illustrator since I was a student at university. Actually I thought that I would be a graphic designer in an advertising agency when I saw my name in the students list of fine arts exam. I was nervous about working under a stressful atmosphere of an office. I had no idea how big the art world is. When I first met with illustration as an art, it was like being dizzy in a wonderworld. After that I couldn't imagine that I would be something else except being an illustrator.
WERE YOU GOOD AT DRAWING AS A KID?
My teachers thought thatI was better than the other kids. Also my friends had wanted me to draw their drawing homeworks many times :)
WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME AN ILLUSTRATOR?
I was my third year at fine arts school. I was an apperantice in an advertising agency in my country. My boss, Halil Ibrahim Yıldrım, was my illustration teacher at school at the same time liked my artwork. He is a very good illustrator and cartoonist. Also he has drawn for children's books for years. And he encouraged me to draw for children's books. And then,I drew my first picrued book series "Nilsu is reading and learning". I think I was working for the right person at right time.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING AN ILLUSTRATOR?
I can't say any particular thing. But I like drawing skeches with pencil and trying to paint with different kinds of materials.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING AN ILLUSTRATOR?
The hardest thing thing is definitely working with people who has no idea about drawing and illustrated books. Sometimes they think that I am a camera or printer. Infact, they are insisting to bargain as they are buying vegetables from a wholesaler.
DO YOU WORK FOR YOURSELF, OTHERS OR BOTH?
Generally I work for others. I have some projects for myself but they aren't on process yet.
WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME AN ILLUSTRATOR?
I was an art student.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
My greatest achievement was illustrating "Ancient Queendom", written by Roya Hendesi. It was my first international work.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
I have 2 story books projects and a coloring book project for 3 year old kids.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEDIUM?
Actually I prefer a few types of mediums.But I can't say a onlly one type. Because Genarally I prefer using different kind of markers on watercolor,and pencil drawings. Although I have to use digital coloring not to lose time for most of prejects. But I think the most exciting medium is art printing.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Sometimes really good illustrators' artworks, sometimes a small doodling.
WHAT DO YOU PREFER TO ILLUSTRATE?
I like to illustrate creepy and funny animals.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR EMERGING ILLUSTRATORS?
I have a Wacom Intuos4. It is very practical and easy to use for digital coloring. I think it has started a new age for illustrators.
DO YOU SUFFER FROM ILLUSTRATOR’S BLOCK?
Well, sometimes. Text books rules blocks creativity many times. But except that, sometimes making a living from illustration is very hard not only in my country in many countries. An illustrator has to be a carefull accounter, a fast crastsman and a smart promoter at the same time.
DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED SCHEDULE?
Yes I have to. Bacause deadline is averything for publishers.:)
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE PLACE TO ILLUSTRATE?
Not yet. But I'm living with a big family. so it is hard to be focused on a work for a long time. So I'll move to a small flat using as a studio in a very short time. But my dream is an art studio where I can use any art printing techniques and craft anything I want.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN YOUR WORK?
The time feeling satisfied after I focused on an illustration very much. I feel very happy like a child when people like my work.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE ILLUSTRATOR AND WHY?
I can't say only one name. Imaginism studios' illustrators Bobby Chiu & Kei Acedera and Stephen Cartwright is my sources of inspiration. I can give a list like that to you:)
WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED?
Author of Ancient Queendom, Roya Hendesi has opened her home's door to me when we visited New Zealand with my husband. Now we are very good friends. I can never forget her and whole family. They accepted us as a family member. This is the biggest compliment ever.
WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED?
It was my first year as an freelancer. I was visiting many pubishers' offices one by one to find a job. One of them critisized one of my first books. The editor said to me "If I were you I wouldn't show that book anyone" It is a heart breaking for me. Actually that book wasn't that bad although it was very lefthanded and naive.
WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?
Definetly. I drew me and my husband as a pin-up character when we first met. I drew my budgies my niece millons of times
HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU ILLUSTRATED?
If I count all the books includes educational books maybe more than 100.
HAVE YOU WON ANY PRIZES OR AWARDS?
I shared 2 mention awards with writer and my friend Roya Hendesi from Halloween Book Festival and London Book Festival for "Ancient Queendom".
WHAT DID THEY MEAN TO YOU?
That means I am on the way to being published internationally.
OTHER THAN DRAWING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
I like collecting good illustrated any kind of books, swimming, playing computer games, taking photograph, art crafting .
DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.
In these days, a perfect day is waking up energetic and peaceful. Drink my vanilla coffee to be concentrated on working all the day. After that watching a good film.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
Setting up my art printing studio, so I will be able to illustrate books and everything possible in any kind of technique.
More of Emel's wonderful work!
Emel's Contact Points:
*** Emel's latest news!!! ***
"I am very happy today. Because ”Ancient Queendom” won a honorable mention from London Book Festival at Children’s Books Category.
Many thanks to my dear friend and the author of ”Ancient Queendom” , Roya Hendesi.
I think destiny is this, becoming together from two different and the furthest parts of the world to make a sign from the past to future..
Bugün çok mutluyum çünkü Roya Hendesi’nin yazmış ve benim resimlemiş olduğum Ancient Queendom Londra Kitap Festivali’nden çocuk kitapları kategorsinde bir mansiyon ödülü aldı.
İşte kader bu olsa gerek, dünyanın en uzak iki ayrı ucundan bir araya gelip,geçmişten geleceğe bir iz bırakmak."
Clancy's comment: Wow! Congratulations! Emel, great to have you on my blog. Love your illustrations. I admire anyone who can write with pictures. Grab a vanilla coffee and keep going. Love ya work - CT!