We're incredibly proud and excited to welcome Zeynep Özatalay to our team!
Here at Illo Agency, we believe in celebrating all of our amazing artists' accomplishments. Our newest artist, Zeynep Özatalay, has recently been nominated for Best Illustrated Children's book for the Aydın Doğan Foundation! The Aydın Doğan Foundation is a prestigious international cartoon competition with a recently opened segment for Children's books this year. We're incredibly proud and excited to welcome such an accomplished artist to our team! We can't wait to see what sort of projects they will create with us. Check out their wonderful artwork in their portfolio and don't hesitate to contact us if you are interested in working with Zeynep.
When did you start illustrating?
I have been drawing my whole life. My family always had memories of me and my sister with pencils and paper (in every possible place) since we very little. So I ended up as an illustrator.
Who has been the most supportive in your illustration career, perhaps your teacher, family, friends?
My family was always very supportive (and my first critics, too). My mum and dad used to publish children's books when I was a kid. There were always writers and artists among their friends. I have been very fortunate when I look back. So like every child, I could draw and loved doing it. But I think being able to see it as a future occupation in early ages wouldn't be possible if everyone around me encouraged me so much.
Did you always think art was something that was going to be a major part of your life?
Yes, and frankly, I don't think I would be able to do anything else :)
What is your favourite subject matter to illustrate?
I like capturing tranquil moments from life in my personal drawings. Tiny details on animal, plant or human. And as for my work, I also like bringing up the strong or bright side of a story, finding the idea in an article to induce the reader. And working with authors inspire me a lot.
How would you describe your style?
Well, that is a hard question for me to explain, because my style varies as I work. I can draw something with very simple lines, or make it complicated, very layered, detailed if I believe that gives the artwork the better expression. I like digging deep into the emotion of whatever I'm creating at the moment. In years, I understood that I can't change it, because I really love working this way. In the end, I'm looking for a sincere feeling in a piece I'm creating. It gives me happiness, if I believe I was able to capture that sincerity...
What is your favourite collaboration to date?
I have illustrated a few feminist magazine covers so far, and they generously let me draw whatever I wanted to! I think those covers, along with some really beautifully written children's books, are my favourites.
What interested you about being represented by Illo Agency?
The diversity of artists fascinated me at Illo. I had already known some of the artists Illo has been representing, and as I explored, I got to know the many talented names there. I'm very excited to be among them now, feeling inspired already.
Do you have a favourite author, film director, or designer?
Many... Reading is a huge part of my life, so I will only name a few of my favourite authors not to fill the whole page with a long list :)
Iris Murdoch, Virginia Woolf, Yaşar Kemal, Asa Lind, Marquez, Sait Faik Abasıyanık are the fist names that I can recall...
Yasujirō Ozu, Wes Anderson, Hayao Miyazaki, Terence Malick, Ken Loach are some of my favourite film directors.
As for artists, oh so many! From Boticelli, Degas, Marc Chagall, Fikret Mualla, Matisse, to Uderzo, Suzy Lee, Bill Sienkiewicz, Jillian Tamaki... And also primitive art from all around the world, and cave drawings always thrill me.
Are you working on any personal projects you can share with us?
I have been working on a graphic novel for some time. Three fantastic-horror stories that take place in Constantinople, and luckily I have a wonderful, very patient writer. It takes time because this is something I try to keep doing on the side. With all the professional projects going on, carving up the time needed to make personal stuff is -I think- every artist's greatest challenge.