Happy Monday guys! Today I want to introduce Belkıs Aksu, an extraordinary artist and illustrator I got the pleasure of meeting in person in my hometown.
Hello Belkıs and welcome to the blog!
1. Can you please introduce yourself?
I am an illustrator based in Skopje. I am a curious person about being creative, social identity of current age and philosophy of science. I love drawing daily life moments, riding my bike, playing video games, reading science fiction, sharing my creative process and teaching workshops.
I studied Philosophy for my bachelors, Advertising for my Masters and went to a Graphic Design School.
I love drawing, so I have dozens of sketches and drawings even from my childhood. They really help me find my style and they inspire me. I check some of my old sketches from
time to time so that I can see my way of thinking and the journey of my technique.
2. You earned your bachelor's degree in Philosophy followed by a master’s in Advertising. How are these two things connected with your present work as a graphic designer and illustrator?
Studying philosophy was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It completely changed my way of thinking, it helped me become a better person and it is still helping me to stay motivated and creative.
I think the works of Wittgenstein and Plato affected my way of thinking and creating. There are a couple of periods where through their works they present new doctrines. This way of
thinking reminds me that I can alter my way of thinking and thus improve it. This also applies to my production style.
As advertising is concerned, I decided to study Advertising when I was working for an advertising agency. As I was already working in the field, I wanted to learn more from an academic perspective. I am glad I did it. I’ve learned how to communicate with my audience and now I am using illustration to do it and express and transfer my messages.
3. Can you describe an ordinary day working on your art?
My working process has so many layers. For commissioned illustrations, I talk with my clients, do research, draw sketches, prepare color schemes, prepare ad campaigns, etc.
I make preparations for my workshops. I have an online shop where I sell my printed and printable goods. Twice a week I send my orders and spend most of my day packaging and going to the post office. I am running my own company so some days I just need to work on paperwork etc.
4. What part of the process is the most enjoyable?Drawing sketches is my favorite part because it helps me find new ideas. If I draw for myself, I focus on the message I want to convey and develop it with the help of sketches. If I create for a client, after I get the brief, it is a perfect way for me to work on the brief and develop it.
5. What art supplies are the favorite to work with?Watercolors, colored pencils, gouaches and a drawing tablet.
6. Is there a particular place where you like to work?
I love spending my time in our tiny apartment, so most of the time I am working from home. I also love to go to local coffee houses and city park with my sketchbook.
7. What are the perpetual, recurring motifs that you enjoy using in your work?
In my illustrations, I love using floral shapes, architectural details and traditional motifs but in geometrical versions. I like to simplify objects and recreate them in my own style.
8. What do you do in your free time?I am drawing for myself mostly, experimenting.
9. Your plans for the future? Any upcoming exhibitions?
I will create illustrations for children’s books in the near future. I am working on my own architectural illustration book project, too. I am also working on an exhibition about cultural habits as an expat.
10. Tips to share as an independent artist?
Use your own background to express yourself. It is the most fun and powerful way for me and I hope it will work for you, too. If you want to build your own illustration style, draw a lot, experiment a lot and don’t be afraid of making mistakes.
Thank you Belkıs for joining us with our morning coffee today and for being an inspiration! All the best with your future endeavors!
If you are interested in seeing more of Belkıs's amazing art and support her, visit her shop and instagram.
To help elevate quarantined spirits up, Belkıs has a couple of free downloadable coloring pages for you to enjoy and color.