Dreams, adventure, and coffee! What more could you want? These are my favorite things that I find constantly in Gizem Vural's playfully surreal illustrations. You have to read more about how she never outgrew playing with coloring books (like most of us here) and it led her to being published in ours.
DA: How’s the busy life of Gizem Vural going?
GV: Well, I had an amazing summer in NYC this year, I had a chance to meet many amazing illustrators, friends and people I always wanted to have a chance to talk. I visited galleries, ate delicious foods and cakes, everyday you can find something new about this city. It was a great experience. When I returned to Ithaca, my little town, I built my personal website finally! Right now, I'm trying to reach out to all art directors to do some work. There is my first editorial piece at the Boston Globe, Sunday Books Review section. And also you can find one of my pieces used for PLANADVISER's Sep/Oct. issue, many thanks to both ADs SooJin Buzelli and Kim Vu for the Boston Globe job.
DA: So much going on for you! The scenes in your portfolio have a dream-like sense magic in them. Is there anywhere special where you draw inspiration for what to create next?
GV: I am mostly inspired from my experiences, thoughts and my emotions toward anything in that day. Sometimes I am so inspired by some news articles from newspapers or magazines. Also Ithaca's magical nature is so helpful to do some work. So I make a list of these ideas and try to sketch on some of them, then I pick my favourite and draw, then I add my colors, handmade patterns and use different types of brushes on photoshop. Sometimes I only draw by hand and then scan and color it on pc. It depends on what I draw and how I want to express the feeling in it.
DA: Is there something you can’t live without in your workspace?
GV: My most important artist tool is my pencils, I always take them with me wherever I go, my sketchbook and my pencils. I can create a piece in my sketchbook if I have to, it doesn't matter if i have a good paper or not. I think I can't live without my pencils and brushes in my workspace, I can't do it if they don't exist.
DA: All you need is the basics. So if art wasn’t your calling, what do you think you would be doing right now?
GV: If I wouldn't be drawing right now, I could be playing piano. Or if it is not going to be art related, I would be learning an Asian language, like Japanese or Korean language, and become a translator. Because that’s what I was thinking when I was in high school before going to a fine arts university.
DA: What attracted you to submit your drawing to our open call for Coloring Book Volume 3?
GV: Since my childhood I always wanted to create my own coloring book with my drawings in it, and then color my own works. Now I had a chance to do this with your coloring book! And it's amazing, I can color any other drawing in it along with my own. It was a very nice experience, I want to thank you for this! Please create more and more coloring books!
DA: Gosh! No, thank YOU. We can promise you there’s definitely more coloring books in the works. Speaking of which, can I see how you colored your page?
GV: You can of course!