It is sometimes not that easy to choose which way to go to introduce an interview, sometimes because there are not so many things to say about the artist and his work speaks by itself. With Dilek, it is exactly the contrary, not that her work is not stunning, it is definitly stunning, but because a turkish american artist is not that common, a female artist is not common neither and if you add that Dilek is only 21 y/o then you will probably understand why I am so honoured to welcome her on the blog !
Hello, of course as every Crewk interview, first question: what are we listening to when we come to visit you?
I’ve been listening to Rudimentary Peni, Kiss, Melvins, Wipers, Pig eyes, and Madball this morning.. I’m seeing Madball tonight, which makes it even more exciting for myself.
Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
I’m a Turkish- American woman, most people assume I’m a guy because of my foreign name through emails. Born and raised in New Jersey. Specifically Sussex County, which is the northernmost county in New Jersey. It’s surrounded by farmland and forest, which is unlike the rest of the state. I currently live in Brooklyn and I love it here, I recently turned 21 earlier this month, which surprises most people. I’m currently attending my third year of college in New York City at SVA.
I started drawing as soon as I was old enough to hold a writing utensil. I never stopped since, All my books from childhood are covered with drawings.
Did you follow any course or did you improve by drawing in the margins of your schoolbooks?
I didn’t really take too many classes other than when I was around 12, I took some classes at The Kubert School and the environment I was around really grabbed me at that age, I was always raised with a pressure to excel in whatever I did, but it wasn’t until I saw an older student sketching these incredible images of animals in my class where I felt this intense feeling of wanting to be in his place, especially the attention he brought to his talent, everyone was in complete awe of his ability to render anything he wanted to. After then I just kept drawing, fantasizing of the day I get to impress others with my work. When I turned around 14 I decided to make this my life. Before I knew it, each art teacher I ever had began to notice a special spark within my abilities and it progressed from there, it has become my one true love ever since.
Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?
Not yet, that is my biggest goal in life. I’m still a student and I work at the school in the computer lab. I do make most of my money from my art, though.
Not yet, I haven’t done anything for a ‘zine. Though I would like to branch out a little to become accessible for magazine editorials. That’s something I’ve always wanted to do.
Where does your influence come from? Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?
My influences change constantly, but my all time heroes are Vania Zouravliov, Audrey Kawasaki, and James Jean. In high school I would obsess over their work, and I think that definitely shaped the way I approach anything by seeing what they have done. I recently discovered Sveta Dorosheva who is my current obsession. Music also plays a huge role in what I draw or how I draw.
It really depends on what I am doing, I always send sketches when there is a commission, which is the general protocol of working with a client. I mainly work on tracing paper and layer different line drawings. Poster making is entirely different for me, I really listen to every song by the band and interpret my favorite songs. The imagery that comes to mind is almost instant for me. Sometimes I find it hard to interpret some songs with vague lyrical content, but since I love a challenge I always work to deliver.
Do you do everything by hand or on computer?
Everything I create is done by hand. The computer helps when it comes to cleaning up an image or adjusting/enhancing color but that’s really as far as it gets with me. I don’t really consider computer art true “art making.” Though I can appreciate the work that goes into it, It completely robs the artist of the experience of putting your heart and soul into your work. I believe that should be done with your hands. Not a computer mouse.
I’m generally pretty fast with drawing a poster, The longest I have taken is 3 weeks… I’d probably take less time if I wasn’t also a full time student with a job.
You have a very distinctive style, are you doing only what you feel like or if tomorrow somebody asks you an oil painting with horses running out of water with a sunset backdrop, is it a problem or are you up for it ?
Though my work leans towards the darker side of things, I would be interested in doing anything. I’d love to take an idea someone has and work at it to give it justice, I’m always up for a challenge. Of course the work I like to do is evident in the subject matter I depict in my works. I also would love to draw some pieces with different subject matter in color, which is what I am currently experimenting with in some of my classes.
I’ve done posters for Pentagram, Eyehategod, Ghost, Weedeater, and Masakari.
For which band would you love to work?
I’d love to do a poster for Melvins, The Mars Volta, At the drive-in, Electric Wizard, and any other band I happen to like. I’d also love to do something for a band outside of the metal genre, since it would be great for me to tackle something that I haven’t done before.
Do you choose the artists yourself?
I usually contact others since I am just starting out. It’s really exciting when others reach out to me.
The most challenging parts are the set up of the whole image, the font, and the placement of the text. I really love drawing intricate borders by hand, and always try to make them conform to the image of the band, or the song I am depicting.
Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?
I’d like to believe that I am, though I am living in two separate worlds. I am a student in my studio classes by day, and I am also an illustrator and printmaker that works on commissions and posters at night. Therefore I am not really sure how noticed I am in terms of this world I want to be a part of, it really excites me when I get emails for commissions and interviews like this. I’d love to be like Florian Bertmer for example. Which is ideally someone who works with bands as well as working for editorials and commissions from clients outside the music world.
A bit of self-promotion, take advantage of it, it's free, where can we see your work , on the web or in real life?
You can see my works on my website, blog, and web store:
The best praise you received lately?
The kind words I hear from people mean a lot to me, the first compliment that really floored me was when the singer of Ghost told me I was talented, and that he had one of my pieces as the desktop background on his computer. I don’t think I ever got that excited over a compliment in my entire life. There was another instance where I was going through my old messages on Facebook and someone from Australia had my artwork from the first Eyehategod poster I did tattooed on his entire arm. It was incredibly surreal. Being someone who has their favorite artists work tattooed on them, it was unbelievable to see that someone I had never met do the same thing I had done as an homage to my biggest influences. I was completely shocked. I even called my mom and showed her the picture he sent me.
What can we wish you for the future?
More success and happiness, More posters and work with lots of bands, as it is something I really love to do. Commissions outside of the music world, more egg tempera paintings, more personal pieces, More art prints as well as t-shirt art prints.. I have many things in the works.
Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website !!
Thank you for this engaging interview! Cheers!