Instagram: @merveilhan

1. WhatÔÇÖs your story? Where are you from?

Hi! My name is Merve Zeyneb. I am Turkish but I was born in S. Arabia. I have lived in many countries like Ireland, U.A.E, Turkey and so on. Currently, I am based in Ankara, Turkey. I am a graphic designer at a TV station. I also do illustrations and gifs. I am also doing a PhD degree in Graphic Design. 

Merhabalar! Ben Merve Zeyneb. ArabistanÔÇÖda do─čdum. ─░rlanda, B.A.E. ve ba┼čka ├╝lkelerde ya┼čad─▒m. ┼×u an AnkaraÔÇÖda ya┼čamaktay─▒m ve bir TV kurumunda grafiker olarak ├žal─▒┼čmaktay─▒m. ─░l├╝strasyonlar ve gifler yapmaktay─▒m. Ayn─▒ zamanda Hacettepe Grafik b├Âl├╝m├╝nde doktora ├Â─črencisiyim.┬á

@merveilhan

2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

I love colors and shapes. In real life, I used to usually wear blacks and whites. But the more I use colors in my work, I have been dressing in colored clothes. I also love chubby, out of proportion girls. 

Renkler ve ┼čekillere bay─▒l─▒yorum. Normal hayat─▒mda genelde siyah ve beyaz giyinirken, i┼člerimde kulland─▒─č─▒m renkler ile daha canl─▒ renkli k─▒yafetler giymeye ba┼člad─▒m. Ayn─▒ zamanda b├╝y├╝k ve orant─▒s─▒z kad─▒n fig├╝rleri ├žizmeyi seviyorum.

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

I would say digital. It is just so convenient where you can do Ctrl+Z anytime. Also, love the fact that I can draw anywhere with my laptop. When I am drawing for myself, I try different mediums like colored pencils, acrylic or whatever I have at home at that moment. 

Dijital diyece─čim ├ž├╝nk├╝ ├žok kullan─▒┼čl─▒. Laptopumun oldu─ču heryerde i┼č ├╝retebiliyorum. Ama kendim i├žin de o an evde ne varsa, renkli kalemler, akrilik vs gibi onlarla da ├žizimler ├╝retmeye ├žal─▒┼č─▒yorum.

4. What is your artistic process like?

The first thing, I usually do is sketch it with a pencil. It makes it easier when you have that initial idea on a piece of paper. Sometimes, I add some colors with colored pencils and so on. If needed, I take my own reference images or google them. I would then carry on with Photoshop. Clearing the sketch, maybe adjusting the composition, trying out colors, shades and textures. In fact, sometimes I start my illustrations with one color in mind – or a feel of the color. And sometimes that feel shapes the illustration. If I am going to animate it, I design it with that in my mind. So that it is easier for me in After Effects.┬á

─░lk olarak ka─č─▒t kalemle hemen bir sketch denemesi yap─▒yorum. Kafamdaki fikirleri ka─č─▒da d├Âkmek ├žok i┼če yar─▒yor. Bazen renkli kalemlerle renklendirdi─čim oluyor. Gerekiyorsa kendi referans foto─čraf─▒m─▒ ├žekiyorum ya da internetten ara┼čt─▒r─▒yorum. Daha sonra Photoshop ile devam ediyorum. Eskizi temizliyorum, bazen kompozisyonda de─či┼čiklikler yap─▒yorum, renkler, g├Âlgeler ve ├Âr├╝nt├╝ler deniyorum. Bazen bir resme akl─▒mda bir renk ile ba┼čl─▒yorum, daha do─črusu o rengin hissiyle. O hissiyat ilustirasyonu olu┼čturuyor. Hareketlendireceksem ona g├Âre tasarl─▒yorum ki After EffectsÔÇÖte daha sonra bir sorunla kar┼č─▒la┼čmayay─▒m.

5. Who and/or what inspires your work? 

I get inspired a lot by the music I listen to or sometimes it is a film/show that I have seen, a conversation with a friend or nature. I live beside a forest and I have started running there since the COVID. So having hobbies or doing sports inspires me too. I learn new stuff about myself and sometimes when I am stuck, these hobbies help me clear my mind. 

Dinledi─čim m├╝zik yapt─▒─č─▒m i┼člerde en b├╝y├╝k ilham kaynaklar─▒ndan biri. Ya da izledi─čim film/dizi, bir arkada┼čla yapt─▒─č─▒m─▒z sohbet ya da do─ča. Orman kenar─▒nda ya┼č─▒yorum ve Korona ile ko┼čmaya ba┼člad─▒m. Bu tip hobilerin olmas─▒ ya da sporla u─čra┼čmak, hem kendim hakk─▒mda bilmedi─čim ┼čeyler ├Â─čretiyor bana, hem de tak─▒l─▒ kald─▒─č─▒m zamanlarda kafam─▒ da─č─▒tmak i├žin bana yard─▒mc─▒ oluyor.┬á

6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?

There is a sentence by Picasso, ÔÇťArt is a lie that makes us realize the truthÔÇŁ. I love that sentence, whatever that truth may be for you. I am also an introvert and not so good with words. So I think art is the thing I canÔÇÖt put into words. It is a feeling of unity, someone out there has produced something and here I am full of emotions when interacting with it. It just gives me hope and a sense of familiarity.┬á

PicassoÔÇÖnun bir s├Âz├╝ var, ÔÇťSanat ger├že─či anlamam─▒z sa─člayan bir yaland─▒rÔÇŁ. Ben bu c├╝mleyi ├žok seviyorum, bu ger├žek herkes i├žin farkl─▒ olabilir. Ayn─▒ zamanda ben i├žine kapan─▒k ve kelimelerle aras─▒ iyi olmayan biriyim. Sanat─▒ benim s├Âyleyemedi─čim ┼čeyler olarak g├Âr├╝yorum. Ayn─▒ zamanda sanat─▒ bir birlik olarak d├╝┼č├╝n├╝yorum; orda bir yerlerde biri bir ┼čey ├╝retiyor, ben burada onunla bir etkile┼čime girince farkl─▒ duygular ortaya ├ž─▒k─▒yor. Bu bana umut ve a┼činal─▒k hissi veriyor.┬á

@merveilhan

7. Where did you study?

I studied Journalism at a university in Turkey. Then I did my masters in Film and TV studies in Dublin, Ireland. Later on, I was in between doing a PhD in film studies or proceed into animation. As a kid, the first thing I wanted to be was a painter, so art was always in my life. This is why at the first place, I focused more on film studies rather than journalism. Then I decided to study animation. I was in Ireland back then. After that, I came back to Turkey and started working here. I am also doing my PhD in graphic design at Hacettepe University here in Turkey. 

Ankara ├ťniversitesi Gazetecilik b├Âl├╝m├╝n├╝ bitirdikten sonra Dublin (─░rlanda)ÔÇÖde Sinema ve Televizyon ├╝zerine y├╝ksek lisans─▒m─▒ yapt─▒m. Bunun ard─▒ndan ya film ├╝zerine doktoraya devam edicektim ya da animasyon okuyacakt─▒m. Animasyon okumay─▒ tercih ettim. Yine DublinÔÇÖde animasyon e─čitimimi bitirince T├╝rkiyeÔÇÖye d├Ând├╝m. ┼×u an ├žal─▒┼čmakla beraber HacettepeÔÇÖde grafik ├╝zerine doktora e─čitimi almaktay─▒m.┬á

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hopefully in a happy place(: But currently I am enjoying doing a PhD. It is tough but really rewarding. I hope to finish it by then and maybe do projects about the area that I am studying. 

Umar─▒m mutlu bir yerde(: Ama ┼ču an doktora e─čtimimi seviyorum. Zorlu ama tatmin edici bir d├Ânem benim i├žin. Umuyorum o zamana kadar bitirip alan─▒mla ilgili projeler ├╝retmek istiyorum.┬á

9. What about in ten?

Maybe become a lecturer and share my experiences? So staying in an academy and doing projects. And again having a happy state of mind.

Belki hoca olup kendi deneyimlerimi aktarmak? Akademide kalıp projeler üretmek. Ve yeniden mental olarak mutlu bir yerde. 

10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?

When someones see a work that I have done, it would make me really happy if she/he got a sense of a familiar feeling. Because we humans have so much more in common than we think we do. To say the least, we all desire the same things like being loved and being accepted. If I can show that somehow, I would be happy. 

─░┼čimi g├Âren birinin tan─▒d─▒k bir hissiyat duymas─▒ beni ├žok mutlu eder. Biz insanlar─▒n asl─▒nda d├╝┼č├╝nd├╝─č├╝m├╝zden daha ├žok ortak noktas─▒ var; sevilmek ve ait olma iste─či gibi. Bunu g├Âsterebilirsem kendimi mutlu sayar─▒m.

11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?

Oven-baked potatoes! I absolutely love any form of potatoes; mashed potatoes, fries etc. 

F─▒r─▒nda patates. Patatesin her halini seviyorum; patates p├╝resi, k─▒zart─▒lm─▒┼č vs.┬á

12. Favourite book?

The Tartar Steppe by Dino Buzzati. 

Dino BuzzatiÔÇÖnin Tatar ├ç├Âl├╝.

13. Favourite genre of music? 

I love indie rock, but when I am working I listen to a variety of music from lofi hip hop to some emo rock bands that I used to listen back in high school. I have been enjoying classic music this past year and contemporary composers like Max Ritcher. 

─░ndie rock dinlemeyi seviyorum ama ├žal─▒┼č─▒rken lofi hip hopÔÇÖtan lisede dinledi─čim emo rock gruplar─▒na kadar farkl─▒ m├╝zikler dinlerim. Bir senedirde klasik m├╝zik sevmeye ba┼člad─▒m ve Max Ritcher gibi g├╝n├╝m├╝z sanat├ž─▒lar─▒n─▒da takip etmekteyim.

14. What are your hobbies? 

I am new to running but I have been enjoying it really much. I also love doing sports like basketball, swimming and tennis. I am a beginner at playing darbuka (a type of drum). I also love going to the cinema by myself.

Ko┼čmaya yeni ba┼člad─▒m ama ger├žekten ├žok keyif al─▒yorum. Spor yapmay─▒ da severim; basketbol, tenis ve y├╝zme gibi. Kendi kendime darbuka ├žalar─▒m. Tek ba┼č─▒ma sinemaya gitmeyi de ├žok seviyorum.

15. If you werenÔÇÖt an artist, what would you be?

A chef. I am not saying I am an amazing cook, but I love cooking and trying out new recipes like Ottoman, Italian or Indian cuisine.

┼×ef olmak isterdim. ┼×ahane bir a┼č├ž─▒y─▒m gibi bir iddiam yok ama yemek pi┼čirmeyi ve farkl─▒ mutfaklar denemeyi seviyorum; Osmanl─▒, ─░talyan, Hint mutfa─č─▒ gibi.

@merveilhan