New Collaboration: Selen Kılınç
Selen is a Turkish designer, illustrator, dancer and movie maker. Owner and creator of the brand ‘Octopos’, she is the second artist to collaborate and sell her products in our shop. She works with different themes and mediums, creating animation movies, illustrations for tote bags, her own line of jewellery and ceramics.
We wanted to know more about this dynamic, nature and art lover, as well as her experiences as a multidisciplinary artist both in Turkey and the Netherlands.
Can you present yourself in one sentence?
I am a fulfilled potential on this everlasting path.
What is your background as an artist?
As a little girl, I remember I was thinking an answer to that famous question, ‘what do you want to become when you grow up?’ I thought about all possible occupations as well as expectations of people around me. I realised, only being an artist was giving me a smile... Since then I am imagining, dreaming, drawing and expanding my range.
I finished my bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and my master’s degree in Animation. One of my goals is telling stories through the medium that I love. I focused mostly on developing a style for my drawings & illustrations and making movies. However, because of my multi-faceted mould, I couldn't stop myself to get my hands on other creative fields, I started doing laser cut accessories, functional illustrative ceramics, writing my own stories and of course dancing!
You have been working as freelancer illustrator and graphic designer since 2011 and finished your master in animation in 2016. Now you present a new collection of your ceramics artworks. How is to be working as a multidisciplinary artist?
While studying in university, I started working as a graphic designer and junior art director. I was focused only on graphic design and illustrations. Having a work experience was good for me because I slowly embraced what I want to do and what I do not. As a matter of fact, I decided not to work again in the regular order of 9 to 5 as an artist. Also, at that time, it was very challenging to build and produce my own style because I was a perfectionist. Since then I am on a long journey to discover myself but I’m no longer perfectionist, I see mistakes as a guide.
I started to try different mediums and tools as I still do. I realised that I enjoy many different mediums and styles. Sometimes acrylics, watercolours, or just digitally expanded tools. Slowly, I started to combine things instead of choosing only one specific tool or medium and I learned a lot. The most important lesson was about the meaning or message instead of the tools I’m using. The importance of meaning also brought awareness of functionality in some of my works like my ceramics. I am a self-taught ceramic artist and I love to make beautiful and meaningful items for people’s daily life.
What are the topics that influence your work? Do they change according to the format you are working on? (graphic design/illustration/animation or ceramics?)
I believe everything is interconnected. What I’m doing in one field is affecting the others. Graphic design, for example, is my official starting point but I prefer not to do graphic design jobs all the time. However, principles of design like having a design eye or thinking are part of me now. I cannot separate it from my daily life which is a great aspect.
It is the same with everything that I’m doing. I am thirsty for knowledge, I love to read especially psychology, philosophy, some science and of course literature & poems. I love dancing, it is my passion, something that connects me to life. Movement and body mean ‘I’m alive’. I love nature, natural forms and to get inspiration from that. I love to do Yoga and meditate as well as I like to teach what I know. That’s why I recently started giving dance classes at my high school. I also love movies. I mesmerise with the power of cinema. Cinema has a wide range that you can put anything you want to tell and show. So I get inspiration from what I already like to do. I adapt my ideas based on the format but on the basis, all ideas are coming from what I love.
Part of your customers and work experiences include agencies, magazines, brands and custom requests. Do you think your working process and search for inspiration change according to who is requesting the job? How is your creative process?
Definitely. I had both lovely and really challenging customers. For a while, I was too naive and only focused on the creative aspects and because of this I had some disadvantages. But mostly, I try to match with people who have similar mind set or understanding as me. In these good cases, I first check the brand or outlook of the company who is requesting the work. If I like their way to express themselves or I have a good impression when we meet in person, naturally the job they ask is more fulfilling as well. In other cases, for example, if I don’t like the branding of the company, I have this goose bump feeling and urge to offer to do their re-branding. In these cases, the income of the job compensate my urges and balances my desires. In one way or another, all works out as long as I get motivation and then I can direct my creative energy to my work.
Do you see somehow your work as a reflection of who you are and what do you feel and think about the world?
I believe every artist, who can listen and channel their hearts, automatically connects their life, feelings and thoughts to their works. If there is a direct connection between the artist and her/his work then there is authenticity, and that, I believe, is the most profound way to connect with people. So that's who I am. Everything that I write, draw, contemplate, every story that I want to tell, what I think of world or people is the reflection of me and coming through me. I also see ‘me / I’ as some kind of gate to the world. Let's say my ego is the gate to a collective consciousness. If I feel or experience something really deep (positively or negatively), there are others who had same... So through my works I want to reach people, show that we are connected and able to understand or feel each other. As well as I want to tell the message that we are all equal, all suffering and happiness is part of our path, we are all heroes, we all can achieve our dreams and love is the greatest strength. So why not share our perspectives...That’s the direction I’m seeking.
What are the work(s) you are most proud of?
I don’t have only one work that I'm proud of. I am proud of my progress and process. However, when I think about it, my graduation animation is coming to my mind first. It is a story that uses an idea I found long time ago. The story of a young girl, who loses her memories. Memories literally drop out of her body as transparent spheres. And she goes on a journey in her dream to become whole...
I am proud to tell this story, because I see that many people can relate with it. It is beautiful and valuable to see.
I love my illustration works, my ceramics, my wood accessories and my designs as well. So I am actually proud of most of my recent works. Moreover, I will tell a little cliche; a work that has yet to come will be my best work on this everlasting path.
the first time i saw your work was an animation made by your class in the master's. (see video below) Do you see yourself as a "lonely" artist or you prefer working in group? does That depends on the discipline you are working on?
I always considered myself as an individual artist. Even if I work in different disciplines, I prefer to do it by myself. Sometimes this makes things difficult to handle. However, freedom in any aspect is possible with individual work. I think I’ll always be an individual artist but I’ll seek for like-minded people to create greater work. In my master studies, I realised the value of group work for an individual artist. If a person has good skills in the specific area, then it is easier to contribute to the group. Of course, both of these working preferences have their own advantages and difficulties.
For this specific project, decision making and the organisation part was a little challenging. When there are many creative people together who have diverse ideas and desires to contribute to the group, it may get complicated. After having little tension moments, we managed to be in tune. The organisation was settled and after that, it was pretty easy to get organised as well as finalise decisions about deadlines and other critical topics. I also didn’t have to stress about the whole project and comfortably I was able to focus on my duties. At the end, the result of the work was really satisfactory and more elaborated than individual work. I see the value of group work when there is good organisation & communication!
I believe that both working methods have advantages. Working with a group provides the possibility of producing greater works and individually, gives all the freedom to do what I like.
What are your future projects? Any other artistic or non-artistic fields you want to explore?
Well, I have many different ideas, I’m a busy minded person. Always some thoughts popping up to my mind about new projects, new ideas, new initiatives... Because of that, my goal is to combine most of my ideas.
For now, I want to make a dance movie project by also focusing on the choreography. I wrote a project about ‘Transition’ and I started teaching dance to youngsters, so I’ll do this project with them. The subject is about the Transition phase to adulthood. The struggles, the euphoric moments and memory once again will be the subjects. I will combine dance with animation and video mapping.
I also have vlog initiative with my sisters. Soon we will travel and do this little project. Sharing our moments, as well as little videos about spiritual symbols. These are also related with 'Octopos' brand. I’m also elaborating the range of products for online sales, wood items, ceramics and drawings to add to my online shop.
And lastly, I am working on my film & animation ideas. I have lots of stories that I want to share, so I’ll take baby steps to produce them.
These are concrete ones that I can share, as you see lots of upcoming ideas and much more underneath everything. I am excited for the future and to share my projects with all of you!
OCTOPOS ATELIER BY SELEn kılınç
We are very proud to present the second collaboration of Luis Viajante and let grow our platform and online shop to showcase creative minds and unique products.