Volkandalyan‘s style seems constantly in flux; just when you think you can pinpoint any one particular movement or influence on his work, from pop art to surrealism to anime, his style shifts ever so slightly again. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy his portfolio of work so much, he is an artistic chameleon and is intensely passionate about his creative life. Recently I had the pleasure of chatting with the Turkish artist about career changes, his favorite cartoons, and minimalist design.
"I’m big fan of minimalism, so I’m trying more and more to reflect this in my work. I think everything that's unnecessary must be removed from my designs. "
Could you talk about how your style has developed over the years?
I’m big fan of minimalism, so I’m trying more and more to reflect this in my work. I think everything that’s unnecessary must be removed from my designs. I think my drawings need to show more with less going on. I totally agree with Leonardo da Vinci when he said, “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Mot of my design is two dimensional and flat because of my workflow. I work in Adobe Illustrator and have a process I use to create my aesthetic. It comes back to how I work; first I draw my sketches on paper which are not so flat, then I scan and redaw on my computer in vector format. I draw them as totally two dimensional flat images.
Can you talk about how you’ve managed to be both an engineer and an artist?
Well, at the moment the work I’m doing now isn’t related to engineering. When I graduated form university, I worked as an engineer for 15 years before I decided to quit. I realized I wasn’t happy during that time. Soon after I quit, I founded my own company VOKA Creative which is a creative agency. I do animation, video production, and graphic design.
In your profile you mention meeting Nilay – can you talk about how meeting this person helped your artistic practice?
Plenty of times my friends have seen my drawings (especially if I draw a girl), and they stop and ask, “Hey, is this Nilay?”
I don’t know how, but I think there are little pieces of her in my drawing. Nilay is my wife, but I also think she is my muse. She has always been an inspiration to me. She’s a children’s book writer. Sometimes we work on projects together and I draw illustrations for her books.
What’s been the best thing about putting your artwork on Redbubble for everyone to see?
For me it’s all about sharing. The best thing about putting my artworks online is I know they can seen by anyone all around the world. You can read comments about your artworks which is nice for improving your artworks. I think Redbubble has great community. Most of the people I’ve met on Redbubble are artists and they know what it’s like to be an artist, to live and work as one. They are so supportive and I’ve found it’s a place where I can find a lot of inspiration.
"Most of the people I've met on Redbubble are artists and they know what it's like to be an artist, to live and work as one. They are so supportive and I've found it's a place where I can find a lot of inspiration."
Your work often features slightly noir, gothic, or dark themes. Can you tell us where these themes come from?
Well, it’s simple because I love black! And it’s about simplicity. Black is simple for me. Also, I guess I watched lots of Tim Burton’s stuff in the past, so I like the dark aesthetics!
Which artists have inspired you the most? Who has had a big impact on you as an artist and what you create?
I started to draw when I was a little boy and never stopped. I drew cartoons for comics (Leman and O-Haa) and illustration from books. I am a big fan of famous Turkish caricature artist Gürcan Yurt who was so supportive of me and other young artist. He gave us lots of tips and tricks about drawing and on how to stay creative. Then we all worked together to publish a cartoon magazine with his leadership. I think this expreince of creating this magazine together has been so important to my career.
What’s one thing you do every day (a tip or trick or exercise) that helps you make art? Do you have a ritual or routine that you do that helps you stay creative?
I love my black sketchbook and my pencil. These two little guys always with me. You don’t know when inspiration will come. I draw sketches all the time some of them become final artworks and some of them not. But carrying around my sketchbook and pencil allows me to always stay creative. I’ve found with these two things on me, I draw something new everyday, no matter if it’s good or bad.