A Creative Journey
by Dilek Baykara
Recently, I have begun experimenting with different mediums and colors. Throughout art school, I shied away from color and never used it (I only used black ink on tonal paper). I avoided using color because the amount of detail I use made it a daunting task to figure out how to make color harmony in my work, but now I fully embrace it and as a result, my style has changed dramatically. Whether it is through digital means or by hand, I am committed to learning as much as I can within the realm of painting and illustrating with colors. Thus, each of the following pieces is executed using a different creative medium. I really love it all and am excited by the prospect of changing and learning as I go.
Piece 1 is the first piece I colored digitally. It is special to me because I recall struggling with creating harmony with all of the colors in the piece. I have a penchant for Marianne Faithfull, and I loved her in the film Girl on a Motorcycle, even though I found the storyline to be dull.
Piece 2 is the first piece in which I incorporated colored inks with watercolor. It was difficult to go light on this piece, so much so that this was the second attempt; I ruined the first by being too zealous with the watercolor paints and ultimately destroying the paper. Often, I work in a hurried fashion though I don’t mean to, and unfortunately, I end up pressing too hard into the paper with my pens and pencils. I love the film Belle du Jour, I’m in love with the exquisite clothing designed by Yves Saint Laurent and the fantastic characters that fit whomever they are playing. Again, the visuals were more compelling for me rather than the storyline itself.
Piece 3 is based on Theo Ehret’s photographs of fetish wrestling. As a fan of wrestling myself, I embrace the exploitative qualities of what it entails. When there are scantily dressed women wrestling in hotel rooms, it takes wrestling to another level of sleaziness and makes it fetishistic. I really enjoy learning about the idea behind these photos and am looking to expand on them in my own way. I decided to indulge in my own fascinations and create Piece 3. I plan to make more and hope to release a book of these drawings.
Piece 4 is loosely based on women seeking attention or love; sometimes the process of doing so will make a person appear ridiculous. I enjoy exploring these themes. Every human being desires validation, though I believe women tend to exhibit these desires in a unique way all unto their own. I love to ponder and play with the theme of desire for love and validation as it pertains to womankind. Sometimes it ends in tragedy or a never-ending utopia of happiness in our own minds. I’m hinting at what my future pieces will look like. I’m very proud of this piece since I have been illustrating ideas for years, but now I am beginning to tell a story from my own experience.
Piece 5 is a flyer I created for a show in Washington DC. I used to design and screen print my own rock posters until I began to sink into the money pit that it is. I used to work for someone who gave me a bad deal in regards to creating rock posters. I began to lose sight of what made me love doing it in the first place. After I stopped making show posters, I began to miss the fun of creating a flyer and began creating flyers for goDod friends of mine, and I now do it for the pure enjoyment that I believe it is supposed to be.
It’s fun for me to explore lettering and create something that I don’t have an attachment to; that’s where you can find new themes and techniques to explore in personal work. This is something a lot of creatives will relate to. It’s easy to sell yourself to the devil and then suffer under the pressure of making an income by creating work that makes you feel hollow inside.
I barely sketched anything for Piece 5. I took images that I saved from old 7” record covers and an image that was in a bin of pictures for sale at a used bookstore in Virginia. I love how loopy and fun it looks, I want to live in that design!
Piece 6 is one of my first textile designs. I have fallen in love with pattern-making and currently work in textiles. The idea of telling a story with a garment excites me. I plan to release products with my designs in the future. This particular pattern was created for a tote bag that I made to raise money to donate to Planned Parenthood. My idea was to join delicate and beautiful roses and tangle them in a perilous arrangement of barbed wire. Tough and beautiful. I think that description resonates with women in particular.