A Journey into Işıl Ulaş’s Colorful World of Imagination
Işıl Ulaş stands out as a young artist with a daring drawing style and an original compositional approach. As one of the newest members of the Art50.net family, we dove with Ulaş into a world of authentic figures and we took a closer look at her sources of inspiration.
How did you start painting? How did you decide to study art?
I think I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. As a child, I used to draw on furniture, on the walls. I constantly ran short of paint; but new ones arrived immediately. I’m grateful for my family’s support in this regard. My father has been the leading person planning my education both here and abroad and he supported me along the way. I can even say that I imagined and he made it happen. I’ve always thought I would become a painter; I’ve never thought of choosing another profession.
Who are the figures in your paintings? Do you invent a certain character and look at the various situations she finds herself in? Or is each story independent of the others?
Although the stories aren’t interconnected, I guess I have certain phases. As I keep painting, I find out about new things. I love using my imagination, making colors speak with each other, creating new patterns and forms. For instance, once I had this phase with theme parks; in another, I kept drawing working women. Then came this phase called “spooky and sweet things”, during which I was inspired by horror movies. My new works generally involve figures seen from one side; I also use flowers very often. I design their forms and combine them with different colors. Large, uncommon types of vases and deformed objects often find a place in my works as well.
Stylistically, your figures are reminiscent of cartoon and animation characters. Do you find these areas interesting?
Actually, I have a very highly pronounced aptness for anime; I even thought of going to Japan because of it. I deeply enjoy combining characters with stories. I also have this future dream of making children’s books with my own stories and drawings.
In your compositions, you use vivid colors rather intensively. Does your choice of colors have a particular meaning?
I emphasize my black and white figures and objects by using outline and shadow; I push them forward even more by placing them against vibrant backgrounds. At other times I use vivid color blocks of flat surfaces on canvas in combination with their own corresponding contrasts. In this sense, I deeply enjoy using blue and red. Cylindrical shapes, intertwined architectural forms and giant flowers are among other elements that I use for adding dynamism to my compositions. Playing with deformed figures or objects and generating new designs out of them make me happy. But I’m not in pursuit of beauty; I only want to make sure my forms are well defined and I try to reinterpret them via new techniques of expression. There are also times when I depart from minimalism and cover the entire surface of the canvas. On the other hand, I can say I generally take my female figures quite personally, which is rather ironic. Each has her own world and I present sections of their identities and life stories. I always make strong depictions of them; we usually find them looking at us with their gigantic sizes and huge eyes. Perhaps I depict myself in most of them; intentionally or not, they carry pieces and traces from my own life.
I think you also produce works in sculpture extending beyond the surface of paper or canvas… Can you tell us a bit more about them?
I believe that I express my emotions through my drawings at times when I can’t do so through words. And my sculptures can be considered the three-dimensional states of those emotions. If I manage to rearrange my studio as I intend to, I want to dedicate more time to producing three-dimensional objects rather than painting figures. My understanding of sculpture is based on working with different materials and particularly touching the wood, and recycling used objects. I can argue that, up to now, I have been producing works with a naïve style based on deformation.
How did your paths cross with Art50.net? In your opinion, what kind of opportunities do online platforms offer to the young and emerging artists?
I used to follow Art50.net on social media. In my opinion, sharing the artworks with large audiences and being able to receive criticisms of all sorts, is one of the primary ways of progress. Thanks to Art50.net’s help, people became aware of my paintings. The events they organized gave me the motivation to work more intensively and began to give shape to my future plans.
And your projects for the near future?
I always have this dream of going abroad. Other than that, I want to keep doing paintings and sculptures that live and breathe in a constant cycle of exhibitions. I can’t be happy if I don’t paint; my intention is to keep painting until the end of time, and to represent myself in the best way possible by being featured in more artistic events.
You may click here to browse Işıl Ulaş’s works on Art50.net