Contributor Spotlight: Baysan Yüksel

Our Spotlight series introduces you to the people behind Perennial Press. In this post, we hear from force / fields contributor and visual artist Baysan Yüksel. Yüksel talks to us about working with small presses, staying creative during quarantine, and shows us where she creates and what she’s currently working on!

Baysan Yüksel artist portrait

Have you worked with other presses before? What did you like about them? 

I’ve worked with both small, independent presses and literary houses here in Turkey and some abroad. For me working with small presses were always more satisfying as they usually don’t interfere about the creative process of the artist. I’ve illustrated children’s books and book covers. 

How do you stay creative during quarantine?
I have a runny brain full of creative ideas. I can’t catch up its speed most of the time. So I was never out of ideas during the quarantine but the psychological impact of quarantine, fear of the virus and global alarming news has an effect on my creativity. I spent twice as much time for half of the things I used to do before quarantine. To stay creative and I gave myself challenges and deadlines. I designed an online exhibition with the work I’ve created during the first six months. I joined Inktober and Our Planet Week. I created a project called 2 Sketchbooks with fellow artist Başar Kurnaz. The project focuses on creating a dialogue through sketchbooks between two artists who have never met face to face before the pandemic. Each artist has one sketchbook to fill five pages for each turn. Every two weeks the sketchbooks are exchanged between them by mail shipping and they fill the next five pages in response. 

Baysan Yüksel in her artist studio

Where do you create? 

I don’t have a large studio but I have a large room at home I use as a studio. It is full of books. I have an L-shaped desk at the center. I do most of my projects there. 

Show us the most recent page of your notebook / sketchbook. 

This is the latest page I’ve painted in one of 2 Sketchbooks. It is about mazes. Here the maze is on the palm of a hand. The maze represents the mental dilemmas. Here, the hand is a medium to express those dilemmas. Pacman characters represents the residues of the popular culture and the effect it has on our process of thinking. 

Baysan Yüksel sketchbook drawing mazes pacman

Keep up with Baysan’s work on her Instagram, @baysanyuksel.

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