the tumblr staff from turkey did an interview with me. Here is the translation.
Faces of Tumblr: Tarık Uslu
This time on Faces of Tumblr, we interviewed Tarık Uslu, who has gained attention of Tumblr users with the illustrations he shares on his blog @ustakun. We discussed a variety of topics including Japan, Switzerland, Turkey; black, White and red
as well as Spiderman.
Hello Tarık! Let’s start getting to know you a little. Could you tell us a little about yourself?
Of course, let’s start with the hardest part. I happened to be born in 1985, in a sweet town of Switzerland. Of course I wasn’t consulted on this choice, I suppose you weren’t either. Upon finishing primary school there, it was decided that I had enough fun with Heidis and Peters, so we moved to Turkey. Guess what? Yes, I wasn’t consulted again.
My elementary and high school education was at the same school, and it was a blast. I’m glad that we had moved back, but it would’ve been nice to have my opinion asked. My university adventure is a whole different story. I first started studying German literature (I had a specific interest in the subject). During my 3rd year of studies, with all the part time jobs, I found myself drifting away from literature and doing more and more translations. It’s nice to tell other people’s stories, but I do have things to tell – I can even depict them! I was drawing day and night, scribbling on every piece of paper at every opportunity. I figured it was for the better to study at Marmara Fine Arts. And now that’s done as well…I’m just starting to look ahead.
When have you been drawing? Were you formally trained?
I honestly don’t remember, I mean, I can’t say for sure that I started at this age, but I guess it was before kindergarten. I finished my studies on graphic, although you can’t quite put it that way: I finished a Fine Arts faculty on the subject, but it’s not an area where you can say “okay, I’m done”. You learn something new with every illustration. Like, when I saw the evolution in Hokusai’s Kanagawa Oku Nami Ura (The Great Wave of Kanagawa), I was blown away. This man was so caught up in the feelings that he wanted to depict and especially in this work, over the years, he went back and did it over and over again. I believe this is how it’s like to express yourself through illustration, literature, music, or art in general. I can’t think of a monologue like “Oh this is amazing, this is the best. It can’t be any better”. If you start to say this to yourself, you’ve nothing more to tell. Stop whatever you’re doing, and find yourself another area.
What are the themes that you like depicting the most?
Sometimes I follow around a butterfly. I’m not kidding, I stalked a butterfly like a cat once. That day I wanted to draw that for example; even if I don’t draw it, I at least have to tell it to someone, that’s why I can’t say something for sure. I hone in on things that suddenly grab my attention – this can be a person, it doesn’t always have to be a butterfly. I don’t stalk people of course, that would’ve been weird and a little illegal, but I’m always curious… I guess I’m curious about everything, and I try to depict whatever feeling starts to find shape in my mind at the time. Oh and of course, Spiderman!
If you could only use three colours in your work, what would those be?
Black, white and red.
What are the blogs streaming on your tumblr?
There are a lot, I’m actually open to new ones these days. I’m looking for Hashtags, but I’m always in for photos of Japan. For example, I was obsessed with droptokyo, but I think it shut down. Besides that one, there are “compilation” art blogs these days, I love the following: @tokyostreetphoto, @inprint, @theartofanimation, @junngoro, @akifhakanfashion , @geee13 , @agas, @2sono, @mmcoconut, @mognemu, @thatkidwhodraws.
Could you tell us about your plans for the new future, and beyond?
There’s a graphic novel project that I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but haven’t had the time – I want to spare some time for that. It’s at its inception stage at the moment, we don’t know what will happen. I’ve started to illustrate posters of things that I love, it’s a series that I’m working on. I probably start my masters – I do love the academia. These are all short-term works. In the long haul, I want to live in Japan for a few years; afterwards, I don’t know if I stay or come back to Istanbul. It’s a huge love-hate relationship between us.. I really don’t know how someone could describe all his dreams and ideals in a single answer, but I do want to see and experience a lot. I want to leave a lot of journals, books, notes and photographs. Perhaps one day, my children, and even their children, will go through them in wonder. I dream of these simple things. But a Nobel would be nice too…