CH.89: If you were to categorize or describe the style of your artwork, what would it be and why?
GJ: For a long time, I didn’t really know how I would describe my work, but it is definitely figurative work that tends to be surrealist and dreamy.
CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
GJ: From everywhere, it can be a scene in a movie or a picture I have seen. It can be a book I’m reading. Also from my own visions. If I have a sudden vision of what I want to paint or express, I suddenly have the urge to immediately paint or draw it.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?
GJ: As I explained earlier, I read something, or see something which really strikes me or inspires me for a specific painting. I like to paint something which involves a narrative, a backstory that is a bit awkward or weird, which can be disturbing for the viewer.
CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?
GJ: I would like to confront them with some feelings or desires that they were not aware of.
I do see art as a catharsis.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?
GJ: My lifestyle is really simple and I like to think that what I paint is very far away from what I am in my mundane and normal life. Art is an exutoire! I like reading, biking, cooking, sharing some good wines with friends, and looking at nature whenever possible.
CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?
GJ: I think you need an impulse or an urge, but of course, it is not enough. Art is also craft, patience, and time. You also need to look at a lot of other artists to get inspiration and also to change the way you look at your practice. You need to improve your skills as well and continue to experiment and draw on a daily basis, even if it is not good. At this moment I’m experimenting with pastel oils and I think I really want to start to paint on canvas. Something I feel I’m ready for, now.
CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?
GJ: I think you should never try to produce art based on what people want or expect from you.
Just do your thing, it is the best way to find your own style, but also do not forget to look at what other artists do, to inspire yourself even if it is very far away from what you are doing.
CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?
GJ: Yes, I think your personal style is the most important thing. Often, I can recognize some artists only by looking at the art. This is what makes the difference.
CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?
GJ: To get a living from your Art, which is really difficult. Art for me, at this moment, is a side activity. I have a proper job and I need a proper job to live. For the moment, I don’t mind, because having a job is also a way to experience normal life and to be realistic.
CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?
GJ: To immerse in the process and to forget about everything.
CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artist’s that inspire you in any way?
GJ: A lot of artists inspire me. Of course the old masters from the Middle Age to Expressionism.
Regarding contemporary artists, there are so many I like. I really love Lenz Geerk for example.
CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?
GJ: Technology is a tool as any tool. You need to practice it. So I do think it can be very interesting.
There is one manga artist, for example, Shin-ichi Sakamoto, who works only with digital tools, and his art and storytelling are amazing!
CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?
GJ: Good question…no, I don’t think. There are many paths that make you see the world differently. Art is just one way.
CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?
GJ: Istanbul without hesitation. This city is just magic: the History, The Bosphore, the way of life…
I love Turkish culture (and I’m not Turkish at all..). I know the city and the country very well.
I also traveled to Japan a long time ago, and it had a big impression on me. I would like one day to be able to go back there.
CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?
GJ: I don’t have a favorite author or book. I studied literature, maybe that is why..
However, there is one book I really like: Kaputt from Curzio Malaparte.
CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?
GJ: Not really, just continuing what I’m doing and hoping for more opportunities if they come up.
I will be in a group show with the UK-based Mothflower online gallery until 16.07.
CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?
GJ: To feel free.
CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to?
GJ: A Thundercat’s song.
CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?