Our darling designer Kayansel Kaya tells unique stories through vivid colors and intuitive lines. Her work is uniquely feminine — focused on women's issues, the female moods, and the untouched corners of the psyche.
Creating is a meditation for her and her work is like a mirror to your soul. We are ever so proud of working with her. The themes she tackles help us find the courage to look into our vulnerabilities with compassion.
We hope you enjoy her surrealistic colors, status-quo challenging themes, and her unique, quirky and powerful response to the audacities women face in life.
Hi Kayansel, let's start with your story, how did you become an illustrator?
I actually come from an art background, I studied industrial design in college but ended up in advertising which I loved, for the last 10 years. Still, there was always something missing, the vulnerability, I guess. So to feed my soul, I started drawing at home, experimenting with watercolor. Then 2 years ago, with my husband, we decided to move to Barcelona, where I started an illustration master’s program. Four months later, I got my first commissioned job.
Your work is very vivid, colorful, but at the same time, it makes us think. What are the main issues in the world you are interested in?
Thank you so much! In my work, I love to talk about our vulnerabilities, how we all crave love, confirmation, and compassion. Still, we live in a world full of resentment. I try to overcome that by vivid colors. "Musts" are another issue I'm struggling with all the time. You must love this, make love like this, dress like that, live like us, sing like her, look like this… In this era, every "must-have," every standard must be questioned. Especially the ones that have been forced on women by men and society. I feel so lucky to be born in this century because we are witnessing great woman empowerment. It's my motivation to make fun of patriarchy in my work.
In some of your works, we were fascinated by the eyes, What is the significance of the eyes?
When I started drawing again in 2013, I was always drawing eyes, didn't know why back then. In Turkish culture, the eye is believed to ward off evil looks and bring you good luck and health but I noticed I draw eyes to remind myself of our endless journey here in this lifetime, to look carefully, to spend energy on the inner self. My eye drawings shout, "look inside there, you'll find an answer" all the time because I need to remember that. We all need to remember that.
If you could design a book cover, which author would you choose?
An Ursula K. Le Guin, of course. That would be a challenging honor trying to illustrate her mesmerizing worlds and fantastic characters.