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Interview with Turkish Illustrator Afra Elif Kim

Afra Elif Kim is a Turkish cartoonist and freelance illustrator. She Studied Cartoon and Animation at Dumlupınar University.

Afra Elif Kim is a Turkish cartoonist and illustrator. She Studied Cartoon and Animation at Dumlupınar University. This time she is with us, and we will know more about her.

Arifur Rahman: Afra Elif Kim, Tell us something about yourself 🙂 

Afra: Hi, My name s Afra Elif Kim. I’m from Turkey. I’ve lived in Istanbul city. I’m 26 years old. I’m to the graduate of Dumlupınar University / Fineart Faculty / Cartoon and Animation department. I’m married. My husband is from South Korea. We have a daughter. I’m an Illustrator. Actually, I draw children’s books. But I like to draw to games and Anime Characters too. I worked for 1 year in the animation company in Turkey. I’m working now freelance.

Arifur Rahman: How/where did you learn to draw? How long have you been working as an illustrator?

Afra: I learned to draw at the academy. Actually, I started drawing when I was 3 years old. I fell in love with drawing. I just wanted a life where I could draw. Make drawing like make magic. I went to a drawing academy for 8 years.

I have been working as a professional illustrator for 10 years. I was 16 years old, I made my first illustration for a children’s magazine. After that, I worked on children ‘s books, children’ s magazines and cartoon projects. Now I keep working.

Arifur Rahman: Do you feel that illustration is a work nowadays only being used for commercial purposes?

Afra: I draw in general to make money. Because it takes money to live. I also have personal studies. I also have personal studies. The illustration is both money and a hobby for me. I think illustration can always work.

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Arifur Rahman: Are most of the illustrators self-employed?

Afra: Generally. There are too many free-working illustrators in the world. But there are a lot of illustrators working in the company. I think everyone should work as they are comfortable.

Arifur Rahman: What is the typical daily work plan of an illustrator?

Afra: Actually, I have no daily work schedule. Because I’m a mother. I usually work at night. Every hour my baby sleeps is my working hour. I don’t know how other illustrators work.

Arifur Rahman: From the financial point of view can it be a supportive job?

Afra: Yes, I can. It is possible to earn more money from many professions. I can make a lot of money working hard. They pay me for every page hahaha 🙂

Arifur Rahman: How one can manage his daily challenges proficiently in this field?

Afra: I’m dreaming and work too much. That way I can manage all the challenges. I never give up.

 Work hard, and never give up

Arifur Rahman: How did you end up being an illustrator?

Afra: This profession was my childhood dream. I’ve worked my whole life to be an illustrator.

Arifur Rahman: New software or applications has made this profession more lucrative. Do you agree?

Afra: Actually, I’m a watercolor artist. I started using digital drawing to make money. But I liked the digital drawing equipment. I’ve been a digital illustrator for 10 years. Technology is very useful for drawing. I respect people who do hand drawing. But digital illustrations are very practical and useful.

Arifur Rahman: New generations are rushing towards money rather than taking it as a passion. What is your view about it?

Afra: We shouldn’t just draw for money. Drawing is an art… Drawing is a soul… Drawing is magic…  If you’re not in love, you can’t draw. Sometimes I draw to feel happy. But only for myself hahaha 😀

Arifur Rahman: Do you feel in the future, illustration or other artworks will be more competitive?

Afra: In the future, we will live in a magical world full of art. I believe. Without art, people stop dreaming and people can’t be happy. Just we can only live happily in a world of illustrations and other artworks.

Arifur Rahman: What is the main difference between graphic design and illustration?

Afra: Graphic design is the only field of design art. Emblem, logo, packaging, package, etc. These areas are graphic design areas.  An illustration is completely drawing. For example; I’m drawing illustrations for a book. I send the finished drawing to the graphic designer. A graphic designer is designing the book. Dimensions of the book, writing styles, writing dimensions, the printing phase of the book, etc. All this work belongs to the graphic designer. I just read the story and draw illustrations. This is the difference.

Arifur Rahman: What qualities should be within a person if he wishes to choose this career?

Afra: Must be in love with drawing. Be able to dream. It must be hard working. Never give up. Should be patient.

Arifur Rahman: How was your early life as an illustrator and where do you want to see yourself in the upcoming years?

Afra: The time until now was very difficult for me. Because I worked so hard to be successful. Sometimes I’m so bored. usually slept 4-5 hours a day… But I don’t regret it. Because I love being an illustrator. People around me supported me very much. Usually, people, I haven’t met send me nice messages about my drawings. These messages make me very happy. Thank you so much, everyone 🙂

I want to work at Disney in the future. This is my dream. Also, I want to be a famous illustrator known to people all over the world. I know this is an ambitious dream. But this is my dream. If I believe it, it’s real.

Arifur Rahman: Any advice that was helpful in your career?

Afra: I just believe that hard work is beneficial. WORK HARD, WORK HARD, WORK HARD. NEVER GİVE UP!


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Written by Arifur Rahman

Cartoonist, Animator, Illustrator, and Publisher of Toons Mag.

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