Prepare for a dose of epicness with this talk! There will be battles and dragons, since those are the favourite topics of a great turkish digital artist Çağlayan Kaya Göksoy - CKGoksoy. You can find more of these in his Middle-Earth gallery:
1. Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?
- Hi! I'm Çağlayan Kaya Göksoy, I know you can't spell that so no worries I'm a self taught artist from Turkey, currently "studying" graphic design but not really. As most of you I have been painting, drawing stuff since I was a child and decided that I didn't want a regular job so I clenched my teeth and grind through years. Hopefully I'm a bit more professional than before
2. What brought you to deviatArt and how did you pick your username?
- I joined to Deviantart in my early highschool years -oh wow it's been 8 years already. I was mostly drawing superheroes, video game characters etc. on the backs of my notebooks and stumbled upon this site and I was like "Oh yeah people would definetely want to see my amazing drawings!" Ah, so naive...
My previous user name was "Skyrace" which is roughly my name surname in English "Göksoy". CKGoksoy looks more formal and easy to remember so I changed it last year I think.
3. How did you enter Tolkien's world for the first time, and what impression did it leave in you?
- Ah, so when The Fellowship of The Ring and The Two Towers came out I was like 6-7 years old and didn't have the chance to catch those, but my father took me to theatre to see The Return of The King a year later. No need to say, I was blown away. For an 8 year old kid that experience was spectacular. I tried to draw everything I remembered as soon as I got home and didn't stop for days. Ofcourse most of the important details flew over my head as I was mostly focused on the spectacle .
4. How much did the movies influence your imagination when reading the books?
- To my shame, for some reason I read the books completely much later. Probably I needed more brain power to process all of the stuff going on. While I was reading most of the characters, voices and set pieces were like their movie counterparts. I think Peter Jackson did an excellent job on creating the Middle-Earth and on casting. Ofcourse having an awesome team of creators and artists is the most important aspect of this success I believe.
5. Some of Tolkien's books can be hard to read, being more of history annals than beletry. Do you enjoy the scholarly side of studying Tolkien's world as well?
- That aspect was the hook for me actually, the world was written in a way that it felt lived in. It is full of details, shadowy corners and in the same time open to roam in. I spent countless hours on reading the appendices, letters and studies regarding Middle-Earth. And most likely I still have a lot more to read!
6. Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?
- Ah man... It has to be Samwise. I mean it's actually hard for me to choose one because I have several favourite characters from different time periods like most people I imagine. When it comes to Sam however, I think it's because he is the friend we all want and need, he is a great role model. Be like Sam. -2 and 3 would be Tom Bombadil and Glorfindel.
7. Now, could you tell us something about you and art? You are a professional artist; how did you decide to pursue this career? When did you start doing it, and who or what influenced your style?
- My art... Hmm. Well I decided to pursue art as a profession in the last year of highschool. I was more or less expected to study architecture or engineering, and when the time has come to decide on which university and such I realised I just wanted to paint, so I went for graphic design.
As for working on a professional level, it's fairly new. I have been working as a freelance illustrator for only 2 years. I was pretty shy about taking jobs since I didn't feel confident in my art, so I grinded as much as I can, I'm still not really confident haha.
When it comes to the influences, I can't really give you a specific answer since everything I read, watched, played, listened have some degree of influence on what I think and create. As with all of us, we are our experiences. Ofcourse there are great artists, directors, writers that I can name as much as I can that gave me "Woah!" moments, and certainly artists like Ted Nasmith, John Howe, Bob Ross, James Mccarthy and many I can't remember the names of sadly showed me what one can achieve with colors but in the end even simple conversations with friends influenced most of my paintings.
8. Your pictures mostly depic epict battles or dragons. I suppose drawing idyllic landscapes does not suit you? What draws you to draw these dynamic scenes and how do you choose the themes and characters?
- Well landscapes are nice and all but I don't possess the ability to make a landscape interesting and make it tell a story I'm more driven to characters and their interactions. I enjoy the stillness of a frame in chaos. That little "calm" moment in the movies, books etc. is what I'm interested in, so I try to convey those as close as I feel.
9. What other book or movies (or anything else) inspire you to create fanart, and why?
- Hmm... Star Wars is definetely one of them I actually have a folder full of fanarts that I started to paint but never had the time to finish them. I have at least a couple of paintings for most of the books I read recently, Kingkiller Chronicles, The Expanse and Gentleman Bastards are the ones that first came to my mind. Basically if there is a nice story whether it's a movie, book or video game, I definetely have some sketches for it
10. There is a poll on your page saying that you are almost done with the overall script of the comic and the universe. Would you mind telling us a bit more about this comic?
- Ah yes, the comic that I can't finish. Around 7 years ago I started to write down short stories about The Cauldron -that being the fictional world I created- over time I kept building this universe. 2 years ago I decided that I should take this lore and put it in use, so I began working on it with a serious intent. Needless to say, the lack of proper knowledge on how to manage a script and story proved stressful. Many alterations were made but I think now I'm in a good place regarding the story.
The Cauldron isn't really set in one time frame such as medieval fantasy or future. Right now the comic mentioned is set in more of a victorian era, I enjoy steampunk and fantasy so I said why not both Since the past and the future of the universe is already written, I'm trying to write this particular one as a stepping point for people to get into the universe. Hopefully it will turn out ok
11. As a professional artist, do you have as much time to draw what you want as you would wish? Were you able to keep the passion for art that is typical for hobbyists?
- I can't really find time for personal projects lately but while I paint for other people I try to accept the jobs that resonates with me and sounds fun. So that way while I'm painting I don't really feel like working. Ofcourse there were times that I pull my hair and such but luckily I had nice clients more than bad ones
12. What art technique is your favourite? Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?
- I really like oil painting and wanted to practice it myself, I have been working almost all the time on digital media for the past 3 years. As far as it goes I'm trying to implement 3D into my work, but again that takes time.
13. Do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with the other artists?
- The only valid advice I can give is to be patient and practice as much as you can. There are no shortcuts so the skills you need to learn have to be learnt and kept polished. I did the mistake of getting ahead of myself and jump into advanced stuff, that lead to a painful realisation of when you are a beginner artist you have a raw ego which must be destroyed in order to improve. So learn from other's mistakes too. Starve the ego, be humble and you will improve faster and be healthier.
14. Could you tell us, which
- Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?
- original picture or picture from other fandom you are most proud of?
- picture fits your current mood?
Must be this one
- picture was hardest to paint?
I think I won't be able to share the hardest one yet, NDAs... But from the ones in my gallery:
- other picture you would like to share with us and why?
This one is fairly simplistic compared to most of my works but I really enjoyed paintings this one.
15. Would you like to thank somebody here? What key people in your life, (on or off of dA) have been inspirations to you, or has supported you, as an artist? You can also tell us why, if you want.
- Well I should definetely thank to my parents, as they managed to keep up with my unconventional decisions through the years
Also the fantastic people here on DA that gave me critics and commented on my works, you are awesome!
There are many great artists on DA I want to mention here but it would take too much space
16. Is there some artist(s) at dA you know, who doesn't have as much attention as they would deserve? If yes, could you give us some thumbnails from their gallery?
- Almost all of my friends are more known than me so it's hard to find one
17. Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?
- You guys are awesome, please keep up the spirit of fantasy and create your own art! There are so many stories to tell, to paint, to sing. And if you like my art, I humbly thank you for your support, if not I hope I can improve myself more in future
I wish you all a nice and happy day!
Thank you for your time and answers!