October 25, 2022

Let's Talk Illustrators #228: Gökçe İrten

Turkish author-illustrator Gökçe İrten recently gave me some insight into her process for her latest picture book All of Us, and I'm excited to share those pearls of wisdom here today! I hope you love taking a deeper look at this sweet and uniquely-illustrated book with me!

About the book:
Journey through a diverse and beautiful world, meeting people of all ages and races in all sorts of spaces. From museums and classrooms to the circus and beyond, All of Us is designed with quirky collage-style illustrations that highlight shared spaces in our communities. In these spaces, young readers will encounter all kinds of characters, and through these characters they will learn that we all have things in common. We have shared emotions, like love, hope, fear, and joy. We share experiences, like eating meals, playing music together, or caring for pets.

Peek underneath the dust jacket:

Let's talk Gökçe İrten!

LTPB: Where did the idea for All of Us come from? How long did it take you to develop this story?

Gİ: When I feel sad, embarrassed or heartbroken, I know that there are others who feel the same out there. And that feeling that I am not alone always heals me. The whole idea came out from that feeling. I thought it would be great to show nobody is alone with all those feelings. Regardless with all our appearance, differences, feelings will always be the same. And the book is about all of us ☺

Mostly the worst part is to find an idea. When the idea appears developing is not take that long.


LTPB: What did you find most difficult in creating this book?

Gİ: It was so much fun to draw different characters. But also it is the most difficult part. And also drawing feelings and showing them properly is not easy that feeling are not concrete. I had to show everything with body language which is a bit challenging.

LTPB: What did you use to create the illustrations in this book?

Gİ: I love to cut papers and use different pens and pencils. Here in this book, I mixed techniques. I used both papercuts and pencils and also digital editing. I always prefer using collage in my books. If I go with digital illustration, I have more space to change things like colors or patterns. However if you start doing things by hand, you have to know what you are doing. There is no going back from paper glue! ☺

LTPB: What are you working on now? Anything you can show us?

Gİ: I am working on peek-a-boos and rattle-composing with a 6 month old right now ☺ And spending very good time to find new ideas. I have some collaborations which will be launch very soon. And for sure, I’ll be back soon! ☺

LTPB: If you got the chance to write your own picture book autobiography, who (dead or alive!) would you want to illustrate it, and why?

Gİ: Aw! A very dreamy question! It's nice to even imagine! I guess I would go with Pieter Bruegel. Or shall I go with Bosch. Hmm.. How about Henri Rousseau? Wow! I wish this would be real!
Thanks to Gökçe for talking to me about this special book! All of Us publishes TODAY from Princeton Architectural Press!

Special thanks to Gökçe and Princeton Architectural Press for use of these images!

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