After having spent about 30 years in business Mine Batiyel, Femflection Co-owner, felt it was the right time to quit and she has never looked back since. The most influential aspect that kept her out of business was art. At the age of 50, she started attending an art studio (D S Art Studio). She had not drawn anything until that time. What was initially intended as a hobby soon turned into a full time “job”.

Mine is an animal lover, a vegetarian, almost a bookworm, loves to do and watch sports, is very passionate about music and needless to say enjoys drawing and painting.

What is your favourite Quote or life motto?

There are so many which I have stored over the years – here are some of them:

  • Don’t say “I can’t” until you have tried it out
  • Learning will only cease upon death
  • Behaviour breeds behaviour so add some control to others’ behaviours via the way you behave towards them
  • Only compete with yourself and not with others
  • Challenge yourself to do better at all times
  • If you are going to do something either do it to your best ability or don’t do it at all.

Why do you do what you do?

For enjoyment and income. Previously the order was reversed but not anymore.

How do you work?

Basically seven days a week and from morning till night.

I can divide up my work into two areas: creating and development. On the creating side normally I follow this route: sketches, refining the selected sketches, colouring the refined sketches – normally I would use water colour, pastels or coloured pencils here – refining one more time if need be then moving onto a canvas to produce the final piece.

On the development side: research (new methods, styles, keeping up to date basically on all the developments), reading art related books, watching videos, working in art studios together with my tutors, taking private lessons (currently in the area of graphics and Turkish Art History) and visiting art exhibitions.

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

Emotions, being clear on the message you want to convey and a long term career goal.

What role does the artist have in society?

It is rather difficult to generalize on this since I believe this depends on the personality of the artist more than anything else. Some artists for instance prefer more to go with the tide whereas others against it and yet some, even under these circumstances, manage to still sit on the fence.

How has your practice changed over time?

Indeed it has changed and I believe this is somehow the natural route. Once you are equipped with the skills to enhance or to denounce your technical and theoretical knowledge, you enter the phase of developing your own style. Currently I would call myself interdisciplinary. But this does not mean I only paint in the latter area.

What art do you most identify with?

Modern art and specifically abstract, symbolism, surrealism. I am also rather keen on the illustration and graphics area.

What themes do you pursue?

Any theme which I feel strongly for or against.

What’s your favourite artist?

There are a fair few but I will name two: Nüzhet İslimyeli and Paul Klee.

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

I was a businesswoman. I have also worked as a trainer, teacher and a translator. In addition, I am currently involved in the internet business – website and social media.

Why art?

Art is a language and like any other language it is a vehicle of communication i.e. self-expression of ideas and most inner/deep feelings. Language is an important aspect of any culture and cultures tend by nature to limit one’s freedom in one way or another. Here is where art comes in – it provides freedom of expression without any limitation or boundaries and provides ample opportunity for imagination and creativity. It is hence highly therapeutic.

What do you dislike about the art world?

I suppose the same things as I did in the business world. This is not surprising as people are people everywhere. Just to name a few:

  • Judging people on “paper” only i.e. what they have supposedly achieved without paying attention at all to who they are and what their values are.
  • Once recognition or status has been gained spending little or no time on personal development.
  • Limited or no sharing of experience or practical knowledge / techniques which could lessen the struggle or pain for others.
  • Without influential contacts not being able to achieve much.

What is your dream project?

Having my own studio / gallery where I would only assist creative people in being seen and heard.

Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.

I would not like to be compared to anybody actually since I am trying to reflect myself in what I am doing.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Not to underestimate yourself.

Professionally, what’s your goal?

More and more solo exhibitions.

What makes good art?

This is highly subjective. There are no rights or wrongs providing that you have an answer to why you did what you did on the art piece.

How do you overcome creative blocks?

The answer really depends on whether or not the reasons for the block are clear or not. For instance, if you have been preparing for months and months for an exhibition then it is a good idea to take a break. But I normally use the following as well:

  • Continue to work on sketches although nothing worthwhile seems to come out
  • Go through your old sketch books – work on developing a sketch which you came across that appealed to you – you are bound to come across something
  • Watch videos / view art work
  • Read an artist’s biography
  • Always remember that creativity is more likely to come about when you are doing (in this case drawing or painting) rather than thinking. But by all means daydreamJ.

How can you stimulate creativity in others?

The starting point actually should be to stop destroying creativity in the first place. By this I mean the following: all children are creative but we seem to kill that off in order to have them conform to whatever it is we want them to conform to. Then we are faced with this ridiculous situation of trying make grown-ups more creative again. Nevertheless, I believe the key is to build on the idea that a person comes up with rather than initially judging the idea. In short, make sure that the person is motivated to produce more ideas. Ensure that the ideas have been developed into something more tangible i.e. a drawing or a painting in this case.



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