AXD – Interview with Asli Yilmazturk
cover photo @vogueturkiye
HW: What did you want to be when you grew up?
AY: I wanted to be a decorator when I started high school—that’s really as much as I can remember from the essay they made us write to answer that same question back then. However, by the end of my high school years, I decided to study International Trade Management, but didn’t have the option to study it in the universities that I wanted to attend. So, I went into Economics, and after one year, changed it to Visual Communication Design. Even though it was not in my plans, this choice led me to what I am fond of doing today and provided me with the opportunity to combine my math background and my visual practices.
HW: How do you describe your lifestyle?
AY: A combination of a disciplined businesswoman and a human being who is always eager to experience new and unique adventures both outer world and inner-self.
HW: Who introduced you to art?
AY: My mother did that got me; for me she has one of the most sophisticated visual tastes and an elevated vision for art; she has always inspired me and influenced me to discover my own definitions of aesthetics with these characteristics. I recently found out that she was gifted in making art too. She painted for the first time during the self-isolation/quarantine period and made a painting that looked like it was made by an artist with several years of experience — this actually surprised me, as I had never seen anyone that could paint like a professional artist with such distinctive style the first time they picked up a brush!
HW: Which artists are you a fan of?
AY: Actually, I find this question difficult to answer. I’ve encountered so many brilliant artists in so many years that I can’t list any specific favorites. However, I can say that AXD is the platform where I gather works that represent my aesthetic preferences, my visual taste, and the works I find most appealing.
HW: What are you obsessed with right now?
AY: Creating new and innovative projects, working on them with my team, while actively questioning the current digital transformation rather than just being a mere spectator of historical changes.
@johntrashkowsky ” You f.cked up the club”
HW: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
AY: There isn’t any specific advice that I can exactly think of. However, I do believe that the phrases found in fortune cookies are worth paying attention 🙂 But more seriously, my beloved friend German contemporary artist Tim Bengel has this marble artwork that he wrote “IT WAS ALWAYS NOW” on, in gold carving, which he sent to me as a precious gift. I am fascinated by its deep meaning and find myself thinking about how relatable, powerful and true it is at certain times– I can sense the saying in many of my moments. It’s just extraordinary and inexplicable, and anyone can have his/her personal interpretation out of it really.
HW: Talk to us a little bit about how you got started…
AY: I actually created Artsxdesign as a blog in 2009. I used to share images or artists I liked and wrote entries about them, but it didn’t last very long and came to an end as I began my professional career. I then created Artsxdesign in 2012 on social media and started posting images that define my personal creative vision. I was aiming to find visuals completely out of the ordinary, which would excite people in this era of visual pollution while opening up different intellectual doors.
I was indulging my intense visual intrigue and practicing the appropriate research for it for as long as I’ve known myself, so I had already adopted a selective eye back then. Consequently, I spent hours finding the best visuals and works everyday, and eventually, with all the messages that piled up in my inbox and my audience that wrote to me about how much being inspired by AXD’s content, my efforts were capturing exquisite people with diverse minds. In a couple of years, I founded the AXD Creative Agency while Artsxdesign is transformed into a globally renowned digital stage for creatives, and a cultural pioneer platform that stimulates artistic innovation and vision for companies, brands, artists, designers and creatives who are both emerging and leaders in their line of expertise, all while featuring a vast range of diverse content including distinguished works of art and design from the past and present.
HW: How do you select the artists, what do you look into?
AY: All I can tell you is that I rely on my intuitions. Explaining what I seek through words, creates boundaries, but when I explain my perspective through the visuals that I gather without any limitations that confront me in my explorative process.
I believe that my work is not about focusing on particular artists or collecting artworks by concentrating on specific artmaking styles; it is about having endless perspectives and possibilities for curating in the creative world of art, design, and fashion. And that’s why I don’t look for a specific artist or a type of artwork for AXD. Artsxdesign, in my opinion, tells my point of view, a particular vision and aesthetics all by itself.
HW: What’s your best advice for somebody who wants to do what you do?
AY: Usually, the most important aspect of creative work is the idea, not the vehicles of production. Don’t get stuck on the tools and technical aspects. If your idea is original, truly genuine, then that’s the real value. There will always be a way to execute your creative ideas even though you do not have the best resources or expertise.
HW: What do you think your biggest personal or professional success has been so far?
AY: I guess AXD’s collaboration with NASA was the most breathtaking experience in my professional life. I was overwhelmed by the opportunity to curate Artsxdesign’s online exhibition which we named ‘ARTSXNASA’ for NASA and present the art history of space through my own perspective and storytelling by curating their image archives.
On the other hand, I think that it is hard to define ‘success’ in personal terms, but I can say that trying to be a good person in my professional and personal life — and seeing its return from the people I work or share life with — makes me proud and keeps me motivated in doing what I love.
HW: How would you describe your work?
AY: Vision combined with mathematics and strategy.
HW: What’s the dream?
AY: Together positively changing/transforming the world while being a part of it. Maybe taking it further, providing a benefit to humanity, to prosperity, and to the unlucky people who weren’t given fair rights. I am a human being who does the things that she believes in, that loves the challenge of taking action and has the urge to create works that will be for the better of others — I am eager to see where my journey will take me next, and the valuable minds that will be waiting for me along the way. The power of creativity is truly, and rather mysteriously, infinite.