Illustrator Interview with Anil Tortop

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Anil is my interviewee today, and #3 in this series. As promised, these illustrators will come from all over the world so, for several, English is not their mother tongue. On the very rare occasion they make an error, I have left it in, because I so appreciate the effort they are making, and as a linguist, this doesn’t bother me at all.. I do hope you feel the same. 🙂

Seven for Starters

What’s your nationality, where do you live and how do these influence your art?

I’m from Turkey but I live in Australia at the moment. There are so many different cultures live here. This definitely widens my perspective and influences my art. However we have lots of translated books in Turkey, as a children’s books illustrator, I noticed that there are much more amazing examples of children’s books which may influence a person.

Illustrator or author/illustrator?

Illustrator. Wish to write too, but shy 🙂

What is your favorite medium for your art-work and why?

Photoshop and Wacom tablet, because I have “undo” opportunity.

What books (or authors and illustrators) influenced your childhood?

Actually I didn’t read books a lot when I was a child. The books that I read made me lazy about reading. Then, thankfully, this influence totally changed after I met the books that I like.

What does your work-space look like?

I have a tiny desk. There is a computer, a drawing tablet, a plunger, a coffee cup, sometimes some note papers, an empty water glass which I always forget to refill and a couple of chocolate wrappings on the table. I like dim light and jazz while working.

Can you share a piece or two with us, and the process of producing them?

First one is for a poem.  The process is my regular process for children’s books. I read the text, think about it, imagine something while doing sketches, decide what to do and do. I usually do researches as well but I didn’t do for this one. – Second one is a personal piece. It came when I was playing on Photoshop! The third is my avatar!





Name a couple of people who have mentored or inspired you most and why?

Don’t ask me this question please 🙁 They changes a lot whenever I see a new piece.

Five Fun ones to Finish?

What do you drink most during a day?

Wine I think.

What word best sums you up?

Unfortunately it could be “butterfingered”

What’s the worst job you have done?

A long and boring power point slide which had millions of revisions.

What do you do for relaxation?

Something that I haven’t done recently.

If you could be one children’s book character who would that be?

It’s a tough question. May be Nick from the “Frindle” by Andrew Clements or Hiccup from the “How to Train Your Dragon” by Cressida Cowel.

If you would like to know more, do visit Anil’s website or blog.

Wine, low light and jazz….Mmmm I could work in that environment! I wish I has asked you for a photo of your desk. Anil, don’t be shy, PLEASE write the story of your Moonlit Mauve Mouse!! Thank you so much for sharing yourself and your art with us.
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20 Responses to Illustrator Interview with Anil Tortop

  1. Yes, Anil, please write the story of your Mauve Mouse!
    Why is he so sad-looking?
    Why is he all alone under the moon?
    Why is he that lovely color of purple?
    Hmmm… it seems like a male mouse to me, but is it?

    I’m sure that an editor could suggest a co-writer to help you tell this story so that you do not have to feel shy about writing.
    p.s. I would love to be that co-writer!

    **Katy Manck
    Recommending Young Adult books beyond the bestsellers at
    Follow me on Twitter @BooksYALove

  2. Joanna says:

    Love your enthusiasm, Katy. I am trying to get Anil to illustrate one of my manuscripts, but she is a busy lady at the moment. 🙂

    I also love how you are happy to switch from YA to PB… I am all for trying different genres!

  3. A big smile from such honest answers! Your work is so fun and full of life! Lovely interview!

  4. This was a delightful interview, Joanna. I am so enjoying getting a peek into the lives of illustrators — it’s truly like visiting another country, The Land of the Illustrators. So glad it’s a land that we in The Land of the Writers are able to visit.

    There is so much warmth and emotion in Anil’s illustrations. They truly draw me in (pun totally unintended, but I had to leave it there!) and I want to know more of the story.

    • Joanna says:

      Although for us as writers, illustration always comes after the written word, I am finding all these wonderful illustrations are inspiring stories for me!

  5. As someone who is ga-ga over illustrators, I love this series, Joanna. These illustrations are just delightful, and how I love that mouse! Thank you for introducing me to yet another wonderful artist.

  6. Anil Tortop says:

    Such lovely comments! 🙂 Thanks to all of you.

  7. What a wonderful and enlightening interview! I love the phrase about “meeting the books” she liked! Isn’t that just what we do?! The art is fantastic! I love that girl with her hair sprawling across the page – she is so delightful she makes me want to write a story about her! Thanks so much, Joanna and Anil!

  8. I am reallly delighted with your Illustrators series, and a great interview with Anil. What a gift to have such a talent. I like her very different three examples — her illustrations are lively, emotional and expressive. I like the girl with the hair as I’d like to snatch her for one of my stories. And, I love the purple mouse — such a look ot being tuckered out. Great interview Joanna and Anil. Anil, you are very talented. I wish you success!

  9. Joanna says:

    Isn’t the avatar picture cute, Pat? I look forward to being illustrated some day by such talent!

  10. mmm….. me to Joanna! Loved this interview with Anil, So pleased you made the move down south, Anil, sounds to me like you have not long been in Australia, hope you will pop across to New Zealand some time. Loved your illustrations and look forward to following your blog. (slowly catching up my blog commenting)

  11. Another fun interview. Thank you Anil for sharing your work and working habits. I have a few chocolate wrappers sprinkled on my desk too.

  12. You’re right Joanna, Anil Tortop is indeed very talented. Thank you for introducing us to such a lovely illustrator. 🙂 I also have photoshop and wacom but couldn’t make the time to fiddle around with it, and I doubt I’d come up with anything half as amazing as this one. 🙂

  13. Peter Taylor says:

    Many thanks for the interview, Joanna and Anil. I’m very fortunate that Anil and I are working together on a spread for a uTales book of ‘Numbers’ that will be sold with all profits going to the wonderful charity Pencils of Promise – I’ve composed the words and written them in calligraphy, Anil is at work on the illustration. I’ve seen her brilliant preliminary sketch …it’s unbelievably hard waiting to see the finished result. You need to eat more chocolate, Anil 🙂

    • Joanna says:

      Peter, great that you can work with Anil. I have been involved in two spreads with two different artists for the uTales alphabet book for Pencils of Promise. I still need to find someone for my number! I look forward to seeing your text and calligraphy. I still need to write mine!

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