Welcome to the wonderfully wobbly world of illustrator Talia Melda Temuçin
Including references to proverbs and superstitions and always getting “lost in the details”, throughout the Berlin-based illustrator’s pieces, there’s always more than first meets the eye.
- Olivia Hingley
- 26 May 2022
Viewing Talia Melda Temuçin’s work, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that she loves illustration for how “flexible” a medium it is. With both her style and subject matter veering toward the abstract, Talia has no interest in making her work have any semblance of realism. Using simple fine black lines and bold block colours Talia creates a world of wobbly characters, distorted animals and misshapen objects, all involved in bizarre scenes and situations. It’s like nothing we’ve seen before here at It’s Nice That, and we simply can’t get enough.
When starting a new piece, Talia starts by observing, then brainstorming and researching, all to be followed with a simple pencil sketch. Putting the rough sketch into illustrator, Talia then develops it digitally on her tablet and experiments with the composition by layering. And, when she’s feeling particularly inspired she sometimes creates paper maché objects found in her drawings – like a set of teeth. Talia finds inspiration in numerous places, one such place being old comic books. Loving their pallets of “faded colours”, the illustrator also loves their vividness: “their dramatic depiction of movement; the energy of the abstract strokes; the loose lines of movement and flying particles. I am very inspired by irritation.”
Much like her work, Talia’s creative path has been far from straightforward. Initially, Talia studied for a degree in visual communication with a focus on painting at the University of Art and Design in Offenbach am Main. Attempting to challenge herself, Talia painted on “huge” formats, and spent sleepless nights in front of her canvas – so much so that, when she graduated, she had to pursue something entirely different. Then changing to performing arts, Talia worked as an assistant and later a costume designer for theatres and productions across Germany. During this time, drawing became a form of relaxation for the creative. “I filled a lot of sketchbooks at that time, even though I worked full time,” she explains, “at some point my creative process started shifting to drawing only things that brought me joy.”
Talia grew up in “a culture with a very metaphorical language”, a fact which she sees as “an inexhaustible source of creativity”. By including the proverbs and superstitions she grew up hearing in her work, it inspires the strange characters and situations she observes; “For example, pouring water behind someone who is about to leave, which is done to ensure that person’s swift and safe return.” It’s this desire to include weird, metaphorically infused happenings, her love of abstracting or distracting elements and her penchant for “getting lost in details” that makes her work so humorously layered. Take your eyes just one inch away from the central action and you’ll find a person bathing in an industrial digger, an overly-elongated dribbling sausage dog on a train and a fish drinking a glass of orange juice – the more you look, the more brilliance you find.
Talia Melda Temuçin: Home Office (Copyright © Talia Melda Temuçin, 2021)
About the Author
Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.