Let’s talk about illustrated books: Let’s talk about illustrators #228: Gökçe İrten

Turkish author and illustrator Gökçe İrten recently gave me an 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 enjoy taking a deeper look at this sweet and exceptionally illustrated book with me!

About the book:

Travel through a diverse and beautiful world, meeting people of all ages and races in all kinds of spaces. From museums and classrooms to the circus and beyond, All of Us is designed with whimsical collage-style illustrations that highlight the shared spaces in our communities. In these spaces, young readers will meet all kinds of characters, and through them they will learn that we all have things in common. We have shared emotions, such as love, hope, fear and joy. We share experiences, like eating, playing music together, or taking care of pets.

Look under the dust jacket:

Let’s talk about Gökçe İrten!

LTPB: Where did the idea of All of us comes from? How long did it take you to develop this story?

Gİ: When I feel sad, embarrassed or heartbroken, I know there are others who feel the same way. And that feeling that I’m not alone always heals me. The whole idea came from that feeling. I thought it would be cool to show that no one is alone with all those feelings. Regardless of all our appearance, the differences, the feelings will always be the same. And the book is about all of us ☺

In general, the worst part is finding an idea. When the idea appears in development it does not take so long.

LTPB: What was the most difficult thing for you in creating this book?

Gİ: It was very fun to draw different characters. But it is also the hardest part. And besides, drawing feelings and showing them properly is not easy because feelings are not concrete. I had to show everything with body language, which is a bit of a challenge.

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

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

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

Gİ: I’m working on composition of peek-a-boos and rattle with a 6-month-old right now ☺ And I have a really good time coming up with new ideas. I have some collaborations that will be released very soon. And I’m sure I’ll be back soon! ☺

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

Gİ: Oh! A very dreamy question! It’s good to even imagine! I guess I would go with Pieter Bruegel. Or should I go to Bosch. Hmm.. What about Henri Rousseau? Wow! I wish this was real!

Thanks to Gökçe for telling me about this very special book! All of us publishes TODAY from Princeton Architectural Press!

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

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