Banu, have you always wanted to be an artist?
I have had an interest in art since childhood but never thought to become an artist. I was quite critical about my own work and didn’t get enough encouragement from my family… But, I grew up with looking at fashion magazines and drawing some illustrations in the hope of becoming a Fashion Designer.
You worked as a freelance designer, how does this influence your work?
The reflection of my fashion background shows in my art with stylish and glamorous portraits and figurative paintings. What was inspiring me for my fashion design before, it’s inspiring me for my art now. Both of them require to be creative and visual but in a different form. I really enjoy combining my two passions and feeling that I am connected to my background with my art.
You specialise in portraits, has this always been your style of choice and if so why?
I am mostly focusing on portrait and figurative paintings. I guess this is because I am interested in people, beauty, human body and psychology. Often, find myself unconsciously observing people and their emotions. In my paintings, the people I create have their own stories and I feel strongly connected with them. They become alive and real to me, that’s what I like…
I also recently got interested in painting abstracts and surprisingly I really enjoyed the journey so I might consider doing more abstracts in the future.
How would you describe your creative process?
I always get very excited about a new project, usually start based on an image and combine it with my imagination. Staring at a blank white canvas or paper for a while with my drink and seeing the finish work vaguely. And then think of my next move. I follow the steps that I planned. When I have lost myself in halfway through, I am following my instincts.
You have exhibited your work around the world. Which one stands out to you most?
The Story of the Creative – DAS – in NYC. Because I was invited to this kind of event internationally for the first time, it gave me the confidence and motivation for my future events and art career.
Where do you seek inspiration?
Anything beautiful and aesthetic can inspire me.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I start with my art the first thing in the morning and I carry on with it most of the day. When I stop painting, I am dancing! I have started to learn flamenco dance in recent years and I am performing at least once a year in London theatres. After dancing, I relax with my cup of tea/coffee and reading my book. Then, I am catching up with my e-mails, social network etc.
Which artists, living or deceased most inspire/influence your work?
Realistic portrait and figurative paintings, I am inspired by Rembrandt’s paintings. It fascinates me. I am also inspired by Vermeer’s particularly “Girl with a Pearl Earring“ portrait. Modigliani’s colour palette and Loui Jover. There are many artists that I am inspired but my style is far too different from them.
Do you like to listen to music when you create, if so what sort of music do you listen to?
I like to listen to music but not often. Depends on the subjectI am painting. Prefer to listen to romantic classical or chill out meditation music.
If you had one piece of advice for someone seeking a career in art what would it be?
Do not stop creating for no reason and when you do create, do it with passion. Have faith; it will be Ok.
If you had a dinner party and could invite 3 guests, living or deceased who would they be and why?
I would invite like-minded creative people or someone interested in the arts. Probably an artist, a dancer and a musician, I always have fun times with my artistic friends and very valuable and deep conversations.
What does the future look like for you?
Hopefully, I will be doing more art and trying different styles, exhibiting, selling, dancing.
View Banu Beyza’s gallery here.