watercolour pencils of a digital illustrator

I usually illustrate digitally. From the beginning, to the end; including sketching, colouring, inking… I'm not saying I'm proud of being that digital but I really enjoy the way I'm working. I feel comfortable and free. That usually sounds ridiculous to traditional artists, but that's how I feel. I like the organic textures on the illustrations even when they are digital. And definitely, I love the illustrations that are created (or at least look like) using watercolour, crayons, oil paint, chalk, pencil etc…  But I'm not the one who is able to use them properly. So I admire them a lot. 

Anyway, the reason I'm telling those is that I used watercolour pencils yesterday!..

At Christmas 2011, Stephanie gave me a set of watercolour pencils, a book and pencils as Christmas present. It was my first Christmas and of course the first presents. Since then, I occasionally prepare handmade greeting cards for my friends' special events. (I think I've done 4 or 5 times so far) 

Yesterday it was Stephanie's birthday. A great opportunity to use my beautiful stuff! And I sketched a card for her. The result is not so good I know, but it's not bad at all for a person who haven't used colouring staff properly since high school. And most importantly, it made me happy, however I tried to rotate or scale the image a couple of times, it was fun.  The biggest challenge was trying to undo and being not able to do it!!!  

Thank you Stephanie once again and happy birthday. 

The one who is throwing the lemons is Stephanie and the other one is her husband Ertan. He bought her a lemon tree years ago as a birthday present. But the thing is Stephanie hates lemons! 

I will try to use them more in the future. I guess...  I hope...  :/ 

Children's Research Center Turkey

An illustration for Children's Research Center Turkey, 15th e-newsletter...

"Children's Research Center Turkey is established to empower early and primary school children's researching skills by extending its educational programs all across the country. While doing that, it is prioritized that the Center's educational programs support pupils' learning in enriched and positive learning environments."


Araştırmacı Çocuk Merkezi'nin 15. e-bülteni için yaptığım çalışma…
Bilmeyenler Araştırmacı Çocuk Merkezi'nin web sitesine mutlaka bir göz atmalı bence. Çok güzel bir amaçla, çok güzel şeyler yapıyorlar. Hiç bir etkinliklerinde bulunmadım ama çok keyifli olduğundan eminim:

"Araştırmacı Çocuk Merkezi, Türkiye’deki okul öncesi ve ilköğretim çağındaki çocuklara  araştırma yapma becerilerini kazandırmak ve bu becerilerin kazandırılmasına yönelik hazırlanan programı yaygınlaştırmak, aynı zamanda eğitim alanında öğrenmeye destek olacak, öğrenmeyi zenginleştirecek ve eğlenceli hale getirecek çalışmaları yürütmek amacıyla kuruldu."

Here is the e-newsletter which includes my illustration.
Çalışmamın bulunduğu e-bulten burada.


I have two good news in one day about Love Me This Way

- Finally, I've received my hard copy of it. One bad thing about living in Australia is it's really a far far away land. Lee, the author of the book, received many copies of the book even she ordered them later than me. Because it is US.
Books don't smell good enough after two weeks! Anyway, I have my copy now and I am happy.

I hope the other one, the Book of Awe will also arrive soon.

- And the second good news is, Love Me This Way is now available on Kindle Store. One good thing about digital books is you don't need to wait for ages to see your order. As soon as I purchased it, tadaa! it was on my device. It still doesn't smell good, but that's ok. I don't expect that.

A bit information about people who are not familiar with kindle e-books: You don't have to have a Kindle device to read a Kindle book. You can download a free app through Amazon for your computers, tablets or smartphones. 

The Book of Awe

Here is one of the last excitements of 2012, by Natasha Tessier from British Columbia. 

There is not much to say about the book. It's blurb below says everything.

It's available on Amazon.

"Are you awed by the smell of flowers or the busy buzz of bees?
Are you awed by the fall of the snow or the rustle of the trees?

In The Book of Awe, readers are reminded to take a minute and see the beauty in the everyday things around them."

Love Me This Way

The last excitement of 2012, by Lee Ellen Aven from US. 

Designed by Ozan. He is also working on the web page and the e-book. Stay tuned! But meanwhile you can buy a hardcopy via Amazon

I was waiting for handling my copy to write this post. But Amazon definitely doesn't like Australia. It takes ages! 

Anyway, here are the samples:

"How do you love someone and let them be who they are, not who you want them to be?"

"This delightfully illustrated book is a primer on unconditional love, basic and timeless, told from the child's point of view."

"A poetic narrative, this easy-to-read book will help parents be consistently gentle and forgiving as they learn to recognize the little things that uncover their child's true inner nature in the form of what makes their child happy. "

"Use this book as a guide for raising your children or for having an effective relationship with anyone important in your life - including yourself."


2013 is almost here. I wish I can get used to write "2013" easily. :) and I wish your wishes come true. 

My new web page

Finally construction is over and it's time to move that old construction sign to my blog. :)
Don't waste your time here, go to the page!  

❤ Many thanks to my developer Bogomil and my designer Ozan...

SCBWI QLD newsletter

I love being in Queensland! Since I came here 1 year ago,  I've met lots of supportive, friendly, amazing people. Especially SCBWI (Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators) QLD members... They value my works, even my old works which I've almost forgotten. Sheryl Gwyther made me happier than winning a competition. As I haven't won any competition I can say that easily :)
Here is the article that Sheryl asked me to write and put in the newsletter:

"SCBWI Qld member, ANIL TORTOP takes us through the process of making her animated movie, GRAIN, entered in the Graphic at Sydney Opera House competition.

Grain is an animated short that I made in 2010.

Here is the story of how it happened...

Since I was attending a group exhibition named "Light", I had to create something about Light.

I thought about it for months, but not any brilliant idea came up. I was carrying a sketchbook in order to sketch my ideas in case they come suddenly. But after months it was still almost empty. All I know was that it would be an animation, not an illustration, because I was missing animating so much, and also it could be nice at the exhibition.

There was one month to the exhibition. I was really stressed. Then while I was desperately brainstorming with a friend, that question came up: "What if the light is made out from little things that we can not see?"
That was the light!

I looked at the light sources around me and tried to figure out what kind of little cute creature could manage to produce that light. I filled most of the sketchbook in a couple of days. Then I quickly prepared the storyboard and started to animate.

I wanted it in cell animation style but I didn't have time to cope with hundreds of papers, linetests, scans etc... So I decided to try new Photoshop animation features. However it's animation tools were so frustrating with lots of bugs, but it worked.

All character animations were made in Photoshop and the compositing in AfterEffects. I found the music in a friend's Myspace account and he rearranged and recorded it for me. He helped with the sound effects as well. As we couldn't find a nice laughing voice, I recorded my own. (Editor: and a very infectious giggle it is too!)

Eventually, working at days and nights I finished it in less than a month just before the deadline. Its name was given by one of exhibitor friends just before the exhibition. And I added the titles and credits after the exhibition. It was looping non-stop there.

Why am I telling you about Grain two years after it's created? Because of the competition, Graphic at Sydney Opera House. First 20 animations are supposed to be chosen by people's votes. But unfortunately I totally forgot about the voting dates after I entered the competition.

There were hours to voting closing time when I put it on my Facebook page. Thanks to my lovely friends, it got a big attention and Sheryl Gwyther asked me to write about it for the SCBWI newsletter.
However I am still not confident about the competition, but can't wait for the result. It will be announced on the 10th of November."

And she added:

"For more of Anil Tortop’s fabulous creations, click on her blog page. Here’s a post with images of the stop motion puppet she made of her husband, Ozan. Gorgeous!

Thank you Sheryl, thank you SCBWI...  :)

The Tale of a Snowflake

Ta daaa!
Here is the Tale of a Snowflake. This is another application by Apptalia, our second together.  First one was TTT. And this time, it's not only for iPad, but also for iPhone! :) It's bilingual, English and Persian.

"The tale of a snowflake is a beautiful story that teaches the water cycle in a unique and interactive way. Explore the three phases of the water cycle, including evaporation, condensation and precipitation through this fun and educational app."

Those projects are so excited for me, because there are lots of elements which are out of my control. I didn't know how the final product would look like. There was lots of questions during the process. What will coder do?  Would my imagination work with that limited technology? What if animations do not work well?… When a couple of people who are in different parts of the world understand each other and produce something, it's more amazing. Someone who I don't know plays with my illustrations, adds some coding, voice over etc. and I see them together on a little screen, alive! As a result,  the Tale of a Snowflake came up beyond my expectations.  Maybe it still needs a little bit improvement, but overall I am pretty happy. Again, it was great to work with Rashin.

Director: Rashin M. Taheri
Script Writer: Linda Khosla
Music & Sound Effects: RJ Temple
Programmer: Pixel Brain Games

Sneak peek at the second book of Mary Bea.

I have illustrated for some excited projects recently. One of them is "Mary Bea Says WhY is for Yoga!" by Tamara Hogan.

The first book "Mary Bea and Strawberries All the Way Home" was published last year. The book involves lots of strawberries and a strawberry milk shake receipt at the end. It made me eat dozens of strawberries during illustration period. Actually I still eat lots of strawberries since I illustrated that book. But as our blender decided not to mix properly, I am not able to make that yummy milkshake anymore.

The second book is coming very soon. This time, the book made me do lots of exercises. I mean I had a walk 4 times! Which is an excellent start for a person who walks only to bus stop. :)
I know they look bored in this picture but the book definitely too far from being boring.

I can't wait to smell it!  And can't wait for the third one.

TTT (Touch The Thing)

I excitingly announce that the "TTT" is on App Store now!  It's an interactive app which helps developing vocabulary of 2+ children in a fun way. It includes 180 words in 10 different languages. And I sadly announce that it's currently only for iPad which I don't have.
It has been released by AppTalia and directed by lovely Rashin M. Taheri.  AppTalia is a new company which creates interactive educational and storybook apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
I really enjoyed during the creation of Touch The Thing. I can say these were my most colourful days here in S.E & Sons.
Besides, my husband Ozan has designed the AppTalia web page and logo. I have a little touch on the logo too. Guess which part? :)
""Touch The Thing" turns every object into a fun, interactive artwork. Your children can look at the object, bring the object to life by touching it, learn the name of it, and develop their vocabulary in a creative, fun way never done before. This application is available in 10 different languages.

What makes TTT so effective is that it is easy and fun to use, and helps your children quickly learn 180 words with perfect pronunciations by listening to a native speaker pronounce it again and again."

Enjoy it!..

Exhibition! "JOURNEY OF A BOOK: Celebrating books, from idea to publication"

Sorry for being so late, you missed the launch (13th July) which was the best part of the exhibition. Good news: there were no wine at the launch, bad news: it was still pretty fun.
The other good news: the exhibit can be seen until the end of August (2012) at the Brisbane Square Library.

My husband Ozan is also exhibiting with his first children's book illustrations and great typography job.

Umm yes, what is this exhibition?

I'm copying the text from lovely Sheryl's. I couldn't write a better one. :)

"Have you ever wondered how authors and illustrators get their ideas? Or about the process involved to bring a new book to life?  In this National Year of Reading 2012, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Queensland (SCBWI) have collated a special exhibition…

JOURNEY OF A BOOK: Celebrating books, from idea to publication

The exhibit is in the Brisbane Square Library, George Street, Brisbane. It features the work of 18 children’s authors and illustrators from south-east Queensland and contains original manuscripts, objects of inspiration, images and the published books and illustrations. Exhibitors include authors, David McRobbie, Nette Hilton, Prue Mason, Pam Rushby, Josie Montano and other well-known local authors and illustrators.

WHERE: Display cabinets and both wall spaces, Level 2, Brisbane Square Library, George Street, Brisbane."

Photo by Lynn Priestley. Thanks!
Some other photos are here.

Bir Dolap Kitap Soylesisi

The interview with the loveliest Children's Books Web Page of Turkey.

Sanki kendileri hic komik degillermis gibi, soylesimizin basligina bakin:

"Kanguru Diyarinda Bir Komik Cizer: Anil Tortop"

Tabiki dolap kapaklari Banu ve Yildiray'dan bahsediyorum. 3 ay once yaptigimiz soylesiyi, onlar zaten 3 ay once BDK Hafta Sonu'nun 9. sayisinda yayinlamislardi. Sevimli olduklari kadar tembel degiller cunku. Bir de bana bakin...
Yeri gelmisken Bir Dolap Kitap'tan azicik bahsetmek isterdim ama burada benim yazdiklarimi okuyacaginiza gidip kendisini yerinde gormeniz daha mantikli geldi: birdolapkitap.com Cunku cocuk kitaplari seven, ya da sevmese de bir sekilde hayatina girmis olan herkesin Bir Dolap Kitap'la tanismasi gerek. (Gene de bahsettim iste azicik)

Soylesinin de yer aldigi mis gibi BDK Hafta Sonu 9. sayisina buradan ulasabilirsiniz. Diger sayilarina da oradan ulasabilirsiniz elbette. Sadece soylesiyi okumak isteyenler icin asagidaki imajlar da is gorur.