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Meet Hollywood Artist: Taner Tumkaya

Today we’d like to introduce you to Taner Tumkaya.

Taner, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born in Turkey, in a Mediterranean town called Iskenderun. Grew up in an environment where art, architecture, and crafts had much importance. So as a kid I already knew that arts was the way to go. I have obtained my BA degree (Ankara, Turkey) in sculpture and MFA degree (Frankfurt am Main, Germany) in inter-disciplinary arts. I started making animations and short films during my studies and moved to LA to take it further after I graduated. Although I love film-making, fashion photography fascinates me at the moment. As a matter of fact, I don’t see this type of storytelling much different than the narrative possibilities of cinema.

Has it been a smooth road?
It’s never a smooth road for the creative types since they set their own challenges at the least, even if they don’t face any external ones. Once one comes in terms with this idea and distinguishes the personal from social, the challenges get more manageable. Personally, I always challenge myself regardless external and even internal ideals, so that’s the part of my “routine”.

Any predictions for the industry over the next few years?
Image-making is getting more and more accessible for everybody and also with the help of the social media everybody can now publish and get a reaction to their works instantly. I see a new fashion publication coming out everyday -without compromise of appealing content- as much as there are new great image-makers. So there’s an exponential increase in the quantity of content that is proportional to the new technical inventions and their accessibility. I believe that this diversity and the overload of quantity will eventually come in terms with itself and appreciate each and every tendency/trend/style as themselves. Traditional and avant-garde, kitsch and high art, old-school and new-school will respect each other. So in a way, we may see the re-emergence of old technologies, trends, and styles as well as the brand new ones respected equally. More local, DIY and by-passing the middleman and the monopolies. Hopefully, this would lead to a shrinking of mainstream and hard-core commercialism. Well, isn’t this happening right now? 5-10 years is not the same 5-10 years that was 5-10 years ago. Just accurately predicting 2 years ahead can be prophetic at our times.

What has been the primary challenge you’ve faced?
I didn’t have many big challenges as I see every moment as a challenge. I don’t fight over big ideals, they are all dwarfed. There are day-to-day challenges but are really trivial and common to talk about. Like the issues of finding the right collaborators, not giving up your ethics for money or the cultural noise and etc.

What advice do you wish to give to those thinking about pursuing a path similar to yours?
Try everything once before saying “no”.

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