STUDIO VISIT: ZEYNEP BOYAN

Here at LES, we are being given the privilege of exploring the studio of self taught artist and designer Zeynep Boyan and sharing it with you all. An LES artist, Zeynep is inspired by organic forms found in nature that reflect femininity, masculinity and everything in between. Her studio is her sanctum where she does her best work, and it shows in her pieces. Zeynep answers all of the questions below on her fabulous, clean, and personal studio. 

1.  We are so excited to get the “behind the scenes” of your studio. What was your main source of inspiration for designing your studio? 

 My ideal studio space is where I am be able to work, relax and get inspired. Over the past years, I was able to understand my needs and pick some essential objects that help me create this environment. A comfortable chair to relax in, a sturdy large table to work on, books from my library for inspiration, a large mirror in front of my work area to view the work in progress pieces from various angles, objects and stones collected during my trips.

2. What does a day in your studio look like?

A typical day begins with a morning walk with my dog, Art. It helps to clear my mind and creates a routine that we both enjoy. Once we are back at the studio, I take some time to plan my day over a cup of coffee. The rest of my day usually revolves around clay either working on a piece or experimenting. If starting a new production line or project, I dedicate time to research, collect materials and sketch. 

PEDESTAL XXI

by Zeynep Boyan

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PEDESTAL XXII

by Zeynep Boyan

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3. Do you have any studio must haves? A podcast? Playlist? Snacks?

Fresh coffee, water, books, and plants are my must-haves. I prefer working in silence but occasionally enjoy podcasts or vinyl sets. Having plain paper and a pen at hand is crucial for recording ideas, helping me keep track of my thoughts and create an archive.

4. Many artists and creators consider the place where they create as important as the final artwork. Do you find that your studio is a haven that inspires you to produce your best work? Why or why not?

I believe that our studios and our work evolve together, influenced by our inspirations as well as our surroundings. Stones collected during trips, displayed in various spots in my studio, bear a unique connection to my work – especially my sculpture collection, The Pedestals series. Each sculpture from this collection can be interpreted as stones placed on plinths, or vice versa. The environment we create and curate in our studio reflects a part of us, becoming an inspiring force behind our work.

 

5. How would you describe your artistic style in a few words?

Abstract and biomorphic pieces sculpted by hand with an utmost attention to detail.

 

6. What is your approach to cleaning your studio and making sure your space is maintained while also being home to your creative outlet?

I am conscious of the effects of the materials I work with on a daily basis. After each work session, I clean my studio to reduce potential health risks associated with clay and glaze. Given the labor-intensive nature of ceramics, I find it important to take regular breaks throughout the day. These breaks serve a dual purpose for me: preventing physical strain and providing moments to step back, clear my mind, and assess the progress of my work.

 

PEDESTAL XX

by Zeynep Boyan

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PEDESTAL XXV

by Zeynep Boyan 

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7. You are referred to as a “self- taught artist”- could you delve deeper into this and tell us how you evolved to the artist you are today?

Growing up in a family where creativity was valued and encouraged, I explored various art forms, including photography, film, printmaking, painting, and sculpture. Some were formally studied, like photography and cinema, while others were self-taught, entering my life at different stages. Photography remains an integral part of my creative process, serving as a means to document my own pieces. Engaging in daily sketching keeps another aspect of my practice alive, with some sketches evolving into linocut prints. Each sculpture is accompanied by a unique linocut print edition on its way to a collector. The feedback I receive when collectors reach out about these unexpected prints is gratifying and adds a meaningful dimension to my practice. Working with clay has been a revealing journey, and the culmination of diverse experiences, disciplines, and self-learning practices has shaped me into the artist I am today.

 

8. Your art has such a signature and quality look to it. Besides clay, what other materials are you curious about bringing into your studio? 

While I have worked with other materials such as fiberglass, aluminum and plaster, I am drawn to stoneware clay due to its inviting nature, ease of sculpting, recyclability, and durability. I am keen on establishing a long-term relationship with clay, and I am also open to exploring its combinations with other materials. 

 

 

PEDESTAL XIX

By Zeynep Boyan

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9. Your most recent launch with LES had such a raw quality to it- What inspired you to create the natural finishes of the sculptures? 

Lately, I have been working with a type of terracotta stoneware clay that possesses a raw and textured quality. Depending on the material I use to create texture on the clay, it guides its own finish, offering a unique warmth to it. I find it fascinating how clay imparts its own character to each piece I sculpt, resulting in each piece being a collaborative work between the two of us.

10. What are your favorite inspirations you find in the natural, every-day world that really transform your art?

Inspirations come from various aspects of life, consciously or subconsciously contributing to my art. Cooking has always been a creative outlet for me; I love good food as much as I enjoy cooking, eating, and sharing. City walks are a significant source of inspiration. I hold a profound fascination for historical and architectural artifacts that surround us in our daily lives. Observing the harmony between the new and the old, and how they engage with each other, as well as how we engage with this mix, has been an inspiration that I want to channel more in my work.

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