In our series “In Conversation With” we talk with the young professionals of Istanbul and beyond. Up next, we had a little chat with artist Zeynep Birced.

Zeynep is a Turkish artist and also the name behind the OMM museum shop, where you can find our jewelry as well. She also has an amazing Instagram page under her name.

What do you do for a living? What does your job include?
I am a multi-tasker; but first and foremost an artist. I teach portfolio methodology and preparation in a studio, which soon I will have to quit because I have joined the team in the museum named OMM (Odunpazarı Modern Museum), a contemporary platform for art and design which is set to open in Eskisehir this year. Anything relating to art I can get my hands on and enhance my knowledge of, I’ll gladly try and anything that becomes monotonous I‘ll run away from.

Is it important that you are always working towards something? Can you work with no purpose on mind?
I’m a very rational person and always with certain targets but I also don’t plan too much into the future, I think having a purpose in mind, if one can balance that purpose with good reason, prevents you from greed but rather serve as a healthy projection. And this sort if ambition is integral for creation.
In my art practice I’m not one of those artists that sit around in the studio and wait around for a muse, on the contrary I have a quite orderly schedule as to what I’ll produce since production is both time and money and it should be organized in order to reach highest efficiency.
Sometimes though I wish I could be one of those people to just sit and create without any plans in mind but guess it’s not my choice.

Do you work better with a deadline?
YES YES YES YES and I wish I wouldn’t. It puts me in difficult positions sometimes.

Are you someone who will just continually work on something until you make it work, or is it okay for you to abandon ideas/things?
I think one should know when to quit, I can’t say I do either of those, but I can say I’m quite stubborn and tenacious, especially when tackling unfound land. But it’s important to acknowledge when something’s not working and just lay low and get back to it when the time seems right. I think there’s miles between getting stuck on an idea and abandoning it.

Do you take day-offs? What does a perfect day off look like for you?
Of course I do, my schedule is a bit hectic at the moment but I’ll always take time for myself. If not a full day off, a part of a working day for sure, after consecutive days of working that is. I like to organize my time in fragments that work in harmony with each other letting everything nourish and flow together.
A perfect day off is definitely traveling somewhere green with my best friends. A picnic in a forest or a forest with seaside (and sun).

Do you remember when did you find your voice? When your point of view really came into focus?As far as I can remember I was into art in it’s many forms. I have pictures from when I was 3 years old that I’m painting, drawing something or creating something. I am one of those people who believe that this comes from within and the fire has been burning inside me since the beginning. I can’t say it’s a voice completely but it’s some kind of a voice, it’s the very first communication skill I had that remains with me still. So it should have significance in what I call my voice today.Although I would say the first year of university was when I came face to face with my calling in a more profound way and determined my language for life. I can easily say the contextualization (of art) and what I will do with it came into focus around that time.Ps. I’d wanted to be a belly dancer and then a lawyer when I was little and now I can see the relevance of each in my adult self today.
Do you have any advice for young artists who are looking to make a name for themselves?Definitely one most important thing I have learned so far; define success in your own terms, and own that definition. Never be greedy but be ambitious, otherwise it’s a rocky road internally.Zeynep also made us a playlist she’d play while working, listen below.