In fact, the work that we showed in that issue, a collaborative project between Deniz and her sister, photographer Melisa Onel, for Trendsetter magazine (elements of which are shown here), recently won Deniz recognition at the Turkish Society of Graphic Design awards – where it picked up the best illustration award. Deniz’s success at the awards didn’t stop there, she also won the magazine cover award for her work for bi-monthly Turkish arts and culture title KONAK (on which she was the art director for its first nine issues) and she was also named the event’s Young Designer of the Year.
“I find that if I can get myself personally interested and engaged in the subject matter at the core of a project, then it goes beyond being a commercial project and my heart and soul goes into the work,” says Deniz of her success.
A graduate in graphic design from the Art Institute of Boston in the US, Deniz now splits her time between two bases, one in Gijon, Spain and the other in Istanbul, Turkey. “One exciting project I’m working on at the moment in Spain is a collaboration with Sinmas Comunicación Visual,” she tells us. “I was hired to create the image for a launch campaign of a new store for Lopsy Grupo Óptico, a fashion eyewear retail chain.” She is also working on promotional and other identity-related materials.
Meanwhile, in Turkey, Deniz is the creative director and visual consultant for Alika – a new chain of concept stores that will open in hospitals and shopping malls in Turkey – and she continues to design covers for KONAK magazine.
Besides client work, Deniz is still collaborating with her sister under the moniker Ma Projects and the pair are working on a book project with a publisher in Istanbul. Other personal projects include a series of typographic explorations through drawings and a “photographic poetry book exploring the spaces I find myself in,” she reveals.
When asked if there are any people she’d like to work with in particular, Deniz says: “I hope to be able to continue exploring and making things that matter deeply to me – things that move and interest me and hopefully others too so that I can continue making a living doing what I do. Ideas excite me and I would love to work with musicians such as Brian Eno, with artists, writers, architects and fashion designers who inspire my work continually. I’d like to make books, design environments, create atmospheres, make people happy.”