|Blue Mosque ceiling|
The act of taking photos is so different when you’re an artist looking for inspiration, rather than a tourist hitting every required destination. Because my dad is a professional photographer, and my mom is a Filipina of a certain generation, childhood vacations became one, big photo opportunity. As kids, my brother and I were endlessly photographed posing in front of Disneyland, or in St. Peter’s Square, or on the beach at Waikiki. I grew to resent that kind of staged photo – I wanted to run around and experience whatever place we were visiting, instead of stopping to pose for photos.
|Topkapi Palace Harem|
|More tile from the Blue Mosque|
On this trip, though, my photos are more about documenting inspiration, so that I have something to refer to when I draw hours or days later. If I want the perfect shot of Ayasofya, I’ll buy a postcard. If I want to photograph every single tile variation at the Topkapi Palace Harem, well, I can (and I don’t even have to be in the photo). The whole experience becomes less about proving that “I was there!” and more about saving a moment of inspiration. I get to just be, rather than think about how the photos will play when I show them to my friends and family.
|More Harem tile detail|
|Strangely – but pleasingly – geometric design in the Harem|
Of course, I’m showing them to you here. I can’t help myself – look at those blues! Look at those abstract floral prints! This city is a source of inspiration for textile designers.
I’ve been drawing a lot this week (I have quite a few illustrations to mail out to my Istanbul sponsors) and will start sharing those as they trickle in. I have a lot of work – and a lot of inspiration – in front of me!
(I’ve also posted more photos to my Twitter feed. Check them out here)