Dilek Baykara is a female illustrator spreading morbidity and decay from out of the stinkin' sewers of Brooklyn, NYC. A leader in the forever-lacking underground of gorey female artists, Dilek has rapidly made a name for herself within the international metal scene creating disturbing and dark shirts, posters and flyers for bands such as EyehateGod, Pentagram and Sourvein to name a few.
Dilek's illustrations suck you in and spit you out, her lethal mix of femme fatale attitude and the ability to hypnotise her viewers attention with every deadly stroke makes her someone I was extremely interested and proud to interview for Vomitose!

Dilek!! I hope you survived the 'Hurricane' okay.. Were you in any of the areas affected by the flooding? Whats been going on there and what have you been working on lately?
I'm glad I did, Although I was in a "safe" area in Brooklyn I decided to flee to my hometown of Sussex County, NJ since I wanted to work on my artwork without interruptions. I've been working on a poster for the upcoming WEEDEATER show in Brooklyn as well as a few other commissions.

-Tell us about the origins of your artwork. Have you always been into the 'darker side of things'?
The origins of my artwork began around since I was old enough to hold a writing utensil, Whenever my parents bought me books I completely covered the insides with my drawings, they were mostly drawings of weird dinosaurs and my family members. I was not into the darker things growing up as a child/pre-teen, because of my traditional Turkish upbringing. I just kept drawing because I loved to do it. My work became darker when I first got into music and I decided to become serious and experiment with my art around the age of 14.

-Have you always worked in your current style? How has your style evolved?
Certain elements in how I draw have stayed the same, but the way I render subjects have changed dramatically, since I have learned so much over the past couple of years, I prefer things to look very realistic, while maintaining my own style of line work. The more I was drawing the more I learned how to be more advanced in my approach. I still have much to learn.

-Who and what are your main influences? Visually/ Musically/whatever......?
My main influences in general would have to be my mother and my high school art instructor, they have always stood by my side and pushed me to do my best no matter what, I always keep this in mind when I create work for myself or others.

My main Visual influences are Audrey Kawasaki, Vania Zouravliov, Franklin Booth, Harry Clarke, James Jean, Aubrey Beardsley, Berni Wrightson, Putrid, Florian Bertmer, Ken Taylor and Joao Ruas. I often look at these artists to see how they work, I discovered Audrey Kawasaki when I was 15 and she changed the way I drew faces forever. Soon afterwards I found out about Vania Zouravliov. He's my favorite artist and I have a piece of his tattooed on my arm. When I started doing work for bands I discovered artists like Putrid and Halseycaust.. seeing what they do empowered me to forge my own path. I like to think I am a mixed up version of most of my influences, I can't help but take what they do and make it my own, it is all part of my process.Music has a very strong influence on my work.
All of my work (in the past 2 years) has been based on a song. My latest piece has been based on a Sarcofago song. Music inspires me the most when it comes to creating work. I especially take the time to read into lyrics when I really get hooked on a song.. that tends to spark ideas for new pieces.

-I know you study at the 'Liz Buckingham' School of Visual Arts haha..Do you work other than doing art? Like a 'day job' so to speak?
Yes I do, I'm approaching my Junior year and I can't wait for it to be over. Currently I have a job at the computer lab at my school.

-You mainly do work for bands and labels these days. How did you get involved and whats some of your best/worst experiences been so far? Do you enjoy working with any type of bands specifically?
It all started when I was 17 years old and living in Philadelphia on scholarship for a summer program at UArts. I met my first boyfriend who was in a band at the time. I mentioned that I could draw and he immediately wanted me to draw something up for his band, It all snowballed from there as I met more people who were in bands/ involved in music. I drew a shirt design for his band and never got paid. Any experience where the artist is ripped off is a horrible one. I don't want to waste my time with bands that have no intentions to pay me for my efforts. Though there are circumstances where there will be an exception, such as my friends who are touring and are in need of a shirt design. It is the nature of this "business" unfortunately. Punks and Metalheads tend to be broke, and if someone is a no name artist starting out this is going to happen to them plenty of times, but the more work artists make for bands the more they will become noticed, so "paying your dues" will help artists in the long run. On the other hand I have begun to have great experiences, I have done posters for bands I admire and have made money off of my artwork. There is nothing like walking to a show with a portfolio full of heavy posters and wondering if you will sell them all and leaving with an empty portfolio feeling like you are doing something right. The way I felt leaving Ghost's recent performance at Webster Hall with my empty portfolio is a something I will never forget. It was exhilarating.

-How much input do bands have when it comes to the creating process?
Bands rarely give you full reign over subject matter, most of the time they ask for sketches of their ideas before the piece is finalized for them. In some cases it becomes a great experience for the artist to create whatever they like, and to have the band give them feedback on what needs to be changed/redrawn. It really depends on whom you are working with. Some bands completely trust your judgement whilst some bands have a specific image they would like to uphold for themselves, and it is your job to deliver. The process tends to be exciting either way because I love tackling a hard challenge.

-I know you recently did some artwork for a skate deck. How did this project come about? Is skateboarding/skate art something your interested in? Do you have any interest in the gods of skate art like Jim Phillips etc?
Yes, for KCDC Skateshop in Brooklyn, NY. It all began when I was selling my posters at EYEHATEGOD, Towards the end of the show I completely sold out but decided to take down the emails of people who still wanted a poster since I had a few extras at home. One of them happened to be the owner of KCDC. When I delivered a poster to her I noticed that the shop collaborated with other artists. Later that night I emailed her asking if she was interested in collaborating with me and she was really excited to have me do a skate deck for the shop. I'm very interested in working with skate shops/companies because I think it will allow me to branch out beyond band artwork and tackle different subject matter. I have much respect for Dennis Mcnett, Jim Phillips, and Mike Giant.

-Where abouts do you do most of your drawing? Do you have a specific space or studio?
You can find me in the SVA Print lab or at home hunched over my drafting table 6 or 5 days out of the week.

-Do you use a lot of reference material to create your artwork? Or is just weird stuff that seeps from your brain onto paper?
In rare cases I tend to have a very strong image in my mind when I have a great idea, I definitely need reference such as taking countless pictures of myself on my laptop in order to draw bodies in correct poses or drapery. I have a good amount of art books that I use for reference and look at my favorite artists to see how they work and it helps me put things in perspective for myself. Google images and certain tumblr blogs are also a guilty pleasure that I often use for certain things such as trees or rotting skeletons.

-"Serious” females in the underground metal scene are often few and far between.. You seem to be forging your own path where no other females have really gone recently in terms of this style and this scene. How do you feel about being a female in a male orientated arena? Do you find it intimidating or liberating?
I really don't give it much thought because I find myself really easy going and don't feel like I am a "stranger in a strange land" I don't think I am the only one because there are women like Halseycaust and Alexandra Snelgrove doing work for bands and I certainly am not the last. What tends to annoy me are women who think they are "special" because they know a lot about metal music and it is somehow seen as a rarity these days, I don't really think it matters either way and people who continue to behave like this will emphasize the fact that it is a male dominated genre rather than treating it like a unity of people who are passionate about this genre of music. I do realize that there are less women around but I don't think the amount is scarce. Although I have met some females who "dress the part" I don't mainly target females as doing this since I have met many males that do this as well. I believe it goes for all genres of music "scenes" because there are just some people who try too hard to fit in.

-How much of your work is done on photoshop/computer? What sort of medium do you prefer to use?
I despise photoshop and try to use it as little as possible, none of my work has been created using photoshop, except for very rare cases when I need to "clean up" an image after it is finished. All of my posters have been hand drawn/lettered. I take much pride in the fact that I don't choose the "easy" way out because it robs the artist of the process of working. I don't feel like I am creating art when I am sitting in front of a computer trying to render an image, it just doesn't feel right to me. I love to work with pen and ink, I also prefer better materials over cheaper ones, I love using Sennelier inks and my Cretacolor watercolor palette, As well as Fabriano and BFK rives paper. The better your supplies are the better your work will be.

-Have you ever shown your work in a public space like a gallery? Would you like to?
Not until recently! I am finally going to have my work shown at St. Vitus bar on Sept 25th in Brooklyn, NY. It's a group show and I'm very excited to see the turn out.

-What was the first record you ever bought?
The first lp I ever purchased was "Some Girls" by the Rolling Stones. It was in the Used section at Vintage Vinyl in NJ. I was around 14 or 15 at the time.

-What are your top 5 mandatory albums that you feel 'sums you up'?
"Screaming for Vengeance" by Judas Priest - I have the album artwork tattooed on my right arm, It's one of my favorites. The Void side on the Void/Faith split - This band is one of my favorite hardcore punk bands, so angry and raw. The song "My Rules" sums me up. "Dynasty" by KISS - My favorite album by one of my favorite bands."Powerslave" by Iron Maiden - Their best album."Black Sabbath" by Black Sabbath - The title track on this album made me freeze in my tracks when I first heard it. Essential.

-What can we expect to see from you in the next few years? Have you got a 'dream project' in mind?
I hope to branch out and work editorially, for magazines and for other clients outside of the realm of music etc.. while still continuing to work with bands. My ultimate dream is to live off of illustrating for others. I'd also like to open up a space similar to Tara McPherson's "Cotton Candy Machine." Fingers Crossed.

-Thanks so much Dilek! Can't wait to see what you come up with next!! Feel free to leave some contact details 6ft below!!
Thank you for your time Rebecca!
Dilek Baykara
www.dilekbaykara.us www.blogspot.com/dilekbaykara

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