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Sunday, 15 October 2017 08:13

Önder Atik - artist and tattooist

Önder Atik - artist and tattooist Önder Atik - artist and tattooist

Name / Adınız Soyadiniz

Önder Atik

Occupation / Mesleğiniz
Artist and tattooist.

Originally from / Doğum yeriniz
Kilis, Gaziantep, not far from the Syrian border.

Family / Evlimisiniz ve çocuğunuz varmi
Married to my second wife with one son who is five years old.  From my first marriage I have three children and six grandchildren.  My father and mother (90 and 87) are still alive and live in Kilis. 

What time do you get up? / Saat kaçta uyanırsınız?
I get up at 08.00.

What’s for breakfast? / Kahvaltıda ne seversiniz?
Turkish breakfast and çay.

What time do you start work? / Saat kaçta çalışmaya başlarsiniz?
I try to be at work by 09.00.

What time do you stop work? / Saat kaçta işiniz biter?

It’ quite late - usually around midnight.

Tell us something about your background and your working life. / Lütfen biraz bilgi söylermisiniz kendi arka plan yaşamınız ve çalışma hayatınız ile ilgili.
I had only five years at school.  I finished my formal education when I was just 12 years old.  I wanted to continue with my education and my teacher suggested I was good enough to go to art school but my parents didn’t agree.  They wanted me to start working because as a family we needed the income.

So at 12 years of age I started working as a labourer on local construction sites.  When I was 19 I did my national service.  After that I worked in Istanbul for eight years as a guard/caretaker/watchman. 

I was still drawing for my own pleasure but not earning anything from it.  This changed when I moved to Çeşme near Izmir and I started to work as a tattooist.  I spent five years there before moving to Ölüdeniz where I also started to do portraits.

In 1994 I came down to Patara/Gelemiş where I continued to do tattoos and paintings and I found some work painting local shop signs.  Some businesses asked me to paint murals on their walls which I was happy to do.  By 1997 business in Gelemiş was slowing down and I decided to move to Kalkan which seemed to be getting busier.  I have lived here ever since.  I am now 60 years old.

What’s the best thing about your job? / Yaptiniz işte en sevdiği şey nedir?
I get pleasure from being creative and it is also satisfying to see others liking my work.

Describe a typical day / Bir gününüzün nasıl geçtini anlatir misiniz
I have breakfast at home with my family in Akbel then I come into Kalkan and set up in my spot on the pavement between Mussakka Restaurant and Bade Cafe Bar.  There are not too many customers in the morning but I can paint for about three hours before I go home for lunch.

I rest for a few hours - I may sleep for a while and then by about 4 o’clock I return to Kalkan.  It’s busier in the evening as people walk into town and then later at night when they are walking back up to the taxi rank opposite me.  I sell most paintings in the evening.

By midnight there are not so many people about and I pack up my things and go home.

Do the seasons make a difference with your work? If so, how? / Yazın işinizde değişiklik oluyormu? Oluyorsa anlatın?

Yes.  In the summer months when we have more visitors I do most tattoos.  I also sell paintings - landscapes and portraits.  I am sometimes asked by businesses to paint signs and murals.  I can do this for villa owners too.

In the winter I may spend more time at home where one of my rooms is my workshop.  I still come down to Kalkan from time to time if I think there are enough visitors who may buy my work.

What makes you happy? / Sizi en çok ne mutlu eder?
If I see other people happy it makes me happy, especially if they are happy with what I have created.

My son makes me happy.  If I have had a good day and I have the money I like to get my son a present as a surprise - seeing his face makes me happy. 

If you were not doing this job, what else would you like to do? / Şu anki yaptiğiniz işi yapmıyor olsaydiniz ne iş yapmek isterdiniz?
Probably something to do with tourism - maybe a tour guide.

What music do you like to listen to? / Hangi müziği dinlemeyi seviyorsunuz?
I really like Latin music.  I enjoy listening to singers like Julio Iglesias.  I also like traditional Turkish music.

If you could meet anyone in the world, living or dead, who would it be, and why? / Eğer dünyada yaşayan yada yaşamayan herhangi biriyle tanışmanız mümkün olsaydı onun kim olmasını isterdiniz?
It would have been incredible to have met Atatürk.  We owe him so much.

Another man I would like to have met is the Serbian born inventor, engineer and physicist Nikola Tesla.   He had a brilliant mind and developed so many amazing ideas but despite his genius his life had an unhappy ending.

Tell us something about yourself that not many people know. / Kendinizle ilgili bir çok insanın bilmediği bir şeyi anlatırmısınız
Even though my formal eduction was limited I have read many books including the Quran and Das Capital by Karl Marx.  I like to read books about art and the world’s greatest artists.

Anything else / Başka her hangi birşey
I can play the saz (a Turkish stringed instrument) and also the guitar.

Here are some examples of my work.

Önder Atik

Önder Atik