She's in love. Dilek Baykara drew weary women chained to the dark side before she met the one-- now her illustrations are moaning, dreaming about sex and the open road. Rest assured, darkness still looms in all her pieces, but it's taken a backseat to something more carnal and playful. Old Buicks, lip-biting, neon signs, and trippy patterns; hello love, let's spend the rest of our not-so-miserable-anymore lives together. 

"Shovelhead" by Dilek Baykara

Foul South: Give us a little background about yourself-- who are you and where do you come from?

Dilek Baykara: I was born and raised in New Jersey in a town outside of New York City, but eventually ended up living in a very rural area (Sussex County, NJ) and went to high school there. My parents are both immigrants from Turkey, though my ethnic roots come from Azerbaijan. I graduated from SVA in 2013.


FS: What sparked your recent series of erotic drawings? There is a sexually-aware confidence throughout all of them that possess strong, narrative qualities-- is this a reflection of your own experience?

DB: I met the love of my life last year. The experience changed me. The energy in our relationship has given me the confidence to be playful with my work and own my sexuality in a shameless manner.


FS: It's healthy to be a little shameless sometimes. What draws you to psychedelic-seedy, dark imagery and playful color palettes?

DB: I was drawn to anything seedy and dark since childhood-- I like being able to express a dark narrative without using dark colors. I used to have a professor in art school who constantly told me that I need to use color, he broke through to me eventually. I’ve been having a lot of fun with using color and am look forward to seeing where it takes me.

FS: Far, no doubt. Who are some artists that have influenced your style and technique?

DB: I really love Tadanori Yokoo, his use of color has inspired me to be fearless with the way I color my works.

"Thinking About Sex" by Dilek Baykara

FS: How do you feel about graphic design vs. pen and ink illustration?

DB: Graphic designers have to think in a different way to solve a visual problem. Illustration tends to be more literal when it comes to making an image. There are less limitations when one is able to draw whatever they want. Having limitations forces designers to create work that I could never think of myself. I look to old graphic design works from 1950-1970’s (book covers, movie posters, and labels for food items) to draw inspiration for my own work. Working with pen and ink allows me to take from graphic design and give it my own spin. I like being able to take the layout from a poster or book design and make it look lush with my use of textures when using pen and ink.


FS: Your textures are beyond lush. You’ve mentioned wanting to create larger scale works for a gallery setting-- are there any ‘big’ plans in the works? 

DB: There are, I am currently looking for a studio for that reason. I want to make paintings and larger scale mixed media works in the future.


FS: I can only imagine how your mixed media will turn out. How do you think galleries could improve their means of delivering art?

DB: I believe galleries could be more proficient when letting artists know that their work sold. I haven’t had any issues with galleries delivering my works to me.


FS: If you could collaborate with any living artist from any medium, who would it be?

DB: It would be Tadanori Yokoo.

"Erkin Site" by Dilek Baykara

FS: What will be etched on your gravestone?

DB: I would want to design my own gravestone, like Patrick Caulfield.


FS: Of course YOU DO. What is your drink of choice?

DB: Gin and tonic or Jameson.


FS: Amen. List ten songs on your playlist this month.


Rolling Stones – Shattered

Alice Cooper – Unfinished Sweet

The Stooges – Not Right

Gene Simmons – See You Tonite

Aerosmith – Walkin’ the Dog

Sweet – Set Me Free

Tame Impala – Let It Happen

Ozzy Osbourne- S.A.T.O

Scorpions – Steamrock Fever

Mamas and The Papas – Monday, Monday

"Girl on Moto" by Dilek Baykara

"Greyhound" by Dilek Baykara

Check out more of Dilek's work here and follow her on IG