'World Famous on ArterNet Art' Featured Guest Artist - Özlem Sorlu Thompson


‘Orpheus and Eurydice’ Acrylic on Canvas 76 x 102

Özlem Sorlu Thompson

It gives me great pleasure today, to introduce you to a talented, up and coming young artist, whose colourful artwork, you'd have to agree, fills your heart with joy.

Born in Istanbul, Özlem Sorlu Thompson, paints in the flat where Piet Mondrian made his art studio in London. 
Along with Mondrian, Özlem's influences also include the great expressionist artist, Kandinsky and abstract surrealist, Joan Miró. 
Özlem’s works have already made their way into the homes of renowned celebrities such as actress, Anita Dobson and her husband Brian May, musical theatre star Maria Friedman, actor Andy Nyman, and several private collectors.

ArterNet Art:  
Hello there Özlem, thank you for taking the time to chat with us today and to be part of our new series: 'World Famous on ArterNet Art'
We're really excited to hear how you got started - can you give our readers an overview of your route to becoming an artist?

Özlem: I grew up in Istanbul in an artistic family of mixed cultures. My grandmother was born in Russia, and as a child, I was always inspired by her effortless knitting skill. She creating complicated and beautiful multi-coloured creations. 
To me, colour is the most important aspect of my art and I used to draw as a child, but pursued a path in biology. 
I gained my Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Biology, before eventually moving to London to live with my British husband, where I began to paint in earnest.

ArterNet Art: Have you had to overcome any difficulties or major hurdles on your journey to becoming the successful, established artist we see today?

Özlem: The democratising effect of social media has been very positive and has helped me reach my audience, but settling down in a new country is always challenging. 
Coming from Turkey is even more challenging. But I used the negative sides of events for becoming positive.
I think that’s the most important thing in life, being able to change one's perspective, shaping what happens around you to something positive and creative.

'Waltz of the Flowers' Acrylic on Canvas 76 x 102cm

ArterNet Art: What or who were your early influences?

Özlem:  Kandinsky, Af Hilma Klint, Joan Miro, and Matisse are important for me, but in general whatever I see around me inspires me.
The world provides beauty and wonder every day.

ArterNet Art: How was your imagination captured?

Özlem:  The way my favourite artists saw the world through their work helps me see things from their perspective. The more open you observe your surroundings, the freer your creative style. 
I think studying art history, and seeing everything that humans have made up until the present day, is very important for our perspective.

ArterNet Art:  What was it about the medium you've chosen that attracted you?

Özlem:  I tried different mediums, starting with colourful pencils as a child, then watercolours, and then after university I used markers and watercolour pencils. I have tried oil paints, and in the end I decided to continue with acrylics, which are practical, quick drying and less toxic than oils.

ArterNet Art: Can you explain to us a bit about your chosen techniques and how you use them.

Özlem I don’t feel as if I have a specific technique, rather I only listen to my inner voice while painting. 
After a while if you just do that, then your style will appear. I believe art is very free and no one should follow any technique in particular except that which enables their expression.

'Dream Land'  Acrylic on Canvas 122 x 153cm

ArterNet Art: Where does your inspiration come from mainly?

Özlem:  My inspiration comes largely from nature; from the biology that I spent eight years studying, single-celled organisms to whole ecosystems, even evolution and its systems, microbiology and of course my imagination.

ArterNet Art:  Ozlem, can you give us an idea of how has your work developed since you began and how do you see it evolving in the future?

Özlem:  When you start creating art, that means it will always evolve as you create over time. So my first A3 drawings evolved into large scale canvas paintings. In the future I want also to create sculpture as well as painting.

ArterNet Art:  Is there a piece of your work that holds particularly fond memories and why?

Özlem ‘Dreaming Nymphs’ is the first work I made after moving to London. 
I went to an art shop got some acrylics and then started. As I painted I thought about my whole life and how it had changed. I didn’t plan to add any female figures, to my surprise, they created themselves. 
In the end, Anita Dobson and Brian May took this painting, after I met them, which was quite a coincidence in itself. 
I find this memory miraculous.

‘Life in Proxima Centauri B’ Acrylic on Canvas 80 x 120cm
ArterNet Art: Is there anything in particular that inspires you to create art?

Özlem I think art must be within you first and then you can introduce it to your work. By that I mean that artistic people have a tendency to see the world in a special way. 
They delve into details more easily than others. They create images in their minds, shape them, detail them even before drawing anything. 
So only with constant inspiration is one able to be an artist.

ArterNet Art: What has been your favourite or most memorable art sale?

Özlem:  As I mentioned ‘Dreaming Nymphs’ was my most memorable one. I feel like that work had a mind of its own and meant to find its owners itself.

ArterNet Art: Marketing your artwork: do you have any tips? Do you struggle with marketing and what areas could you use some guidance for?

Özlem I think the best thing artists can do to market their work is to constantly create, and observe. When you always have something to share, you can be ready to communicate to someone receptive.

ArterNet Art: How has your arts business/career changed over the past 6 months or year?

Özlem During the pandemic of course, art wasn’t uppermost in most people’s minds, even though the pandemic has shown us how important the creative arts truly are. 
But for me I had more time to create art so it made me imagine even more and create new work. This constant painting process has been good for me and my work has been published in amazing art books such as ‘Leaders in Contemporary Art’  'Capsules Book', ‘World’s Most Exciting Artists’ and 'Art Folio'.

ArterNet Art: What plans and goals do you have for the future, both creatively and personal?

Özlem:   My main aim is to be remembered as a great Turkish woman artist, so I am working towards this dream - single-mindedly.

ArterNet Art: What advice would you give to an aspiring new artist?

Özlem:    I would say never give up. If you really want to reach somewhere, you shouldn’t allow anything or anyone to discourage your aim.
I think having a dream and constantly working for that dream, can make it a reality.

‘Particles in Saturn’ Acrylic on Canvas 60 x 80cm

Thank you once again, Özlem for taking the time to chat with me today.
At ArterNet Art we are all about inspiring our artist members. 
We find it's a great way to learn about another artist's perspective and journey in a more personal and indepth manner.
View more of Özlem's  artworks on her website.

You can be a featured artist on 'World Famous on ArterNet Art' :

Apply by sending in a submission,

or you can be recommended, or you are invited by ANA.

Send your submission or if you know of a worthy artist email: info@arternetart.com


Did you know that for around a dollar per day - 

you can have your OWN online art gallery - 

where you won't pay any commission on your art sales!

Become a member of ANA today!


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