Dolce Paganne, a.k.a Ceren Aksungur, is an artist based in Istanbul. Her eerily disquieting yet alluring illustrations straddle that liminal space between dream and nightmare, making them a perfect fit for ghoulish tales or ghostly occurrences. Here she answers a few of our questions.
Could you define the approach or philosophy of your work?
I export fairytales to nightmares. I try to find a balance between beautiful and ugly, because I love both.
Which piece of work or project have you learned the most from?
Creating a series of artworks for Seed, the limited edition horror novel by the author Ania Ahlborn (published by Suntup Editions), was probably the most challenging project that moved me forward. It was a southern gothic kind of demonic possession story where the main character was a little girl.
© 2020 Suntup Editions
Which illustrator alive or dead do you most admire and why?
There is more than one. But I do want to mention Junji Ito because of his symbolic use of horror in epic and surreal representations.
What is the most challenging aspect for you of being a ‘jobbing' illustrator?
You are a one person army most of the time and that can be exhausting if you don’t make, and keep, to a good time-schedule for everything.
Who would be your ideal client to work for and why?
Horror books, horror movies, fantastic/horror genre games. Basically anything related to surreal and horror fiction works for me. Somehow my style looks so fresh in horror related stuff, plus I enjoy this genre a lot.
What do you think defines ‘good illustration’?
For me good illustration or a good artwork is one that adds a new reading, a new meaning to the context it joins.
If you weren’t an illustrator what would you be?
If I was not an illustrator or a painter... In another, more energetic life, I would probably be a dancer.
What is one part of your working process that you do well, something you could improve and something you wish you never had to do again?
I compose well in the sketching phase, I could improve my patience and creativity while working on a series of pictures, I wish I never have to redo work that has been burned or soaked by accident!
What actor/actress would play you in a film about your life and what would the name of that film be?
“The girl who doesn’t sleep” played by Winona Ryder please in 90’s :) Because I love her so much.
What was the last film that made you cry (in sadness or in laughter)?
I know It sounds strange but I haven't watched a movie that made me cry in a very long time. Probably One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Dolce illustrated the feature 'Vive La Cinémathèque' about film conservationist Henri Langlois for the new Courage & Strength issue, available now to buy in the shop.