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Alumni Spotlight: Kibele Yarman

What are you doing professionally?

A while after my graduation in 2015, I realized that I tend to do better by taking on design projects that matter to me on a personal level and so I have decided to concentrate on having my own design practice. I don’t think specializing in only one area of design is something I could ever do, however recently I’ve been doing more book covers, spot illustrations and branding work- I find working on them relatively more fulfilling compared to some others. I’m also lecturing part-time at the Işık University’s Communication Design Department in Istanbul, Turkey.

How has your thesis progressed?

Mârr and food memoirs are still in my heart and I have done a few things for it after graduation, but it’s currently paused. I have decided to let it rest and focus on my career, which has always been my priority. Also I think I don’t find digital publications as sexy as I used to find them. This requires me to sit down and think some things over and currently my plate is a little too full. Maybe it will end up being a physical book, or another product that includes these stories after all.

What are your long term goal/short term goals?

I’ve currently started working on designing covers for a modern Turkish literature series thar are translated to English for the first time that will be first available in America then in Turkey. I’m verry excited about projects that connects two of my worlds. I hope I can be a part of many more projects like this to come.

I’ve also done two cover illustrations for American science journals- it was such an interesting experience for me because the topic of the articles were things I didn’t know much about. I wish to do more of the things I don’t know much about. I have also started writing about design, in a Turkish publication, but it’s more difficult than I expected it to be. I hope I can get better at it before I die.

What impact has SVA MFA Design had on your career?

On an individual level, I have definitely learned to be more open to different point of views when approaching design projects but I have also learned how to talk about my ideas better after seeing many designers to look up to. God, I used to be so shy.

SVA is an incredible community. I have been extremely lucky to have amazing friends to collaborate with from literally all over the world on projects (and an excuse to eat all sorts of exotic food.) What started as messing around with collages on a Sunday afternoon with Najeebah Al-Ghadban, (MFAD 2015) turned into an invitation to have my work displayed in a group exhibition in Greece last May, for instance. It’s ridiculous.

Has our "do it all" approach changed the way you work or approach a project?

For sure. This way you feel less of a part assembler in a factory and more of a maker of meaningful things.

What advice would you give to incoming students?

Try to love everyone. Collaborate often. Do you in new ways and definitely do New York in all the ways you can.

See more of Kibele's work on her website or follow her on Instagram.