Serkan Akyol, who draws illustrations that reflect his daily life as if he is keeping a diary, turns these drawings into designs each more special than the other through the Atalier Mono brand. Almost 40 special products such as journals, backpacks, frames, and t-shirts are immortalized with Akyol’s illustrations. Akyol, who progresses by investing towards the vision of accessible art, targets to have his designs reach a large mass. The designs of Akyol, who says that they will open their first offline store with the partnership of Lemur Store in Germany in March 2017, have reached the four corners of the world.

Gained experience in different fields
Serkan Akyol, who is a graduate of Süleyman Demirel University Stage Arts, Decoration and Costume Design Department, worked with Levent Kulaç in the TRT İstanbul artistic services department from 2001 to 2004. Akyol, who was transferred to İKSV afterwards, worked in the lights-decoration section. Oyun Atölyesi followed this period. After working there for two seasons, he got his masters degree in the costume branch from the Textile Design Department of University of Marmara Fine Arts Faculty during 2008. While studying his masters’ degree here, Akyol, who says that the Turkish Culture Foundation decided to open a branch in Turkey, says, “We materialized the ‘Who is Who?’ project here. The project was a different reflection of the ‘Who is Who in Anatolia’ theme. We called all the artisans to Istanbul, gave them each a certificate, and broke all strings between the producer and consumer. Later, when Armaggan was founded, I continued to work in Armaggan’s textile department. My masters’ degree thesis reflected the concept of the material wrapping the body and the body wrapping the material, the deformations appearing in the human body because of the disconnection between the material and the body. In short, the core of my work was on bodily deformations.”

From Corporate life to individual designs
Akyol, who specifies that while he continued working at Armaggan his brother Serdar Akyol opened a place named the ‘Free Zone’ in Taksim, started to bring his own designs into reality thanks to this place. Here is how Akyol summarizes this process: “My brother Serdar Akyol is a Mimar Sinan University graduate and his expertise area is Medieval History. I started selling my own illustrations by adapting them to notebooks for the first time 3 years ago in the Free Zone. This product group received large interest in a short time. Later, alldesign contacted us. Actually I founded my workshop in 2014 but alldesign triggered the process of establishing Atalier Mono as a company and so was the Atelier Mono brand born in Februray 2015. Later, I made deals with companies such as Lemur Store, Zemix, Plumon Art of Writing, Free Zone, Hipicon, Zet, Home Store and Lunapark. Currently, we have corners at 14 stores in Turkey. I serve from two locations. One is the production workshop in Hasırcıbaşı, Kadıköy and the other one is the showroom in Moda, Kadıköy.”

He works with 8 different workshops
Serkan Akyol, who works with eight different workshops, designs illustrations in the aim of the concept that he developed; he then uploads them to a computer environment. He elects the models to find the ones that he wants to turn into products; he gets printouts of the models depending on their sizes and styles. At Atalier Mono, there are different models such as t-shirts, backpacks, bags, wallets, sketchbooks, sweatshirts, frames, makeup bags, bookcases, pencil cases, passport covers, and cloth bags. Serkan Akyol, who shares these printouts with the workshops that he works with, emphasizes that nearly 40 special products are turned into the specified products by means of these workshops.

New projects are on the way
Serkan Akyol, who expresses that a sum of 500 to 2000 products are designed monthly and at most 4 of each product are made, also plays an active role in different works. Akyol, who is conducting a social responsibility project with a jewelry designer from Miami, will create a clothing illustration within the extent of this project and will place his signature under a work focused on wearable art. The newest project of Serkan Akyol, which will begin to operate in the near future, would be the ‘open workshop’. This workshop, which will have all the press systems, will be open to everyone’s use. Serkan Akyol is also getting ready for his ‘Adam’s Animals’ exhibition that will be opening soon in the Free Zone. Akyol, who expresses that he will attend the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial within the ‘Creative Neighborhood’ category, says that this year Kadıköy will be included in the project. Serkan Akyol mentions that he will open offline stores in Germany in 2017 within the partnership of Lemur Store and his products are also sold in New York, Los Angeles, Sydney, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany and in Holland. Serkan Akyol specifies that he draws his illustrations as if he is keeping a diary. His design line reflects his daily life.