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Nice to see you here. Before we commence with festivities, I would like to thank you for supporting me, no matter what shape or form.
As I shout in the video in a very ecstatic way, I am accepted to the Royal College of Art to do my Master’s degree in Information Experience Design programme. This is a very big deal for me since after graduating from a major I did not want to pursue, I dedicated all my time and effort into finding what it is that I might do best. It has a philosophical connotation since a quest like this is about finding meaning in our lives.
Why is this such a big deal?
Well, first of all, the Royal College of Art is the best. Literally.
It has been named the world’s leading art and design university for the fifth consecutive year. The RCA leads the table of 200 of the world’s top universities for the study of art and design in the 2019 QS World University Subject Rankings, ahead of much larger institutions around the globe. The ranking consolidates its position as the world’s internationally renowned art and design university, offering unrivalled opportunities in art and design.
Also, the fact that I am accepted to this established institution despite my background as a Nutrition and Dietetics graduate, shows that I am on the right path and my relentless efforts are finally paying off.
What did I do so far?
While I was studying Nutrition and Dietetics —which has always been something that I was not interested in— I decided to find out what I want by trying out many different things. I already knew somehow that I was interested in visual arts (childhood memories) and writing my thesis on the intersectional relationship between feminism and vegetarianism paved the way to including social problems into the content of my works.
In order to receive the education I couldn't get, I learned printing and illustration at a creative workshop. I worked there for a year while also attending internships at hospitals as an intern dietitian in my senior year at university.
After graduating, I worked as a copywriter at various advertising agencies in Istanbul, while improving my design skills on the side. In 2017, I founded a brand called Peachy Works, with an aim to provoke a mass of audience who sees feminine imagery as a taboo and as something to sweep under the carpet which is called culture. I created the designs and printed them by myself via the workshop I built at my home, a DIY maker space.
Let me tell you though. Working full-time (I was working at a company called StratejiCo.) while trying to manage not one but two self-initiated projects (first one is my brand and the second one was a book club I founded at Circuit Istanbul) was very hard for me to balance my psychology. I started to feel a sense of burnout which resulted in me quitting my full-time job and entering an evaluation period for myself.
*Pic censored on women's request :)
After quitting my full-time job, I started working for a Turkish-German government-funded program to give printing trainings to immigrant women living in Istanbul and also assisting a couple of local women’s cooperatives on the side. Working for a social project was refreshing for me, and allowed me enough time and brain space to find out my next moves. Eventually, I decided to move out of Istanbul to focus on my post-graduate preparations. After 5 months of isolation time, here I am with my acceptance letter!
*From the series I made in collaboration with the Ilk Adim Women's Cooperative who focuses on weaving.
What does it mean if I attend this school?
The programme I will attend is called Information Experience Design. Although it sounds vague, I believe it consists of everything we need to understand the complex relationship between art, science, and philosophy at these uncertain times where the lines between these concepts are very blurred and learning from them has increasingly become fluctuate.
So in a way, it is not just about earning a Master’s degree at a renowned university, but it is also about finding new ways to discover a new world which unfolds in front of us every day in the most unexpected ways. I don't separate my work from the pressing social problems we face today such as gender inequality, urban crisis and sustainability. That is why to get my postgraduate education where art is created to express information, will help me to both become an established designer and someone who can create strategies for social change.
What does your donation contribute to?
The best art and design university in the world, well, it comes with its own costs.
Annual tuition fee I have to pay is £28,400. Which is so much more than what my family and I can afford. Also, the fact that 1 British pound is 7 Turkish liras is no help for me either. I will pay for the £2,000 deposit in 5 days, so the amount I am trying to collect is the remaining £26,400 plus the GoGetFunding fee of 4 percent from every donation made that makes it £27,456 in total.
Your contribution will go to cover my tuition fees. My personal savings and support from my family will go to maintenance fees; which include rent, food, travel and the arrangements to take my lovely dog to London with me (fingers crossed with that too). In total, these makeup to another £13,000 approximately. So any overfunding will be welcome since it will contribute to an amount I will struggle to pay.
Note: Donations will be made in dollars since that is the PayPal account I can use.
Why the rush? What is the time frame?
As of today, I have 5 days to put the £2,000. deposit in place. After that, I will have a 2 week cooling off period to decide whether to get the deposit back or not in accordance with the success (hopefully!) of my fundraising campaign.
What if I cannot reach my target goal?
If I cannot reach my goal, I will, unfortunately, decline the offer made by the Royal College of Art. I am also accepted to receive my Master’s at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) at the Illustration MA programme. It costs relatively less and I am offered a scholarship from there, worthy of $14,000 of the tuition fee.
That’s it! I wish to give you some exciting news as my campaign spreads and hopefully we will see it through together!
*You can share this campaign with #gizemtoRCA hashtag.
**Thanks to my friends Ece Bayar and Caner Özakar in the making of this video. One very special thanks go to the Adahan Hotel, where we shot this video.