A businessman, fan of the art of writing
Hatice Utkan ISTANBUL
‘Writing instruments are my passion and writing and drawing are things that I enjoy the most,’ says the artist İzel Rozental. The photos show cartons drawn by him.As a businessman, İzel Rozental aims to encourage calligraphy and cartooning in Turkey. A cartoonist and a writer, Rozental is one of the few people who promotes calligraphy and writing. Rozental is a world-renowned cartoonist, and his journey with cartoons shares the same path as his love for pens. That’s what his brand, Scrikss, aims to achieve with writing instruments.
Rozental was first published in teenage magazines during the ‘70s. He has been the front-page editorial cartoonist of “Shalom Newspaper” since 1991.
“Writing instruments are my passion and writing and drawing are things that I enjoy the most,” Rozental said. He entered the writing instruments business in 1980, and opened his first cartoon exhibition and published his first book in 1991. “Both writing instruments and drawing are very demanding jobs. They have to be dealt with meticulously,” he said. He explained that he divides his working hours between the two tasks, approaching everything with strict discipline.
His writing instrument business places importance on calligraphy and the act of writing. “In fact, we cannot say that enough importance is given to cartoons or calligraphy in Turkey. People have almost forgotten about hand-writing. They only use computers,” he said.
This is all linked to the multiple-choice testing system applied in the Turkish education system, according to Rozental. The latest developments in technology also effect children’s writing abilities, he said, adding that calligraphy art and writing occupy an exclusive place in our culture.
“As far as I know, the Education Minister Professor Nabi Avcı gives great importance to handwriting and I hope that in the new era there will be more writing lessons,” he said.
Cartoons and creating
Cartoons are another issue, Rozental said. It is essential that a cartoon carries some humor, and humor is a part of the culture. However, there are very few artists who can make a living only through drawing cartoons. In fact it is almost impossible, said Rozental, citing many who perform other jobs to earn money.
Rozental has had his cartoons published in various large and small publications in Turkey. He has participated in several exhibitions in countries such as France, Scotland, the Netherlands, Israel, Japan, Austria and Bulgaria. In conjunction with his cartooning activities, he has also turned out a number of comic strips about the card game of contract bridge, which have been published in Turkey, France, the U.S. and the U.K.
As a passionate reader and writer, Rozental is the author of humor novels and has published some humor books in Turkey.
At the same time, he never gave up his other passion for the writing instruments themselves. Scrikks issued a new fountain pen called “Heritage” for the company’s 50th anniversary, designed by industrial designer Kunter Şekercioğlu.
Şekercioğlu said this pen carries shapes and lines inspired by Istanbul. As a writer, Rozental too is an Istanbul lover. That’s why the Istanbul figure comes to the forefront in the latest design pen.
The brand’s exclusively designed pens have so far attracted many pen collectors. “Being a collector is more than a hobby. A collector has no boundaries,” Rozental said. “There are many pen collectors in Turkey, and I have met with some of them and had the chance to learn a lot from them.”