Damla Ayzeren is the talented writer and illustrator of the Turkish children’s book series “The Adventures of Cherry.” In 2012, Damla brought the series to the digital world using Corona SDK and Kwik. As a participant in the American Design Awards, a reputable and independent design organization, Damla’s “Cherry at the Stars” eBook was awarded 2nd place in the Application Design Category.
What’s your background as an illustrator?
After I studied art at Istanbul Fine Arts High School, I went to Mimar Sinan Academy of Fine Arts where I studied cinema and created short movies. After graduating, I worked as a designer and illustrator in various advertising and graphic design agencies. From that point, my illustrative style became dominant, even in most of my commercial graphic works.
Beside graphic design, I’ve contributed royalty-free digital illustrations to several image banks such as Shutterstock and iStockphoto. I have a portfolio of vector illustrations which is suitable for a large variety of usage purposes.
Two years ago, I had the chance to illustrate for kids with my first children’s book series, The Adventures of Cherry. Storytelling has always been my passion, and now I can use illustration as a visual means to express the words on the page. I find picture books as a perfect medium to combine my illustration, design, and writing skills.
Why did you decide to create a digital version of your hardcover The Adventures of Cherry series?
The hardcopy books were written and published in Turkish. After a year, I translated the series into English so it could be published in other countries. I wanted the books to reach more children from around the world and making a digital version seemed to be the correct approach.
Digital publishing is getting stronger every day compared to traditional hardcopy publishing, as it offers a new form of production and user interaction. The competition between the eBook and hardcopy book is still a subject of argument, but it’s undeniable that the digital world offers a wide range of opportunities.
Please tell us about the eBook Cherry At The Stars.
Cherry is a funny character, based on my nephew’s personality. Cherry is smart, creative, and determined but also very mischievous. Her fun and playful personality gave me lots of potential to create clever and naughty acts, allowing children to laugh and enjoy the story.
Cherry At The Stars is the first book of the series for ages 4-8. The story is about following your dreams and finding ways to make them come true.
Can you please share your recognition at the American Design Awards? What was the criteria for winning?
American Design Awards is recognized around the world as the most reputable and independent award organization. Its mission is to elevate the design industry through promotion of ethical design standards. To achieve this objective, they host competitions on a global stage and give designers the opportunity to expand their careers in the industry.
In short, American Design Awards recognize and award the most outstanding, meaningful and inspirational design achievements in the design world. When I heard that Cherry At The Stars won 2nd place in the Application Design category, I was very excited that my hard work was recognized by design professionals.
Why did you decide bring your eBook to iOS with Corona SDK and Kwik?
When I decided to make the digital version of my book, I sought out programmers who could do the work for me. At that time, I discovered a children’s book app which looked exactly like what I wanted to create. When I met the designer of the app, I found that the app was produced with Kwik and Corona SDK.
With Kwik, I didn’t need to write a single line of code, and with Corona SDK I could easily build my application for all major platforms. In fact, it was so user-friendly, I decided to just create the eBook myself!
I designed the interactive app in an amazingly short time with Kwik’s simple tools, and a flawless production process with Corona SDK. I could see and test every step of my design in the Simulator, easily build the app for iOS, and send it directly to iTunes Connect for review. The whole production process was amazingly fast and simple.
For the time being, Cherry At The Stars is only book in the series available for iOS, but I plan to publish my eBook to other platforms in the near future.
Have you used Corona and Kwik to create any other eBooks?
Cherry At The Stars was my first app. Now I’m working on the other three books of the series which will probably be available on the App Store soon.
What’s your next project?
After I finish the digital production of the whole series, I’m going to start working on an interactive educational project for elementary-age kids. The production process might take a while for its informative content and interactive animations, but when it’s done, it will be a fun application for kids to explore the world and to see it from the eyes of other children living in different places. They will be able to compare each other’s everyday lives and cultures.
And inevitably, I will make the digital versions of all future books that I’m going to write and illustrate.
Thanks for sharing your experience, Damla!
Corona SDK Apps by Damla Ayzeren
Cherry at the Stars
Cherry wants to go to the stars just like the butterflies she saw in her dream. Her grandfather, who is a scientist, tells her that it is impossible but for Cherry, there is always a way to make her dreams come true. And with her creative imagination, she will surely make it happen!