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The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

Elyse Tamturk: Moving on from SFSU

Graphic design student finishes out the semester by selling her artwork and original prints
Natalie Metcalf
Elyse Tamturk, a graphic design major at San Francisco State University, looks through old clothes she planned on selling at her pop-up in front of the Humanities Building on May 7, 2024. (Natalie Metcalf / Golden Gate Xpress)

While at her computer, Elyse Tamturk is struck by an idea and decides to get out her sketchbook. After imagining blends of colors while trusting her gut, the artist process has begun.

The San Francisco State University graphic design major is in her element when she is constantly creating something. Her business, Martini Prints, sells graphic design patterns and paintings. The pop-up has been in front of the Humanities Building on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tamturk would sell them from $1 to $2.

“The prints can be hung up anywhere,” Tamturk said. “They can be pinned up on a wall here at a dorm, they can be framed on a wall in a living room or bathroom. It’s wherever you feel like your peace is.”

The Bay Area native was born and raised in San Mateo. Coming from a Turkish background, some of her prints are inspired by her culture.

When setting up her pop-up shop on campus, her friend Samantha Emge helped her out by buying one of her prints to be framed on her wall. Emge described Tamturk as a passionate individual and a creative student.

“What I like most about Elyse is how caring of a person she is, she also has an amazing sense of fashion and design,”  Emge said. 

In Tamturk’s pop-up shop, a rack of her old clothes is displayed next to a crate of her prints. Some have bugs on them, others show flowers and martini glasses with limes. They are glossy and shiny, ready to be framed on a wall or taped to a door. 

Originally, Tamturk was an environmental studies major for two years but didn’t feel like her authentic self when she was studying it. 

“I can openly say that I wasn’t very happy,” Tamturk said. “I wasn’t in the field where I felt like I was being pushed into a specific direction, it felt very broad. I can incorporate environmental design within my work for future projects.” 

Eventually, she switched to graphic design.

“I love the creative feel of it. I love the environment and the people that you meet,” Tamturk said when talking about majoring in graphic design.

Tamturk started her business only a few months ago, selling handmade art pieces and prints. The artist loves fashion and wants to sell her art and graphic designs as a career. She uses Adobe software to create her prints. 

“I loved the way it sounded; it seemed very inviting to me,” Tamturk said, regarding naming her business Martini Prints.

One of her friends, Annie Elliot, has framed one of Tamturk’s pieces in her bedroom. They met when living next door to each other. 

“I’ve bought every single one,” Elliot said. “Some of them I have given out as gifts, other times I post them up on a wall and I’ll show them off to my friends.” 

Elliot moved down to Southern California after graduating from SFSU. 

In the fall, Tamturk will move to Los Angeles and attend Otis College of Art and Design after completing her third year at SFSU. She has spent her whole life in the Bay Area and wants to move on to bigger opportunities. 

Two of Elyse Tamturk’s prints, which she sold for $2 each in front of the Humanities Building on May 7, 2024. (Natalie Metcalf / Golden Gate Xpress)

“I feel like the move itself is mostly career-driven,” Tamturk said. “It seems like my whole life has kinda pushed me towards that direction.” 

Tamturk loves the community in Los Angeles, particularly in the Santa Monica area. She has many friends there, and her boyfriend also lives in L.A. While she appreciates the Bay Area weather, she couldn’t resist the consistently sunny days that Los Angeles offers.

Tamturk’s Instagram account shows a mix of her paintings and graphic designs. Plants with oranges and pink flowers are riddled within her designs. There is a constant theme of eyes, martinis, lemons and limes.

“I feel like if I’m not consistently creating something I just feel very sad or I don’t feel connected,” Tamturk said. “So with this, it kinda dives me into what I love.” 

Tamturk also sold some of her old clothing at her pop-up shop. She wanted to make sure the clothes that she trusts will give them a good home, which is why she is selling them instead of giving them to a thrift store. 

Eliana Menduyk has known Tamturk for about six years. They met in high school. Menduyk described her friend as spunky and outgoing. While Menduyk doesn’t own any of Tamtruk’s prints, she does own a couple of paintings Tamturk has done on canvases.

“She’s an amazing artist, she thinks outside of the box,” Menduyk said. “She’s grown into this strong independent woman and you see that in her art. There’s something different about each piece.” 

Tamturk describes herself as empathetic and strong-headed. She loves constructive criticism and admires how her major pushes her to do better in her field.

In Tamturk’s opinion, her art comes from her confidence. She wants to incorporate her assertiveness and her love of fashion into her designs. Some of her prints have the Vogue logo or look like the cover of a fashion magazine. Other prints center around a bottle of Chanel number five acting as a vase for pink and white flowers. 

“I feel like fashion inspires me because it is a sense of identity,” Tamturk said. “The choices you make with your clothing, I guess you could say it’s almost like a shield, your protection.” 

Tamtuk wants to work in the fashion industry at some point in her career. In the future, she wants to work with a company that aligns with her business.

“I would love to see this [Martini Prints] within publishing and any corporation that publishes a person’s own presence,” Tamturk said.

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About the Contributor
Natalie Metcalf
Natalie Metcalf, Staff Reporter
Natalie Metcalf (she/her) is a staff reporter from the Golden Gate Xpress. She is majoring in journalism and minoring in creative writing. She was born in New York City and raised in Los Angeles. Metcalf has previously worked as The Valley Life editor at The Valley Star, the independent student newspaper at Los Angeles Valley College. During her free time, she enjoys reading, journaling, writing poetry and making themed Spotify playlists.

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