Kazakh artist depicts ancient legends

Sea horses, eternal tree of life, mysterious beast Konyr Ar. Images from the Turkic mythology become alive in the works of the Kazakh artist Zhanar Yerlankyzy. The woman creates unusual illustrations using national motives and shares them on the popular social media. The number of followers increases with each posted work. Art admirers from abroad are also interested in the unique creativity of the Kazakh artist.

“Once I got into the Turkic mythology and it became interesting for me to draw characters. At first I drew only for myself, and then I started to publish works on social media. Thus, this theme slowly began to develop,” said Zhanar Yerlankyzy, an illustrator.

Fans of the artist’s creativity appreciated the topic of the Turkic mythology, because it is not only extremely beautiful, but also instructive. Pictures literally revive ancient legends. Zhanar publishes works under the pseudonym Yerke. On her page, you can learn that once our ancestors believed that the waters were inhabited by magical tulpars. This belief is especially widespread in Mangystau region. The artist also reflected in her work the legends about the forest spirit Serei, who could kill people by tickling.

“I take inspiration, probably, from the Kazakh culture, different myths, legends, even fairy tales. I read and draw. Sometimes an image comes and then I start to associate it with something,” said Zhanar Yerlankyzy.

While engaging in creativity, Zhanar also raises social topics. These are the problems of domestic violence, protection of children’s rights. According to the master, it sometimes takes her weeks to create one illustration. Zhanar also actively works with various publishing houses, serving as an illustrator for famous authors.


Translation by Saniya Sakenova

Editing by Saule Mukhamejanova