Bulgarian-born Cem Bilge studied painting at the National Academy of Art in Sofia, until his family was forced to immigrate to Istanbul, where he continued his studies at Mimar Sinan University.
In 2008, Cem was commission by a London restaurant to design a menu for children, and he created a character called “Chef Kushti".
Upon his return to Istanbul, Cem and his wife made it into a book, and eventually an animation broadcast on Turkish National TV.
Cem has never looked back!
“What got me interested in animation is this. When you start, you don’t have anything in hand. For example, in cinema, there might already be a set, a setting, and an actor. In animation, there’s nothing. Animation is a bit like literature; in essence, it is literature. Because you need to design everything from scratch. You’re the actor. You design the set. You set the mood. You need to create every little detail.”
When Cem first got involved with designing the Hemp Bouquet site, and creating Cannabis through the Ages, he soon realized hemp history is vast.
“We always thought of Cannabis as only a drug plant. I didn’t have much information about hemp previously. I started researching all aspects of Cannabis use for this project, and I realized how important it has been for humanity. Unfortunately, in our age we have demonized this plant and tried to exterminate it. Contrary to popular belief, animation doesn’t have to be for kids and fun only. We can use animation to visualize the history of this plant, present it to people, and help them learn. That’s the magical side of animation!”