From clay toys to cartoons to innovative gadgets
Have you ever wondered if you're hindering your children’s creativity when all you intended to do was just the opposite? Meet Irfan Sayar and his legendary cartoon character Porof Zihni Sinir. Ifran started making clay toys when there was nothing else to do. Then he found the power of humor and started making cartoons. Today he is producing all kinds of innovative gadgets originating from these cartoons. He's also providing an enabling environment for children to put their creativity to use.
When I was young, children didn’t have many toys in Turkey. Those lucky enough to have some relatives living abroad would have the best toys. However, I remember spending hours with my friends in a room with either no or very few toys, but we would still have a great time. We would make horses out of brooms, helmets out of salad bowls, houses & cars out of boxes and wires. We would literally make our own toys. Now, I realize how this naturally nurtured our creativity. We would SCAMPER all the time. For those of you unfamiliar with the term SCAMPER, it’s a question checklist that jumpstarts idea generation by asking what you can Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Magnify or Minimize, Put to other uses, Eliminate and Reverse or Rearrange whatever you have at hand.
Today we want to introduce you to Irfan Sayar, father of a million crazy creations/innovations. Being the son of a farmer, he says he had no toys when he went to the village so he started making his own out of clay. This became such a passion for him that afterwards he never took the same joy from manufactured toys and always made his own. He started his career as a cartoonist and then started turning his cartoons into real gadgets. He has a famous cartoon character called Porof Zihni Sinir who is a very practical, curious and obviously humorous imaginary professor. Today when somebody really comes out with a very novel and weird idea in Turkey, it’s called a Zihni Sinir project.
I am a big fan of Porof Zihni Sinir who in reality is Irfan Sayar, his creator. First of all he's a great observer and is always attempting to find creative solutions to everyday problems. These problems are mostly a part of Turkish daily life. We accept them as a part of our DNA. We complain about them all the time, but never think about how we can solve them. They are like the organizational difficulties that we’re all used to just living with. Porof Zihni Sinir points out to these cultural dysfunctionalties and then offers crazy solutions. Turkey is a very proud nation and we don’t like people making fun of us, but when one of us does it in such a clever and funny way, we make that person our hero.
Here is a quick look at some of Porof Zihni Sinir Projects: