Digital Corner Chronicles #001: How did my journey start?

My name is Ayca Turan. I’m a Creative Technologist, specializing in Extended Reality Design and creating AI Workflows. This is the most personal story I have ever published.

Ayca Turan
5 min readMar 3, 2024

Hi there, nice to meet you!

Today, I want to share insights for those looking to explore unconventional paths, alongside stories of how my journey began.

Three years ago, after graduating in engineering, I took time to understand: ‘What do I want? What do I not want?’. Now I am a Creative Technologist. My path has been anything but linear.

me in 2021

The most important thing I have learned:

We’re living in an era where everyone has the potential to be a creator. I am just one of them. The spread of AI tools and services has democratized creativity, making it easier than ever to collaborate and bring big ideas to life, regardless of budget.

This path so far has taught me the invaluable lesson of documenting one’s journey. The act of sharing not only builds trust with potential collaborators but also creates a digital footprint that opens doors to new opportunities and catalyzes continuous learning and growth.

As a creative technologist, I find myself at the intersection of innovation and art. I’m excited by how these changes let more people express themselves and make a difference.

Projects like my collaborations with Instagram @design and the OpenAI Artist Showcase exemplify how creative technology can inspire action, not just attract attention. I’m here to bridge the gap between brands and consumers through authentic, meaningful dialogue.

me in painting workshop in Utrecht, June 2021

“watch me invest in creator economy”, yeah right:

Like an octopus, I try to reach out in all directions to share my journey and connect with other curious minds. Whether it’s through videos, articles, photos, community files, or social media. I aim to be everywhere, leaving my mark and sharing the journey with others on their creative paths.

Where they all connect is my website

If you were to ask me for one piece of advice,
what would make you a successful creator:

Explore your interests, experiment, and document your journey. This process is not just about personal growth but about finding your unique voice. The persistence in following your curiosity will undoubtedly aid in carving out a distinct path for yourself. Remember, it’s the journey of exploration and consistent effort that helps you stand out.

me practicing taking stop motion videos

My curiosity and passion for innovation leaned me towards engineering school after high school.

Then I became an engineer, now what?

I fast forward to graduation after half a decade, the pressure to prove my learning on paper became unbearable. I wanted to engage in learning for the joy of it, rather than to pass exams.

İstanbul, March 2021

Google released their well-known UX course during my graduation week, which I jumped into, completing the first four courses through early mornings, late nights, and intense study sessions.

I was interested in user experience design and started learning about it from my university library, to which I still had access as I was living across from the campus.

During this period, I also completed additional courses on into ux design by Anfisa and on sketching for ux by Krisztina, which I found particularly helpful and affordable within my budget at the time.

I enrolled in sailing courses to ensure I took breaks from the screen, during the mid-pandemic period. My days were filled with the Daily UI challenge and experimenting with simple AR projects, as I was trying to find my path.

İstanbul, April 2021

Feeling somewhat disoriented, I made a bold and impulsive decision to immerse myself in a new environment. Just days after the King’s Day celebrations, when travel was less frequent, I booked a cheap ticket to the Netherlands, perhaps in search of an adventure of self-discovery.

Culemborg, June 2021

The next three months in the Netherlands proved to be transformative. I learned more about Dutch culture, explored cities and museums, and met with a diverse array of people. This entire experience taught me invaluable lessons about my the ability to adapt to new environments.
My adventures on Pexels!

Where should we begin?

Oh wait, maybe we should go a little back to 2016. Why was I at that point of exhaustion? There are many things to share, like establishing university clubs, muggle quidditch sports team: Bilgi Crows, working in a biosensor start-up becoming a project manager for a year, being a simultaneous translator for science communication workshops, hosting my radio show, and being a news reporter… Or should I start with my first blogspot from 2008?

me in 2016

Ups and downs, many stories to be told. I will put more effort into creating the next one in the next quarter for sure. As I continue to evolve, I see myself as a work in progress, always learning from the world around me.

This series is more than just my story; it’s an open invitation to explore, experiment, and co-create our future in ways we’re just beginning to understand. By deciding to share these journeys, we realize we’re not alone in our struggles or aspirations. It’s probably going to be okay.

Ayca Turan
March 2024, Netherlands

Let’s connect, create, and transform our world, one digital corner at a time.



Ayca Turan

Creative technologist | XR design | AI Workflows | 🗺🪞