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Tolga Ertem was born on October 24th, 1972, in Manisa, and completed his primary, secondary and high school education there. He started using drawing to express himself from an early age. He competed in the Traditional Tekel Painting Competition at age eight and won first prize in his age group.
Between 1991 and 1995, he received undergraduate education as a Graphics major from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Mimar Sinan University. He has worked in collaboration with many esteemed graphic designers such as Bulent Erkmen, Yurdaer Altintas, Mesut Manioglu and Dilek Bektas. He received hyper realistic illustration classes from Vural Subiler. From Suleyman Saim Tekcan he learned printmaking techniques, and from Cafer Turkmen he learned basic photography.
From 1995 to 2008, he worked at ad agencies as an art director. He established Clinic Communications, which operates in the health communication sector, and undertook the role of creative director from 2008 to 2013.
With the sponsorship of the Besiktas Municipality, he held his first solo exhibition, named “I am Mustafa Kemal” on 19 October 2016, in Istanbul, Besiktas Fulya Art Center. Between 2016 and 2018, he held 3 solo exhibitions and participated in 5 group exhibitions.
Since 2018, some of his paintings have been adapted as puzzles under the brand Anatolian and are being sold domestically and internationally. Also, since 2019, some of his work has been printed on various publicity and promotion materials that are being sold at museums and ceremonial areas under the jurisdiction of The Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
His artwork can be found in official and private organizations, and in private collections. He continues to create paintings with his take on spontaneous realism, from Istanbul.