EVAN IS NOT ONLY A TATTOO ARTIST: HE LOVES TO CREATE TINY ART. DISCOVER MORE READING THE INTERVIEW.
When did you decide to dedicate yourself to art?
I don’t necessarily think that there was one moment that I decided to dedicate myself to art, but rather, it has been a process taking place over my whole life that has just grown more and more prominent. If I had to choose a specific moment, it would have been about three years ago when I decided to quit my full-time job in favor of making art and tattoos with all my time.
What job did you want to do as a child?
As a kid, I always just wanted to be able to make things. Looking back, I would say that I always wanted to be an artist of some kind and potentially an entomologist (insect scientist).
What was your first customer?
When I was pretty young, I would guess about four or five, I made a bunch of really goofy sculptures with brightly-colored clay, rubber bands, beads, magnets, and whatever else I could find and then took pictures of them all and, in an attempt at entrepreneurialism, made a catalog of pieces that were available for purchase. This was before email was popular, so I printed off the catalogs and sent them out to all my relatives and family friends. Since then, I’ve just been riding on the coattails of that highly-successful endeavor- it was probably the pinnacle of my artistic career so far.
What do you usually get inspiration from?
I never know how to answer questions about inspiration because the delivery method seems so inconsistent to me. I wish it was as easy as visiting a mysterious fountain tucked in the depths of some hidden wood where I could scoop up a cup of inspiration for the week, but unfortunately, I have not yet found such a consistent source. Usually, I’ll get a spark of inspiration in a way very similar to how one gets an itch- suddenly and during a mundane activity. It’s definitely very elusive and unpredictable and, for me, requires being open to random thought patterns instead of trying to control them. Sometimes I find myself trying to force inspiration like a bird attempting to lay an immense egg, but those pieces always seem to fall flat.
What makes you happy?
My perspective makes me happy. I think it is a really interesting question because it subtly suggests that things outside of you make you happy. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with this approach, but it gets problematic to rely on outside sources for your happiness all the time. I try to make myself happy and appreciative of all that I have and then the things that I love begin to surround me, kind of like a magnet. Foremost, I aim to be happy with my actions and way of being because then the rest will follow. I don’t mean to say that there aren’t things outside of me that make me happy, there definitely are a lot of them like plants and dogs and people, but it’s my perception of these things that is making me happy- not the actual objects or events themselves.
The next purchase?
We just ran out of oranges, so probably a bag of those so that I can make juice tomorrow morning. But my next bigger purchase will probably be another tattoo or more art supplies.
The most beautiful memory until now.
Memories are tricky, fickle things. I read recently that the more you attempt to remember an event, the more the memory deteriorates and then your mind begins to fill in the gaps that it has created. You’re left with a memory that is constantly being recreated and amended to fit the current version of yourself. To pick a single pinnacle of beauty would be a dangerous endeavor because it would shift my memories from a rich spectrum into a judgmental hierarchy. Long story short, my answer is probably a cop-out but I don’t want to make my other memories jealous and competitive by just picking one.
Why did you choose to create mini-books?
I have always loved working in really fine detail, but I got to point where I was getting really frustrated at how long it would take me to complete a larger illustration. On a whim, I decided that it would probably be easier to just shift my scale rather than continuing to frustrate myself. The response to the first few tiny books was phenomenal and really opened up a really interesting path into the world of miniature illustrations. Now I’m really interested in how people handle and view the tiny books; for me, it is way more interesting to watch somebody’s reaction to a tiny book and how their demeanor changes in response to the scale. It is fairly easy to look at a large painting because it requires no adaptation from the viewer, but when you are presented with a micro-object, your whole way of interacting with the piece changes.
Your next trip.
There is a tattoo artist in Taiwan that I would really love to get some work from, so I’m hoping to go there soon for some new ink and to explore the world of tea a little bit more. Realistically though, I’ll be going to Santa Fe with a few friends at the end of the month. It should be really fun because a few of them have never been in the desert before, so I’m excited to share that experience with them.
Official Website www.artandsuchevan.com
Photos courtesy of the artist