Pure Illustration represent many talented illustrators and artists, some who have worked with us for many years. It’s always interesting to get a back-story about the artist who creates a licensed piece of artwork so we’ve been chatting with our creative team members to find out more about their work.
Here’s a recent interview with Deva Evans:
1. How did you find yourself working in the world of art licensing?
I grew up in Belfast in a loving home and have fond childhood memories of summers spent at a cottage in Donegal. I moved to Newcastle Upon Tyne and three years later, graduated with a degree in Graphic Design. I spent five years working for Paper Dove Company designing greetings cards for many UK charities. This experience helped me to develop techniques and styles, while learning a lot from the other designers working there. In 2013 I decided I wanted to see more of the world, so I embarked on a six-month adventure traveling around South East Asia with my boyfriend. When I returned, I set myself up as a freelancer in the art licensing world. I spent some time researching different agents to represent my work and found Pure Illustration, who I thought could represent my work perfectly. Soon I found myself freelancing for Paper Dove and producing work for Pure Illustration. I have also set up a wedding stationery business called ‘Top Table Design’ with my close friend. I enjoy how varied my career is now, no day is ever the same.
2. Are there any artists who inspire your work?
I like a lot of naturalistic images, so I admire the print work of Robert Gillmor and Lisa Hooper. I love Tom Frost’s bright, block colour wildlife designs that have been reproduced on mugs, tea towels and plates. I adore the work of Rifle Paper Co., I love the simplicity of their designs but clever use of colour. I am really interested in Children’s book illustrators. I love Oliver Jeffers, and to me Sara Ogilvie’s work and Quentin Blake’s drawings are timeless. Orla Kiely, Caroline Gardner and Lucy Grossmith are also sources of inspiration.
3. Describe your work space, do you have a mascot or a favourite pen?
I live in Newcastle Upon Tyne, but hope one day to move to the countryside. My workspace is next to a window so I have lots of lovely natural daylight. My mascot is my dog Lily, a one-year-old cocker spaniel, she keeps me company as working from home can often get a bit lonely. I like using fine black pens and size 0 paint brushes for detail, and I always paint on hot pressed watercolour paper as I find the paint doesn’t absorb too much into the smooth surface. However, I am unreservedly resourceful when I design, using watercolour, acrylics, pencils, tester pots and anything else I can get my hands on.
4. Do you have a ritual before you start your creative work?
I usually start my day with a strong coffee and then I take the dog for a walk along the beach, which clears the mind and helps to wake me up. I then turn on the radio or put on a favourite iTunes playlist before starting the design process.
5. What is a typical day like when you are creating?
I wake up at around 7.30am and, after taking the dog out, I do a bit of research for the creative process ahead. I look at current trends on design blogs and probably spend a bit too long browsing Pinterest for ideas! I sketch out designs on my layout pad, and once I am happy I work up the image using colour on paper. I tend to use the computer to improve the composition and tweak colours. I try to do a capsule range of four cards in a similar style and colour palette. Sometimes I like to get out of the house for inspiration; a trip to the high street usually helps to freshen up my work.
6. What has been the proudest moment in your art career?
My proudest artistic moment was at the age of 19, when one of my paintings was selected for the Royal Ulster Academy’s exhibition in the Ulster Museum. Best moments in my art licensing career have been: when I got my first cards published through Paper Dove and my name was printed on the back (this was a very exciting moment!), and when I walked into a T.K. Maxx with my parents and spotted, by chance, a stand full of biscuit tins with my woodland design on them. I am proud that I have been able to design for charities for so long. British Red Cross have used my moonlit hare design on a range of products, and I have seen my cards on the high street too – in John Lewis, Selfridges, Paper Chase and a few other places.
7. Who would be your dream customer to see your work in?
I love the idea of doing more surface pattern work… it would be wonderful to see my designs transferred onto bed linen and selling in high street department stores. One day I would like to walk into a bookshop and see my artwork in children’s books.
8. How would you like to develop your work in the future?
I would love to get into children’s book illustration, and I would like to do more surface pattern design as it is something I haven’t done much of in the past. I also want to get back to my roots, get the canvas and paint brushes out and have some fun creating a few paintings.
Pure Illustration – the agency for artists and illustrators working in art markets worldwide – www.pureillustration.com