Polish-born, London based digital illustrator Ev is our latest member of BLUP50. Having recently been featured in British Vogue and Design Collector, Ev’s illustrations move from elegant, Giacometti-like silhouettes straight from the runway, to abstract, minimal sketches. Staying true to traditional forms of illustration and contextualising it within today’s technology, Ev’s art is a dialogue between the old and new.
// YOUR WORD FOR 2021
In all aspects of its meaning. Freedom in creative expression, freedom in choosing your own unique path, freedom in being unapologetically yourself. Since the beginning of last year, it’s been all about confinement, lockdown, quarantine, and we all had to face so many limitations and restrictions (from our governments, personal, health-related, logistical, mental etc). We had to adapt whether we liked it or not. So this year I hope that somehow we can find freedom in all the chaos surrounding us. Even if the above restrictions still persist, I hope that we don’t let them obscure our minds, neglect our feelings and suppress our creativity.
// WHAT HAVE YOU SEEN ONLINE/INSTAGRAM /TIKTOK / TWITTER THAT HAS STOPPED YOU SCROLLING?
Dave Chappelle. Every time this man opens his mouth I’m all ears.
// GIVE US A WHISTLE STOP TOUR OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE
I’ve always been a creative person, as a child I drew and painted, I’d frequently attend galleries, museums and theatre with my parents, I danced ballet and won a few art competitions. It wasn’t until I finished university when I truly reconnected with my artistic side. It started with fashion illustration (my academic background is in fashion). I started putting my artwork on social media, getting recognised by the likes of Edward Enninful, Marc Jacobs, and other designers and celebrities. I had my first feature in British Vogue in 2018, which sparked more interest and more frequent commissions. I showed my artwork for the first time in 2019 during an art fair in Kensington. I also got a solo feature in Design Collector. I’ve been selling my prints online and creating bespoke pieces for private clients. At the end of last year, I collaborated with Royle Eleven, which is this new luxury menswear brand. I love menswear so it was a pleasure working with them.
//WHAT DOES 24 HOURS IN YOUR LIFE LOOK LIKE?
No day looks the same for me. Even in lockdown, I try to switch it up. There are few things however that remain unchanged. Black coffee in the morning followed by daily journaling session. I also exercise at least 4-5 times a week. I give myself time slots for learning something new every day (reading an article, listening to a podcast or watching an interesting Youtube video). I find myself more creatively productive in the late afternoon, unless I have a tight deadline then I just have to get on with it. Evenings are usually for winding down.
// WHAT DO YOU DO TO SWITCH OFF OR CHILL?
Go for a long walk. Being surrounded by nature heals, grounds and energises me.
// WHAT HAS BEEN ONE OF YOUR BEST CAREER HIGHLIGHTS?
Randomly stumbling upon one of my illustrations being featured in British Vogue!! I was at work at the time and for a second my corporate professionalism went outta the window! I had a little freak out session, a little jog and a little dance followed by a loud announcement to my colleagues that ‘Your girl has been featured in British Vogue people!’ what a joy I’m telling you.
// WHAT DO YOU SEE IN YOUR FUTURE?
Illustrating for the publications I love to read such as The Atlantic, The New York Times, The New Yorker. Showing my artwork in galleries.
// IF YOU COULD COLLABORATE WITH ONE CREATIVE/BRAND WHO WOULD IT BE?
// WHO IS YOUR GREATEST INSPIRATION?
Alberto Giacometti, Alexander McQueen, Rick Owens, Gary Veynerchuk, and many more I won’t fit onto one page. Honestly, I try to find inspiration in anything and anyone. The other person will always know something you don’t.
// YOUR FAVOURITE SONG OF 2021 SO FAR?
Ok it’s actually from the end of last year but “Take Me Where Your Heart Is” by Q.
// WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO SAY ABOUT YOU AT THE END OF YOUR CAREER?
That my artwork made an impact, inspired someone, put a smile on someone’s face, helped someone, made a difference.
// WHAT IS THE BIGGEST ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE TO NEW CREATIVES?
Read Jerry Saltz’s book on “How To Be An Artist”. Since I’ve only been going at it for about 6 years I do consider myself a new creative. Reading this book will make you realise that we are all really just big cry babies who need to get over themselves and get to work 🙂
// WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU IN YOUR WORLD RIGHT NOW?
Racial injustice. It’s an issue that’s been important to me and close to my heart for almost half of my life.
// ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO MENTION?
Sure. Black Lives Still Matter.