Emily Evans Talks
First coming onto our radar via the sleeve art of One Handed Music's excellent 'Dedication' conceptual mix series, we've been seeing more and more of Emily Evans' work around town – whether gracing record covers or up on gallery walls, she is definitely an artist on the rise. We managed to cajole her into having a virtual cup of tea with us over which we discussed her influences, techniques, background and various collectives of which she's part….
Hi Emily, Looking at your work it seems that photocopying and worn textures play a big part. What draws you to the technique?
I really enjoy the process of photocopying images and the slow process of distressing a image through reproduction. I have never really been drawn to clean or realistic styles and prefer artwork that is imperfect with depth . Layers and depth are really important to me , one of my collages may include bits from 10 books that have been drawn on top of, then photocopied, then blown up then just the resulting texture used and the actual orginal image unseen. I suppose I enjoy the process as well as the resulting textures.
Did you study art/illustration at college or are you self taught?
I studied Graphic Design and Illustration at London Collage of Communication , It was a pretty conceptual course which I enjoyed. It involved a lot of experimentation and had a focus on research which is something I love doing.
Your work seems to draw on musical influences a fair bit, who are you most into, music-wise?
Hmm music wise Im into alot of things, my dad is really into Jazz and that was what I was brought up on, my older sister and her boyfriend were really into acid Jazz and Trip Hop and she gave me alot of mixtapes of Portishead and Tricky etc. Musically I suppose my first love is hip-hop. I think generally the music I am into is similar to my taste in art and illustration, layers, analogue, organic and with texture, I think that makes sense, it does in my head anyways.
I know youve recently become part of the Hit & Run Crew, congrats. How did that come about?
Brandy Flower who runs Hit & Run saw my artwork around and asked me if I was up for joining the crew, I loved what they were doing and had been to a number of events where they were printing , its a really cool concept so I was super excited to be asked to join the crew.
A little bird tells me youre also part of a fledgling collective going by the name of Astro Black. Whats that about?
Ohhhh im so excited about this collective keep you ears and peepers peeled ! Astro- Black is a collective of artists, writers, animators and sound designers all on a quest to represent the outer reaches of the fourth galaxy and the music of the spheres – basically we are taking over the world and space! Its amazing to be part of a collective with similar tastes in music and art , we are all as crazy about music as we are our work and our collective is a place where we can really express that and get our teeth into some really awesome projects, we have some great projects coming up and we are set to launch our website in the beginning of October as well as the launch of our exclusive online shop.
Your artwork for One Handed Music is great. How did you get involved, whats it like working with the OHM family and what sleeves have you done to date?
I basically got approached by the head of OHM who had by chance seen my website and really liked my style, I still cant believe my luck on this!! I love working on projects for such a great independent label, it sounds a bit cheesy but I really do love everything they put out, doing artwork for Paul White was incredible, doing artwork for a record has to be my favourite type of job, it genuinely makes me so so happy, also my parents love having my record sleeves, it really means a lot to them to see my work as a tangible object especially since my dad is so into music.
So far ive done all the artwork for the OHM dedication mixtape series and the sleeve for Paul Whites Single Street Lights ft Danny Brown and the sleeve for Paul Whites album Watch The Ants.
Who are you most influenced by in terms of other artists?
I tend to find myself inspired not necessarily by illustrators but often photographers, colour schemes and strange natural textures and by collections of anthropology. I love Chris Ofili and his use of colours nothing ever has topped his retrospective at the Tate Modern, that blew my mind. Recently Black Eyes and Lemonade at the WhiteChapel gallery really inspired me Barbara Jones collections of objects was amazing. I love symbolic and obscure objects and the ways of collecting and showing objects that have symbolic meaning. How we categorise our own personal collections and their meanings to us is something I find interesting..
Who are some of the best artists/Illustrators around that we should keep an eye on?
Victoria Topping is a tropical genius, I also love the animations by Plastic Horse, check them out!
What would your dream artwork commission be?
Hmm thats hard , artwork for festival stages would be a dream to do. I suppose also a whole visual image for someone, record sleeves and a music video collaboration that would be really exciting.
Finally, what have you got lined up n the future?
Ive just finished a music commission which was super fun and showcases four of my illustrations and im also working on some artwork for a short book which is really exciting! Also keep and eye out for Astro – Black Collective which will be launched very soon!!
Check out Emily's website for an in depth look at her beautiful work.