Florida-based artist, Katie Evans, focused on life’s ambiguity through her still life drawings of feminine figures and objects. Through her drawings she searches for meaning in objects, deeming them purposeful by sketching them onto paper.
How has your upbringing influenced you as an artist today?
My overall childhood and upbringing was perfectly fine. I’d go as far as to say it was above average.
Things got weird when I was around 14 and got introduced to a church that was a borderline cult. It was “non denominational”, but it was more Pentecostal. Think laying on of hands, prophesying, claims of healing, speaking in tongues…wild stuff, and all things I partook in/believed in. It was modeled after Bethel Church, which was in the news last year for trying to raise a toddler from the dead, if that tells you anything about the environment there. Thankfully I was able to leave all that behind when I moved for college. I decided to cut ties with everyone I knew from there and left the church for good.
After leaving I grappled with the meaning of life, but eventually came to the conclusion that there wasn’t any set meaning, and that in and of itself was beautiful. This search for meaning and acceptance of ambiguity laid the groundwork for much of my work.
What is an essential item in your artist studio?
I have just a few items I use, but I I feel like they are all essential. I’ve got my set of Faber Castell pencils, varied erasers, and my Canson Special Edition paper.
What stories or messages do you wish to tell through your creations?
I think I answered some of that in my first response. My drawings are about the ambiguity of life and the feminine experience. I’ve been told that there is a feeling of repression of desire in my work, and I think that can also be attributed to my years in the church. A lot of my drawings are intuition based, I’ll have a feeling or object I want to use and just let my mind wander. Sometimes I’ll make something like a fish head on a plate with a more concrete meaning, and other times I’ll make a drawing where a woman is dipping her nose in a cup of water because it just feels right.
What challenges have you found pursuing a creative career? How did you overcome them?
I think dedicating adequate time can be challenging – but what artist doesn’t have that struggle? I work at a design studio and have the ability to work 4 instead of 5 days a week, allowing me to have extra time for drawing. My original plan was to be able to make additional income from my art-ha! Although that’s not happening at the moment, having that extra day for my own creative endeavors has made me much happier.
Another big hindrance has been neck and shoulder pain. I have a hard time drawing for long periods of time, I can’t sit and draw for 4+ hours like I used to in college. But last year I started doing some exercises for my neck and shoulders that have really helped. I wish I knew how important posture was when I was younger!
For any other artists with neck/shoulder pain, the neck hammock and an acupuncture mat are lifesavers.
What project(s) are you currently working on?
I’m working on a large drawing of someone wringing out a wet towel into a bowl and another drawing that is a can of sardines is close to being done. I’ve got an idea that involves a crab claw, so stay tuned for that one!
FRONTRUNNER online forum: @Katie-Evans