The African American artist happens to do a lot besides art—he is a photographer, a graphic designer and an art teacher
In the sixth episode of Eric’s Perspective, podcast hosted by Eric Hanks, George Evans shares his life story as a multi-talented African American artist in an interview with Eric.
Evans introduces himself as a native of Los Angeles, who was born in an artistic home and lived part of his childhood and young age on 89th Street. The African American artist happens to do a lot besides art—he is a photographer, a graphic designer and an art teacher.
Evans’ father was a commercial artist, his elder sister was a poetic writer, and his younger brother and sister were musicians. He says his early exposure to art at age 9 was accredited to his father, who would always put a paintbrush in his hand to guide him on his paintings.
Evans’ high school days marked the beginning of his photography practice. His father introduced him to Larry Valentine, who taught him all he knows about photography. Throughout Evans’ apprenticeship days with Valentine, he edited and retouched a lot of work until he finally learned how to take professional photographs.
Evans had exceptional relationships with the great men that trained him—starting from his father, who taught him firsthand, to Valentine, William Pajuad, Bill Taylor, and John Little. “I don’t take my relationship with these great men for granted,” he said.
Little was his art instructor and the organizer of the art training program that Evans enrolled in before getting a scholarship at the Chouinard Art Institute as he emerged third.
Evans met Pajaud, a renowned watercolorist, as a transfer student on scholarship. He was his apprentice for some years before he passed on, and they were neighbors at 89th street.
When asked why he transferred from Chioiunard to Los Angeles Trade Technical Art College, Evans said it was his dream as he always desired to attend the school. He appreciated the African American arts for being a platform that provides insurance for the Black community.
Evans shares his fun times as an artist with Hanks. As an art teacher who taught kids, Evans derived so much satisfaction from teaching children and teenagers. He gets more excited when the children produce the exact art results as they were taught. In his words, “kids have a retentive memory, and it was satisfying to see them learn fast.”
Moving on, Hanks asks what he thinks about using watercolors for painting. Evans says he started using watercolors when he enrolled in a drawing group. According to him, watercolors make him more creative both as a photographer, graphics designer and artist.
Even Evans had a good transition from traditional hand skills of using airbrushes, pencils and dye to digital skills of handling the camera. He was able to blend his skills in photography, art and graphics design. He sees watercolors as a good tool in digital photography and not only in art paintings.
According to Evans, the state of his father’s art industry and the death of his elder sister and Pajaud kept him focused on doing better in the digital world. However, he promised himself not to allow his traditional hand skill to die. He still goes around with sketch pads and makes use of watercolors. “I refuse to relinquish,” he said.
Presently, Evans is working on another solo public art and two other major art projects. He announces his retirement as an art teacher and talks about how he handles his social media platforms and websites.
Even George believes he communicates through his artworks and photography. He said his childhood experiences encouraged him to do more. When he was asked about his perception of art, he said, “You have to be able to see the world through art.”
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